"all stove up"

David Bergdahl einstein at FROGNET.NET
Tue Jun 1 13:29:01 UTC 2004

Geoff Nathan writes:

> At 08:35 AM 6/1/2004, you wrote:
>> 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".
> Having read lots of seafaring books I'm making a WAG here, but I'd guess
> that 'stove-up' is derived from the same root as 'stove-in', meaning
> busted
> up, smashed, especially of the hull of boats.  According to the OED it
> derives from 'stave' (v.) meaning to break up a barrel into its component
> staves.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the verb form "To accidently bend back (a
finger or toe) and injure the joint at its base," which is the only meaning
I recognize.
David Bergdahl

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