Breakup season

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Sun Jan 22 00:42:29 UTC 2012

What is this called in other cities? Surely there's a word for it...

On Jan 21, 2012, at 3:28 PM, Dave Wilton wrote:

> I too recall being in Anchorage during break-up.
> DARE has an entry for "break-up" that's distinct from the "change in
> weather" sense. It's Alaskan, of course, and defined as "the late spring
> melting of ice and snow" with citations back to 1868.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of
> Benjamin Barrett
> Sent: Saturday, January 21, 2012 6:05 PM
> Subject: Breakup season
> As a kid near Anchorage, I recall the breakup season when the snow turned to
> dirty, muddy slush and all the litter that had accumulated over the winter
> appeared. It is an ugly time of year. One elementary school I attended held
> drawings for kids picking up garbage. You got one entry for each bag of
> garbage you brought in. Breakup season is an important event in any cold
> climate.
> The OED is close with "change from fine or settled weather, or from frost,"
> but I think this meaning deserves its own place as "breakup season" is not
> understood to be on the same level as "breakup of the sunny weather" but a
> particular spring phenomenon/period of time.
> The AHD is also close with "The cracking and shifting of ice in rivers or
> harbors during the spring." That is also an important series of events/time
> period. I recall a bar that held a pool to see when a certain lake would
> breakup. Whoever had the closest time won the money.
> The MW meaning is close to AHD with "the breaking, melting, and loosening of
> ice in the spring."
> Googling on the Anchorage Times site, I see just one instance of "breakup
> season":
> -----
> Tip: Keep our waterways clean this breakup season -- scoop the poop!
> (
> -----
> Benjamin Barrett
> Seattle, WA

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