Friday, December 18, 2015

Got winter?

Out for a walk. And someone said, “Good morning! It got winter, didn’t it?”

It was 28 °F, so yes, it did. But I’d never heard that idiom before. Have you?

A quick search turned up a handful of examples. From northern California oral history: “it got winter and they built this lean-to or cache or whatever you might call it.” From a novel set in Kentucky: “It was like it got winter all at once.” From a Flickr photograph: “It got winter . . . a little.” Does winter here function as an adjective? Or does the idiom omit to be, as in the common-in-these-parts idiom need + past participle”? As in The car needs washed. Or maybe, soon, The snow needs shoveled.

comments: 17

Chris said...

You could substitute "turned" for "got" in all of those examples and they would make sense. I've never heard this usage before.

Michael Leddy said...

Yes. I have to admit, I don’t think I’ve heard “It turned winter” either. “Turned cold,” yes.

Fresca said...

Never heard either "got" or "turned" winter).
I can try it out now... because it just got winter here too:
"18°F Feels Like 4°"

Michael Leddy said...

If I hear it again, I’ll be tempted to stop and ask. But this morning it was just too cold to stop.

Sara said...

I've never heard of it before either, but I like it.

Michael Leddy said...

Poetry material!

Diane Schirf said...

A friend used to make fun of me when I would say, for example, "My hair needs cut." I blame it on ancestry in Pennsylvania (but I don't say "warshing machine" or "redd up").

Michael Leddy said...

My friend Norman (a linguist) has a comment on another post saying that this idiom moved west from Pennsylvania.

Is there anything more provincial than making fun of other people’s regionalisms? :)

Diane Schirf said...

"Redd up" is Scottish in origin, I think. My mother used it. I don't think my dad did. They both said "Warshing."

Michael Leddy said...

Wow — the American Heritage Dictionary has it coming from Scotland and “especially common in Pennsylvania as part of the phrasal verb redd up. ”

I hear warsh often.

Diane Schirf said...

Yep, I got a lot of "Why don't you redd up your room?" :)

stefan said...

Susan Glaspell uses "red-up" in her one-act play, Trifles. I've always been fond of it, but it is hard to use in everyday conversation..

Michael Leddy said...

Marie Kondo could’ve written about the life-changing magic of redding up. I’m going to start using this expression. It’ll make tidying up funner than ever.

Berit said...

I can hear "the snow needs shoveled" with less eye-twitching response than "it got winter", even though they are both missing the "to be".

Have you heard "over the house"? As in, "they were over the house last week." And means, they came to visit/were entertained in my home by myself or other parties who live at said house. Even "come over the house tomorrow" is acceptable to the speakers I know who use this.

It sounds like Christmas song lyrics about Santa. It has me glancing toward the roof or listening for choppers overhead and just takes me out of the conversation to a large degree.

Michael Leddy said...

I’m pretty sure I’ve said it, at least when younger. Like “a couple people” (which I’m pretty sure I’ve never said), dropping a word.

If you’re Rosemary Clooney, you can even drop the “over.” :)

Berit said...

As soon as I saw the word "Rosemary" that song started in my head! I think it is because we were just talking of the "Sisters" number from Tr movie "White Christmas".

I just ADORE "Come On 'a My House"! Have you heard the live Eartha Kitt did in Japan??? It's full of Japanese lyrics and is thus pretty wild!

Michael Leddy said...

I had no idea there was such a thing. It’s amazing. Here’s a recording with good sound; here’s a live performance. Talk about making a song your own!