Galoshes
Posted: 15 July 2012 12:21 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I’d pretty much assumed that the Americans didn’t use the term Wellington boots or wellies but it had also been my assumption, for some reason, that galoshes was the word used over yonder. It was with some surprise then that I saw the following in OED:

galosh, golosh, n.

1. b. In later use: An over-shoe (now usually made of india-rubber) worn to protect the ordinary shoe from wet or dirt. ‘Rare in U.S.’ ( Cent. Dict.).

Is the Century Dictionary (the source of OED’s quoite) correct in calling the word rare in the US? And if it was rare at the turn of the 20th century is that no longer the case? What do you guys call these boots?

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Posted: 15 July 2012 01:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Shades of Star Trek!

From A Piece of the Action:

Jojo Krako: I wanna know what happened!
Scott: It looks like we put the bag on YOU, doesn’t it?
Jojo Krako: I got rights!
Scott: You got nothin’. You mind your place, mister, or you’ll… you’ll be wearin’ concrete galoshes.
Jojo Krako: You mean cement overshoes?
Scott: Aye.

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Posted: 15 July 2012 01:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Ah, so it’s overshoes? Of course the standard wellie in the UK is worn instead of rather than over the shoe. I guess the same applies in the US despite the old term living on?

OK, beam me up, Scottie/

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Posted: 15 July 2012 02:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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"Galoshes” is not unused in the US, though to me it sounds a little old-fashioned or stilted.  “Overshoes”, per Pyrite’s Star Trek excerpt, is somewhat more common.  They’re also known as rain boots or rubber boots*, or as Totes, a brand name that has been genericized to some extent. “Rubbers” was formerly common but the “condom” meaning has made it rarer except when the double entendre is desired.

*These may refer to footgear worn instead of shoes as well as that worn over shoes.

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Posted: 15 July 2012 02:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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My wife and I (Yanks both) think we say “galoshes,” though it’s been so long since we’ve had any occasion to refer to them that we’re not altogether sure.

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Posted: 15 July 2012 04:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Of course the standard wellie in the UK is worn instead of rather than over the shoe. I guess the same applies in the US despite the old term living on?

Wellingtons over here would simply be called “rubber boots.” Galoshes and overshoes are a different thing entirely and I must say not something I’ve seen since I was a kid. Then again, I live where rain is relatively rare.

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Posted: 15 July 2012 05:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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In my idiolect rubbers applied only to a low slip-on that fit over a regular shoe and didn’t, in general, come quite to the top of the shoe.

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Posted: 16 July 2012 12:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Aldi: your post suggests some confusion between Wellington boots and galoshes, which, as happydog and Faldage point out, are different things entirely to Americans as well --- though Dr. Techie does say that galoshes are also known as “rubber boots”..... No doubt to the same sort of people who would call a koala “a bear”, or a seismic wave “a tidal wave"(*). We often tend to use our language (whatever it is) as casually as we use a cloakroom attendant or a telephone operator.

Re OED: The statement “now usually made of india-rubber” suggests that that entry might be a hundred years old, or more.

(*) Ha!Ha! I enjoyed the chance to slip that one in! ;-)

P.S. A friend, who long ago lived in Communist Roumania, once told me that there, condoms (made in the USSR) were colloquially known as “galoshes”.  I don’t recall the Roumanian word she used. Roumanians tend to have a wry sense of humor - a defensive mechanism, I think, developed during centuries of being pushed around by non-Roumanians.

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Posted: 16 July 2012 04:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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lionello - 16 July 2012 12:38 AM

Aldi: your post suggests some confusion between Wellington boots and galoshes, which, as happydog and Faldage point out, are different things entirely to Americans as well --- though Dr. Techie does say that galoshes are also known as “rubber boots”..... No doubt to the same sort of people who would call a koala “a bear”, or a seismic wave “a tidal wave"(*). We often tend to use our language (whatever it is) as casually as we use a cloakroom attendant or a telephone operator.

Re OED: The statement “now usually made of india-rubber” suggests that that entry might be a hundred years old, or more.

(*) Ha!Ha! I enjoyed the chance to slip that one in! ;-)

P.S. A friend, who long ago lived in Communist Roumania, once told me that there, condoms (made in the USSR) were colloquially known as “galoshes”.  I don’t recall the Roumanian word she used. Roumanians tend to have a wry sense of humor - a defensive mechanism, I think, developed during centuries of being pushed around by non-Roumanians.

My best response would probably be to follow Johnson’s example.

When asked during a gathering at one stop why his Dictionary had defined “pastern” as the knee of a horse (it is part of the foot), Johnson replied, “Ignorance, Madam, pure ignorance.”

But the sense does seem to have broadened.

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Posted: 16 July 2012 05:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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There is (or was) also a 19th-century sense ‘ornamental trimming to a shoe imitating the shape of a galosh’. Jane Austen (in The Watsons) had a character say ‘Nankeen galoshed with black looks very well’.

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Posted: 16 July 2012 06:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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A friend, who long ago lived in Communist Roumania, once told me that there, condoms (made in the USSR) were colloquially known as “galoshes”.  I don’t recall the Roumanian word she used.

The Romanian word for ‘galosh’ is galoş (pronounced ga-LOSH), presumably borrowed from German or French, as is the Russian word галоша [ga-LO-sha], which also has the slang sense ‘condom’; the Romanians presumably got the slang, along with the article itself, from the Russians.

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Posted: 16 July 2012 07:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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In the swamps along the Missouri river about 1940-’48 I recall both “Galoshes” and ‘’overshoes’’ with the latter being more commonplace, perhaps. Don’t recall hearing either in decades but then I’ve spent most of the last half century in Arizona and Nevada.

Google shopping for ~ “Galoshes” pulls up a lot of “galoshes overshoes” with the two words together sometimes calling them ‘’boots’’ which I also remember from my youth.

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Posted: 17 July 2012 01:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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When asked during a gathering at one stop why his Dictionary had defined “pastern” as the knee of a horse (it is part of the foot), Johnson replied, “Ignorance, Madam, pure ignorance.”

Commendable candour.

I for one had no idea Wellington boots were something other than galoshes.

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