Rat-tail(ed) broom

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed May 5 00:28:05 UTC 2010

This is probably more a DARE thing than an HDAS type of thing.

There are only three hits that Google considers to be relevant.

IAC, in Saint Louis, _rat-tailed broom_, like "whisk broom," is the
only name used for this handy object. Unfortunately, it's not likely
to come up as the subject of a random conversation. So, I have no idea
whether this handy form of broom is known / used elsewhere, perhaps
under a different name.

Because it comes in so handy (we have cats), I *keeps* me a rat-tailed
broom. I've asked my wife about her familiarity with this tool and she
*thinks* that it *may* be called a "dust broom" in in NE PA.

IAC, it looks roughly like an "ignorant stick" / "ignorance stick" -
pushbroom - with the handle removed and a third or so of the bristles
removed from the head, with the empty space carved, so to speak, into
a handle.

BTW, I once read somewhere - Mario Pei, yet again? - that "ignorant
stick" originally referred to the spade as a tool of ditch-diggers.
But, IME, it was:

"... pushing the ignorant stick ..."

"What's that?"

"Doing porter-work."


All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"––a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
–Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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