Rat-tail(ed) broom

Bill Palmer w_a_palmer at BELLSOUTH.NET
Wed May 5 01:21:33 UTC 2010

>From Wilson's description, it sounds like what I would call a "foxtail", not
a "foxtail broom". just a foxtail.

Bill Palmer
----- Original Message -----
From: "Wilson Gray" <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2010 8:28 PM
Subject: Rat-tail(ed) broom

> ---------------------- Information from the mail
> header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Rat-tail(ed) broom
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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."
> -Wilson
> -Wilson
> ---
> 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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