So I just had this really weird experience.

This girl was visiting me, and I was washing dishes, and I asked if she could put up the dry ones.

And she had never heard the expression “to put something up”.

She said “you mean put them away?” and I said yeah, thinking she just didn’t hear me well and wanted to confirm. But then she explained that no, she had never heard that expression, only “to put something away”.

The only thing she had heard of with “put up” was “to put someone up”, i.e. host them as a guest.

And I said that I understood “to put something away” perfectly well, but it sounded a bit formal, so I wouldn’t say it normally.

Is this really some kind of Southernism? Or otherwise geographically peculiar?

This girl is a second-generation American, which could also explain it.

it was obvious to me what it meant, but I wouldn’t ever say it in place of “put away” unless there was a specific meaning.

I’m not sure if I’ve actually heard it before or if it just fits into a normal pattern of regionalisms.

If I’d been there in the place of your visitor, we would probably have had exactly the same conversation.

(linguistic context: first fourteen years in northeastern America (South Jersey with significant Massachusetts influence), latter thirteen years in southern Ontario)

I do recognise the “putting up a painting/poster” usage that a couple other people in the notes mentioned, as well as the “putting up supplies of preserved food (usually, but not always, for the winter)” usage that @isaacsapphire mentioned, but I don’t think I would have thought to mention them on short notice.


#language #reply via reblog #(yes I’ve almost reached the point of having lived the majority of my life in Canada) #(I have the equal-halves point marked on my calendar)

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