hoe-down not in DARE

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sat Feb 8 19:23:53 UTC 2014

I wrote a few days ago,
>wiseGEEK suggests:  "The origins of the term hoedown are believed to
>simply be derived from putting the hoe down or stopping work in the
>fields.  This is what the hardworking farmer would do to attend an
>evening of dancing and merrymaking."
>http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-hoedown.htm  Others have the same
>hypothesis.  Unless there is some document supporting this, I'm
>skeptical.  The two earliest OED2 quotations include "hoe corn and
>dig potatoes" and "hoe down, corn-field", both suggesting to me that
>"hoe-down" is associated with working, not with ceasing work.


At 2/8/2014 01:00 PM, Cohen, Gerald Leonard wrote:
>Fwiw, I've always thought (correctly or not) that a "hoedown" is so
>named because of
>a cessation of the work.  The hoes would be put down, and then the
>dancing could begin.
>Gerald Cohen
>On Saturday, February 08, 2014 10:05 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>>HDAS also suggests that "hoedown," n., derives from "hoe it down," to dance
>>a particular sort of step.

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

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