Sunday, May 4, 2008

May 4 – 10 Word of the Week: cross-handed

May 4 – 10 Word of the Week


Definition according to the Dictionary of Newfoundland English:

cross-handed av Cp DAE ~ 'in a manner which involves crossing one's hands, esp in rowing' (1838); ADD ~ 'alone' (Nfld: 1938).

1 With a man handling two oars instead of one to propel a boat.
1871 HOWLEY MS Reminiscences 10 All row cross handed using two oars or paddles. There are no rollocks of the usual kind seen further south. There is but one thole pin set in the gunwale, the oars being kept in place by a ring usually made of withe or twisted spruce roots, slipped over the oar and the pin. [1911] GRENFELL 131 His four stalwart boys were already able to help with the trap net ... though the youngest could scarcely yet row 'cross handed,' i.e., handle two oars at once.

2 Rowing a boat alone, esp for purpose of catching fish; (fishing) alone, doing one's own rowing; esp in phr fish cross-handed, go ~ .
1849 [FEILD] 94 [He is] a person who, though eighty-five years of age, can row himself over the bay cross-handed. 1901 Christmas Review 6 He himself fully appreciated his ignorance of the fisherman's calling, and, instead of going as a shoreman or servant in the regular crew, he decided to go cross-handed, and try his luck on the grounds within a half mile from the harbor. [1906] GRENFELL 184 'I've got as much as I used to get all summer cross-handed,' he said to me. 1937 DEVINE 17 'He goes cross-handed.' Used particularly of one carrying on the hand-line fishery alone. 1953 Nfld Fish Develop Report 18 [The skipper's] partners and sharemen, however, may fish with other crews or on their own ('cross-handed') during the course of the season. T 449-67 Lots o' times I went cross handed, sir, and lobster fishin' I done that a lot o' years cross handed. That was hard going. 1981 Evening Telegram 13 July, p. 6 He rowed and fished 'crosshanded' (alone) after [his sons] died.

3 Carrying out any activity alone rather than in a co-operative group.
1924 ENGLAND 117 I made me own livin' iver since I could work cross-handed [alone], an' 'spects to till I straighten rate up fer Cap'n Jones [Davy Jones]. T 222-66 Up on the south coast. if a person is going to do anything by himself it is said that he is going to do it cross-handed... She asked the young man if he would sing a solo, and he said. 'Oh no, miss: I couldn't sing cross-handed.' P 131-70 He built his barn cross-handed. C 71-94 If he went in the woods alone he was 'in the woods cross-handed.'

4 Comb cross-handed dory: dory rigged for rowing by one man; DORY.
1940 SCAMMELL 7 "The Six Horse-Power Coaker": One evenin' last fall we went out to our trawl / Though it looked like 'twas going to blow. / We turned to go in, in the teeth of the wind / With a cross-handed dory in tow.
cross-hand(ed) skiff: boat operated by one man; SKIFF.
[1906] GRENFELL 52 No man can't be sure o' getting a winter's diet with only a cross-hand skiff to work in.

Now, we invite u to RELiVE, REMEMBER and REFRESH iT and/or even REDEFiNE iT!

The main thing is to RELiSH iT.

N.B. Any Word of the Week receiving more than 10 posts will trigger a prize from Rattling Books for our favourite.

We invite you to visit the original REDEFiNE iT Facebook group .

The word of the week is released each Sunday morning on the CBC Radio program Weekend Arts Magazine with host Angela Antle.

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