[Ads-l] wondering about the origin of "sleigh riding" in New York

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jan 1 13:21:30 EST 2021


I 've never heard the term "sleigh-riding" applied to sleds, but when I was
a tad in NYC in the mid-1950s, I called a sled a "sleigh" till I was five
or six years old, and I don't recall ever being directly corrected.

"Sleigh" for "sled" is likewise reflected in this:

1895 _New York Herald_ (Jan. 30) 10: Further on two little girls in knitted
hoods hop cheerily along with a skate apiece, followed at  distance by a
tot with a sled. An envious mate calls out, "Ho, don't them Brown girls
think they're fine wid skates and a sleigh!"

The Dictionary of American Regional English has an entry with quotations
beginning in Ohio in 1827, the first of which actually includes the term
"sleigh-riding.":

"Two weeks since, it was ...covered with boys and men amusing themselves
with skating and sleigh-riding on the ice, for want of snow."

JL

On Fri, Jan 1, 2021 at 12:11 PM Michael Malone <mikemalone5a at gmail.com>
wrote:

> Hi! I sincerely hope I did this correctly and did not violate the norms.
> I'm a journalist looking to do a story on the term "sleigh riding", which
> is how snow sledding is referred to in New York, despite there not being a
> sleigh involved. Wondering if anyone might help trace where/when/how the
> term came to be.
> Thank you and happy new year.
> Mike Malone
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>


-- 
"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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


More information about the Ads-l mailing list