to house = to eat

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Wed Oct 23 04:24:01 UTC 2013

On 10/22/2013 11:30 PM, Grant Barrett wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society<ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Grant Barrett<grantbarrett at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      to house = to eat
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> A listener to the radio show came across “to house” meaning “to eat.” ....

It's not familiar to me.

Quick Google suggests to me that this "house" [v.t.] often is used like
"gobble" or "wolf", = "eat greedily" or so.

Does it have a /z/ sound?

Here is a _possible_ ancestor or cognate: Scots "hose" [v.] with similar

[Scots National Dictionary on-line:]


HOSE, v.2 Also hjos. Of fish: to seize bait greedily (Bnff., Abd. 1957).
Also extended to human beings or other animals, to eat gluttonously
(Abd. 1957). [ho:z]
*Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
De fish is hjost de bait, the fish has swallowed the bait far down so
that the hook is fixed in the stomach.
*Mry.1 1925:
Rug, mannie, rug, yer baitie’s hosed.
*Bnff. 1926 Banffshire Jnl. (18 May) 8:
A codlin’ hauf inclined tae hose Flashed fire, syne sank again.
*Bnff. 1956 Banffshire Advertiser (3 May):
Fat noo, Pegasus, ye’re hosin’ in tae the girss, I see.
[Appar. a fig. use of Hose, n., the food going down the gullet like a
leg into a stocking, or a handle into a socket.]


-- Doug Wilson

The American Dialect Society -

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