[Ads-l] sled = snowmobile

Chris Waigl chris at LASCRIBE.NET
Thu Sep 7 18:21:21 EDT 2017

>From what I'm hearing first-hand in Alaska, both snowmachine and sled are
mostly used, though with slightly different distributions. (Snogo, too,
which I think of as more Canadian, and more rural.) An utility snowmachine
used for trapping, winter transport and trail work is often referred to as
a sled. Outdoorsdirectory.com is an excellent source of examples for this
use. When there's a risk of confusion with a dog sled, snowmachine can be
substituted. (For example in the dog mushers' association I'm a member of,
we usually refer to snowmachines available for trail work, not sleds -- the
term sled evokes dog sleds first. However, if the context is clear, sled
can be used too ("Did you manage to pull out that sled you jammed in the
creek last weekend during trail work?" "How do you like the engine on your
new sled?")

Usually there isn't much danger of confusion: the difference between the
two modes of transport is not just the sled, but also the presence or
absence of a dozen or so dogs, who are usually the salient bit of the
setup. (So for example you'd say about someone that they use a dog team to
run their trapline.)

There's an additional risk of confusion because you can buy a sled to pul
as a trailer behind a snowmachine. Also from Outdoors Directory:
"Would like to get some ideas/opinions from you folks on Utility Sleds. I"m
wanting to purchase one for my snowmachine, for ice fishing, etc.., but not
sure what type to get." They're also called pull-behind sleds, or by the
most well-=known brand names (Otter sled).

For the recreational machines used by youth to ride for fun, they're more
commonly called snowmachines -- sled has a connotation of utility use. This
said, I haven't talked recreational snowmachining with many teenagers.

Where I sit, using snowmobile is the mark of someone from Outside


On Thu, Sep 7, 2017 at 9:02 AM, Barretts Mail <mail.barretts at gmail.com>

> On 2 July 2002, Barry Popik found “snowmachine” for “snowmobile” in an
> glossary of Alaskanisms (http://listserv.linguistlist.
> org/pipermail/ads-l/2002-July.txt <http://listserv.linguistlist.
> org/pipermail/ads-l/2002-July.txt>).
> On a recent trip to Alaska, I was told secondhand that “snow machine” was
> out and “sled” was in, and I found confirmation with use in the wild. Had I
> not been told in advance, I would have been very confused!
> Since dogsledding is still practiced, people use sleds behind their
> snowmobiles to haul things and children surely still sled, there seems to
> be lots of opportunities for miscommunication. I don’t know how ambiguities
> are worked out, though perhaps it’s context like “bike” for bicycle and
> motorcycle.
> 1. http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/showthread.php/51079-Best-
> Trapping-Sled <http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/
> showthread.php/51079-Best-Trapping-Sled>
> Thread: Best Trapping Sled?
> What advice would you give regarding snow machines?
> 2. http://cs.amsnow.com/sno/manufacturers/f/16/t/48549.aspx <
> http://cs.amsnow.com/sno/manufacturers/f/16/t/48549.aspx>
> Breaking in a new sled?
> How would you guys reccomend breaking in a brand new sled (09 600 H.O. CFI
> SB)?  I have heard not to go over 60 for the first 100 MPH.  But I have
> also heard that if you baby it the first few hundred miles the sled wont be
> as fast as if you hadn't babied it.

Chris Waigl . chris.waigl at gmail.com . chris at lascribe.net
http://eggcorns.lascribe.net . http://chryss.eu

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

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