Tenny runners...

Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Sun Sep 24 18:43:45 UTC 2006

No, I don't remember "elastics" or "elastic bands" for "rubber bands"--though I never knew my grandparents (or their Arkansan lexicons).

There was a hypothetical time, I suppose, when the word "rubber" was restricted to uses bespeaking its etymology--rubbing marks or smudges from paper--only later to be extended to other uses of the substance?  The OED's earliest instance of "rubber band" is a seemingly late 1895.  For the noun "elastic," 'elastic cord or string, usually woven with india-rubber,' the OED gives examples from 1847, 1863, and 1880--but none later (why??).


---- Original message ----
>Date: Sat, 23 Sep 2006 00:09:22 -0400
>From: Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
>Subject: Re: Tenny runners...

>As usual, Charlie, you've resurrected for me a bit of lexicon that I'd
>lost. Overshoes! Whoa, does that bring back memories! BTW, my
>grandparents referred to rubber bands as "elastics." Does that ring a
>bell with you?

>On 9/22/06, Charles Doyle <cdoyle at uga.edu> wrote:

>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       Charles Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU>
>> Subject:      Re: Tenny runners...

>> When I was in (about) the fifth grade, the spelling textbook gave the word "rubbers," with the illustrative sentence (something like) "John lent Bill his rubbers."  Many yucks from the pubescent philologues--though we did divine that the reference was to what are properly (in East Texas) called "overshoes."
>> --Charlie

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