[Ads-l] wondering about the origin of "sleigh riding" in New York

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Jan 1 21:40:05 UTC 2021

Not only.  I’m pretty sure I share Jon’s memory of calling them sleighs (at least optionally) in the NYC of the early-mid 50s, Washington Heights in my case.  As Sarah Palin didn’t quite say, we could see the Palisades from the Riverside Drive sledding hill, if not from our (non-existent) back yard, but we didn’t live in Jersey.  

> On Jan 1, 2021, at 4:04 PM, Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> A quick look at Google indicates it's a NJ thing.
> On Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 1:21 PM Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> I 've never heard the term "sleigh-riding" applied to sleds, but when I was
>> a tad in NYC in the mid-1950s, I called a sled a "sleigh" till I was five
>> or six years old, and I don't recall ever being directly corrected.
>> "Sleigh" for "sled" is likewise reflected in this:
>> 1895 _New York Herald_ (Jan. 30) 10: Further on two little girls in knitted
>> hoods hop cheerily along with a skate apiece, followed at  distance by a
>> tot with a sled. An envious mate calls out, "Ho, don't them Brown girls
>> think they're fine wid skates and a sleigh!"
>> The Dictionary of American Regional English has an entry with quotations
>> beginning in Ohio in 1827, the first of which actually includes the term
>> "sleigh-riding.":
>> "Two weeks since, it was ...covered with boys and men amusing themselves
>> with skating and sleigh-riding on the ice, for want of snow."
>> JL
>> On Fri, Jan 1, 2021 at 12:11 PM Michael Malone <mikemalone5a at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>> Hi! I sincerely hope I did this correctly and did not violate the norms.
>>> I'm a journalist looking to do a story on the term "sleigh riding", which
>>> is how snow sledding is referred to in New York, despite there not being
>> a
>>> sleigh involved. Wondering if anyone might help trace where/when/how the
>>> term came to be.
>>> Thank you and happy new year.
>>> Mike Malone
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> 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

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

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