Not in DARE

sagehen sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM
Sat Nov 19 00:58:22 UTC 2005

>Really, dInIs? Who knew? I checked the OED and the 1976 edition of the
>Random House Dictionary and didn't see it. That is, I found the word in both
>places, but not the relevant meaning. My wife, a Pennsylvania native, had no
>idea what a gangway was, until we went to St. Louis and I showed her the old
>family manse and took her through the gangway to the backyard. I've never
>lived anywhere but St, Louis where I've seen anything that I would think of
>as a "gangway" and I've never heard "gangway" used anyplace else. But, of
>course, that could be mere coincidence.
>Another oddity is that the space between the sidewalk and the curb planted
>with grass and trees is commonplace in St. Louis, but I have not the
>slightest idea what that is called there. I always considered it to be a
>part of people's frontyards. I thought that till I saw the DARE request for
>regional names for it. My wife calls that space a "tree lawn." I have
>"parkway," but that refers to the grassy space planted with flowers - but
>not trees - between the two sides of a "boulevard," a street eight or more
>lanes wide, a paradigm example being Kingshighway Boulevard in St. Louis.
>On 11/18/05, Dennis R. Preston <preston at> wrote:
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>> -----------------------
>> Sender: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster: "Dennis R. Preston" <preston at MSU.EDU>
>> Subject: Re: Not in DARE
>> I think this is general US (urban); hence, not in DARE.
>> dInIs
>> >The other day, I heard a local newsreader speak of the "gangway" of a
>> ship.
>> >Obviously, what was meant was "gangplank."
>> >
>> >DARE has "gangway" as railroader and logger jargon. However, in St.
>> Louis, a
>> >"gangway" is a narrow, paved space between two buildings that permits
>> >passage from the front of one of the buildings to the back of it. In
>> >residential neighborhoods, the gangway connects to the front walk of a
>> >residedence and permits passage from the frontyard of that residence to
>> its
>> >backyard. As you face a house, the gangway to the right leads to the
>> >backyard of that house, whereas the gangway to the left leads to the
>> >backyard of the neighboring house. Adolescent boys use these for
>> tom-peeping
>> >and males of all ages use them as emergency urinals, much to the
>> annoyance
>> >of the homeowners.
>> >--
>> >-Wilson Gray
>> --
>> Dennis R. Preston
>> University Distinguished Professor
>> Department of English
>> 15-C Morrill Hall
>> Michigan State University
>> East Lansing, MI 48824-1036
>> Phone: (517) 353-4736
>> Fax: (517) 353-3755
>> preston at
>-Wilson Gray
My New Century Dictionary  gives, among other defs.: "/naut/., any of
various passageways on a ship, as that between the rail and cabins or
houses on the deck..."
It has always been my word for the corridor between cabins on shipboard.
A. Murie

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