"all stove up"

Allen D. Maberry maberry at U.WASHINGTON.EDU
Tue Jun 1 12:35:29 UTC 2004

I've heard "all stove up" all my life (Oregon and Washington). I don't know the actual derivation of it, but I've always heard it in the sense of being very stiff and sore, or having severe stiffness in one's joints and having difficulty moving, not necessarily being badly injured. Since the way I heard the expression used indicated being stiff and sore, I always figured it being used as a form of "to stiffen" in the expession "stiffen up".


On Mon, 31 May 2004, Nell Burr wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Nell Burr <Nfburr at AOL.COM>
> Subject:      "all stove up"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> My partner and I have been trying to track down the etymology of the
> expression "all stove up" which her father used to describe someone who's very hurt,
> as in "he's all stove up."  Her father was born on the stake plains of east
> Texas and his father took part in some of the last great cross-country cattle
> drives as a cowboy for one of the large ranches, possibly the King Ranch.  Our
> best guess is that the expression was born when a cowboy was so injured he
> couldn't do any kind of work and had to just rest by the camp stove until he was
> hopefully better.  It's logical, I suppose, but is it right?
> Also, if anyone can suggest a good book on the derivation of other western
> phrases, it would be much appreciated.
> Thank you,
> Nell

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