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

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jan 1 16:10:42 EST 2021


A quick look at DARE indicates that, historically at least, it's a lot more
extensive than that. Def 2 of "sleigh" (including "sleigh riding") is
listed as "scattered, but esp South Midland, Central Atlantic, Inland
North." Citations start in 1827 in Pennsylvania.

Entry: https://www.daredictionary.com/view/dare/ID_00053234
Map: https://www.daredictionary.com/view/maps/sleigh2map.png


On Fri, Jan 1, 2021 at 4:04 PM Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at gmail.com> wrote:

> A quick look at Google indicates it's a NJ thing.
>
> On Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 1:21 PM Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > 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
> > >
>

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