The Charlotte Observer relays a question

Grant Barrett gbarrett at WORLDNEWYORK.ORG
Mon May 22 15:53:09 UTC 2006

On May 21, 2006, at 20:49, Chris F. Waigl wrote:
> The title isn't the reason for this post, though. It's that the
> question
> itself might be of interest: "Is 'line ditching' a common term in the
> Union County area?"

I did some digging on this term. There is indeed an Ohio connection,
with the first cite I found coming from a student newspaper published
inside the Coshocton (Ohio) Tribune in 1956. I also found the term in
two recent Ohio high school student handbooks and often coming out of
the mouth and pen of former Ohio Congressman John Kasich (now
primarily a political commentator), who invariably uses it to refer
to illegal immigrants "ditching in line" in front of legal
immigrants, which is how he refers to amnesty for undocumented
immigrants. These are besides the Ohio connections already made on
this list.

The phrase "ditch in line" is by far the most common form I could
verify. The "dish" spelling was uncommon; outside of discussions of
the term, I found just one use of it. I also looked for variations
without "in line" and other variations with "queue," with no results
outside of discussions of the term.

All the cites are given at the entry on my web site and linked to the
sources where available online:

By the way, this term was previously discussed on this list in 2001.
Steve Hartman Keiser, quoted in the Charlotte Observer article, was
the person who brought it up then.

Grant Barrett
gbarrett at

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list