Allen D. Maberry maberry at U.WASHINGTON.EDU
Thu Feb 5 13:00:09 UTC 2004

I definitely remember hearing and calling them "fireplugs" in Oregon in the 1950s too. I checked with a friend who is also a native who remembers calling them fireplugs or fire hydrants interchangeably, fire hydrants being the more "official" name. Mostly now I just hear "hydrant".

maberry at

On Wed, 4 Feb 2004, Peter A. McGraw wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Peter A. McGraw" <pmcgraw at LINFIELD.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: fireplug
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I grew up saying fireplug, but I can't say for sure whether I picked it up
> from the local speech of Oklahoma City or So. California, or from my
> parents, who hailed from Iowa and Oklahoma/Texas respectively.  I'm pretty
> sure it was in my speech before we moved to Oregon in the early 50s.  I
> THINK I remember my grandmother (born in Illinois but grew up in Oklahoma)
> saying fireplug,  and I'm pretty sure I remember hearing my grandfather
> (who was from East Texas and talked like it) say fire hydrant, and finding
> it vaguely exotic, like another of his words, terrapin.
> At some point I must have made a gradual transition to hydrant, because I
> hadn't thought of plug for a long time until your message reminded me.
> There: all sorts of reliable data that I'm sure you can use.:)
> Peter
> --On Wednesday, February 4, 2004 3:24 PM -0600 Luanne von Schneidemesser
> <lvonschn at WISC.EDU> wrote:
> > Anyone know if fireplug (=fire hydrant) is regional?  If so, where?  A
> > woman originally from Ohio says she uses it (and people laugh at her).  We
> > didn't ask about this when interviewing for DARE.
> >
> > Thanks.
> >
> > Luanne
> *****************************************************************
> Peter A. McGraw       Linfield College        McMinnville, Oregon
> ******************* pmcgraw at ************************

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