Stoop in DARE

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Sep 25 13:25:53 UTC 2007

>Is a "stoop" really a porch? In Saint Louis, a "stoop" is a short set
>of usually-limestone steps in the front or wooden steps in the rear
>leading to an entryway in the front or directly to a door in the rear.

Ditto for NYC, mutatis mutandis.  Our apartment houses (in Washington
Heights) had no porches--I only knew the word from summer rental
houses on Long Island--but we had stoops, made of concrete, against
which we played stoop ball (throw the spaldeen hard to hit the edge
of the stoop and fly into the air, where your opponent would catch it
on the fly for an out, on a bounce to hold you to a single, two
bounces for a double, etc.).  We actually played more stoop ball than
stick ball, although the latter is more celebrated.


>The entryway is a space large enough for perhaps two to four people to
>stand. A "porch" is much larger and may extend across the entire front
>or rear of a house, with space for chairs and a swing or a glider or
>some such.
>On 9/25/07, Barnhart <barnhart at> wrote:
>>  ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>  Poster:       Barnhart <barnhart at HIGHLANDS.COM>
>>  Subject:      Re: Stoop in DARE
>>  Dear Nadia,
>>  Welcome back.  Of course, DARE or Wentworth are obvious places to go.  I
>>  looked in the World Book Dictionary at the etymology (You could use the
>>  Barnbart Dictionary of Etymology, too, or Merriam Webster's Collegiate,
>>  for that matter).  The source is Dutch _stoep_.  So, the probable origin
>>  in spite of its widespread usage, is New Jersey and the Hudson and
>>  Susquehanna valleys of New York.  Another place to keep in mind would be
>>  the Dictionary of Americanisms (1952).
>>  Regards,
>>  David
>>  barnhart at
>>  Lexik at
>>  American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> writes:
>>  >---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>  >-----------------------
>>  >Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>  >Poster:       Nadia Pazolis-Gabriel <nadpaz3 at GMAIL.COM>
>>  >Subject:      Stoop in DARE
>>  >-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>  >
>>  >Dear all,
>>  >
>>  >A faithful reader of this wonderful listserv until last year, I got too
>>  >busy
>>  >with school and work and had to unscubscribe.
>>  >Today, I'm back on the list to satisfy my curiosity!
>>  >
>>  >I am a graduate student in Library Science. In my Reference class, we are
>>  >currently studying encyclopedias and dictionaries.
>>  >The teacher asked us a tricky question about the regional use of a word:
>>  >
>>  >"Where in the US is the word "stoop" popularly used to mean a porch?"
>>  >
>>  >We students all had DARE in mind.
>>  >Little did we know: There's no volume 5 yet - so, no way to look up the
>>  >entry for "stoop" - and the entry at "porch" doesn't help much.
>>  >
>>  >My husband told me "Oh, in Buffalo we used stoop for porch!"
>>  >
>>  >Could someone tell us what DARE would say?
>>  >
>>  >Thank you!
>>  >
>>  >Nadia Gabriel
>>  >
>>  >
>>  >
>>  >
>>  >
>>  >**
>>  >
>>  >------------------------------------------------------------
>>  >The American Dialect Society -
>>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>>  The American Dialect Society -
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