[Ads-l] highwaters

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat Nov 18 22:39:53 EST 2017

Green’s Dictionary of Slang has a pertinent entry.

[Begin excerpt]
highwater adj.
[mid-19C+] (US) too short, usu. of trousers, occas. of other clothing
or hair; thus highwaters n., trousers that are too short.
[End excerpt]

JL's Historical Dictionary of American Slang has an entry with the
following initial citations.

[Begin excerpt; check for typos]
[1856 "M. Twain," in DARE: Then some soldiers with bob-tailed tin
coats on (high water coats we used to call 'em in Keokuk) come in,
them some gals (with high water dresses on).]

1902 in DARE: High-water-pants boys, who take their college education
and make some follow's business hum with it.
[End excerpt]

I've heard the following related expression

[Begin Urban dictionary excerpt]
flood pants
Pants that fall around the ankle. Often called high-waters/ high
waters as well. This refers to the fact that you can wear them when
there is a flood, or "high waters."
Wow, those flood pants are so cute, but your ankles must get cold
during the winter...
by Maderaverde April 29, 2005
[End Urban dictionary excerpt]

Green’s Dictionary of Slang has a pertinent entry. (I cannot see the citations.)

[Begin excerpt]
flood-pants n.
[such trousers are ideal for walking through a flood – the legs are
too short to get wet]
[20C+] (orig. W.I.) trousers that are too short and narrow.
[End excerpt]


On Sat, Nov 18, 2017 at 9:28 PM, Barretts Mail <mail.barretts at gmail.com> wrote:
> Wiktionary (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/highwaters <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/highwaters>, informal) has this word but it’s not in the English Oxford Living Dictionaries.
> Ken Cannon uses the word at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bh1fQbLQx6w <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bh1fQbLQx6w>, about 2:19 in.
> I was surprised to learn this is still in use.
> Benjamin Barrett
> Formerly of Seattle, WA
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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