galoshes and rubbers and overshoes, oh my

Alice Faber faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU
Thu Jun 7 18:05:34 UTC 2012

On 6/7/12 1:34 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
> I too learned "galoshes" from my parents (NYC). Despite the OED's
> (weaselly?) punt to another authority: "'Rare in U.S.' (Cent. Dict.)".
> "Overshoes" is not in my native vocabulary.
> Does anyone besides me associate "rubbers" with ankle-height and
> "galoshes" with something more like boots? Curiously, the earliest
> quotation in the OED for "rubbers" (s.v. "rubber, n.1", sense 14) is:

Rubbers are definitely shoe-height (not even ankle-height). Galoshes are
higher, and have a zipper. In between, there are rain boots, which have
a gusset and a loop closure of some sort. Rain boots can be clear-ish,
while rubbers are black; galoshes are mostly black, but can be colorful.

(NY suburbs mid-1950s through late 1960s)

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list