OED: "monkey's wedding"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Dec 2 15:19:45 UTC 2012

On Dec 2, 2012, at 10:12 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:

> Nor, to my surprise, is "sunshower" in OED.
> JL

Oddly, it wasn't in AHD4 either, but it's in the new AHD5 ('A localized rain shower in which rain falls while the sun is shining'), even though it's hardly a new item.  Like Alice, I've been familiar with the word since childhood, and it's not entirely predictable (the way the "mustard stain" type of non-lexicalized compounds is) even if it is essentially transparent.


> On Sun, Dec 2, 2012 at 10:02 AM, Alice Faber <faber at haskins.yale.edu> wrote:
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>> -----------------------
>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       Alice Faber <faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU>
>> Organization: Haskins Laboratories
>> Subject:      Re: OED: "monkey's wedding"
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> On 12/2/12 8:34 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>>> My grandmother told me about "sunshowers" ca1952.
>>> I thought it was weird that it could rain while the sun was shining. IMO,
>>> sunshowers are very brief.
>>> I've read (but never heard) "The devil is beating his wife."  I've never
>>> seen an explanation of it.
>> "Sunshowers" is the term I was familiar with, growing up in the NY area
>> in the 50s/60s. When I moved to Texas for grad school, I was told about
>> "the devil is beating his wife" as a quintessential Texas expression,
>> although I don't think I ever heard it "in the wild".
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list