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Stove up

Posted by ESC on January 19, 2009 at 12:27

In Reply to: Stove up posted by Rose on January 19, 2009 at 10:55:

: What are the origins of the phrase: 'stove up'?

I have heard it in West Virginia. "I'm all stove up." From the references below, it sounds to me like it has to do with the strips of wood used to form a barrel, etc.

STAVE --- Verb. To act recklessly or heedless, rush, drive, stick, smash, etc. See also "fall to staves" and "stove." 1904-07, Kephart "Notebooks," "I stove a nail into (my foot)."

"Many common English words are used in peculiar senses by the mountain folk, as stove for jabbed." 1913, Kephart, Our Southern Highlands.

STOVE - Verb, past participle of stave. Adjective, bruised up, crippled up so it's hard to get around, sore or stiff from overwork or injury, worn out.

FALL TO STAVES - To collapse, fall apart. 1914, Raine, "Saddlebags. "We had a cedar churn, but it fell to staves. "Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English" by Michael B. Montgomery and Joseph S. Hall (University of Tennessee Press, 2004).

STOVE UP - Broken down. Stave, to break to pieces, splinter, shatter. "Southern Mountain Speech" by Cratis D. Williams (Berea College Press, Ky., 1992). Page 110.

Another reference has the expression under the "Yankee Talk," New England, section. STAVE UP - To break up. "She staved up the whole place." "Facts on File Dictionary of American Regionalisms" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 2000). Page 305.