"opener" as comparative adj.

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Aug 17 13:18:19 UTC 2009

At 8/16/2009 08:04 PM, Alison Murie wrote:
> From Todd's _Birds of Western Pennsylvania_:  ...."crossed Dutch Run
>a second time, and shortly thereafter entered opener country in
>Indiana County."
>Whether these words were written in 1940, when the book came out, or
>in 1893 when the field notes for this day's events  were probably
>written, isn't entirely clear from the text.
>Can't remember ever coming across this usage before.

Since I think I have, I tried Google.  Searching  for "into opener
country" -- since "opener country" yields things like "can opener
country" and "letter opener country" -- I found 6 hits.

 From the Gentleman's Magazine, p 355,  page headers say Apr., 1852:

"until the traveller comes out into opener country about a mile to
the eastward of Folkestone. Here, as I have before stated, the chalk
ridge turns inland, ..."

 From The New Yorker Digital Reader, Apr. 7, 1975:

"... through small settlements full of traf- fic lights, past COlln-
tr\ clubs with close- cropped golf greens, Into opener country Three
polled Herefords in ..."

(Apparently no one comes "out of opener country".)


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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