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Wilbur's newground

Posted by ESC on July 10, 2011 at 20:10

In Reply to: Wilbur's newground posted by David Dougherty on July 09, 2011 at 14:50:

: Anyone ever heard of the saying or any reference to an expression my Father used to use commonly: "Wilbur's newground" as in; "That barn is leaning towards Wilbur's newground"?

Newground -- in West Virginia speak -- means land that hasn't been plowed before. The leaning is one of a series:

LEAN TOWARD JESUS/FISHER'S/ PERKIN'S - Lean towards Jesus -- "A carpenter's expression for something slanted, out of plumb." From the Mountain Range chapter of "Facts on File Dictionary of American Regionalisms" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 2000). Page 385.

In a second reference, there is a long section about the verb "lean." One meaning is "to depart hurriedly" as in "lean for home." But the meaning we seek is: in (phrases) "lean toward Jones's," also New England "lean towards Sawyer's" and variations. To slant, tilt, be out of plumb. To lean towards Fisher's. Pennsylvania. Other forms: Perkin's, Cooper's, Schoonover's. "Dictionary of American Regional English," Volume III, I-O, by Frederic G. Cassidy and Joan Houston Hall (1996, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., and London, England). Page 317.