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Re: Hold her, Newt, she's a headin' for the meadow

Posted by Smokey Stover on July 12, 2005

In Reply to: Re: Hold her Newt, she's a headin' for the meadow posted by Steve E on July 11, 2005

: : : : : : Hold her Newt, she's a headin' for the meadow ...... Has anyone ever heard this phrase used and in what context? I seem to remember my grandmother saying this when we kids were getting out of hand - maybe in reference to a horse needing to be restrained from bolting away? Thanks for any insight.

: : : : : What insight? Your granny had all the insight needed, and a sense of humor as well. Not a common phrase, but pretty self-explanatory. As for the animal involved, whether horse or pig or cow--well, you can fill in the blank with anything--even a little kid. SS

: : : : 'Newt' is a name given to several species of Salamandar in the UK (Great Crested, Palmate and Smooth newts in the UK itself): am I right in thinking that this is not familiar to US readers?

: : : : DFG

: : : Some American probably think salamanders are just an ancient symbol, part of ancient magical lore. Others have heard of them or even seen them in school, since natural history, I'm happy to say, seems to have found some sort of foothold in American elementary education--a trend that may be killed by the "No Child Left Behind" fraud. Many older Americans and those with rural backgrounds have first-hand familiarity with salamanders, especially the so-called fire salamander. Newt is an uncommon word for salamander in the U.S., except among those who do crossword puzzles. However, Newt is a common American name, as in Newt (for Newton) Gingrich, possibly with a hint of a rural environment (like "Clem" or "Effie"). I don't know if this answers your question or not. SS

: : How ambarrassing! The species that I called "fire salamander" is actually called "fire-spotted salamander." It's a bright orange creature usually seen when it's between an inch and perhaps seven or eight inches long. In maturity it has smallish spots on its back, which I remember as somewhat rectilineal, perhaps diamond-shaped. SS

: I've heard of newt in relation to witch's brew: 'eye of newt' something from a toad, etc.

I hope I'm wrong, but it occurs to me that some readers may not have automatically read the phrase as it should go, as "Hold her, Newt...," not "Hold her newt...." SS