sliding pond

Discuss word origins and meanings.

sliding pond

Post by Archived Topic » Mon May 24, 2004 1:13 am

My mom and I used to call the slide in the park a 'sliding pond' but in college I have not met anyone else who uses this term! I grew up in Brooklyn- anyone familiar with the phrase?
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Posted - 05 Mar 2007 : 21:25:14
By chance I came upon this site today and will endeavor to solve the mystery. Having been subjected to the same sneers & jeers of skeptics & disbelievers, I researched the words in the '70's.

At the turn-of-the-century (Twentieth!)a company named "SLIDE-UPON" manufactured the original slide that appeared in many of New York's great playgrounds. (At age 3, I even climbed up the slide part to the top, & fell backward down the stairs to the concrete ground. I still remember my poor grandfather, who was apparently baby-sitting me in Sethlow Park in Brooklyn, running home through the streets with me in his arms.)

candeebee
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Post by Archived Reply » Mon May 24, 2004 1:27 am

A slide is sometimes referred to as a "sliding board." Could "pond" be a mishearing of the word "board" that somehow was perpetuated in your mother's family? I do'nt think I've ever heard the term before.
Reply from Linda Nevin (San Diego, CA - U.S.A.)
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Post by Archived Reply » Mon May 24, 2004 1:41 am

At http://www.staugustine.com/stories/1110 ... 0021.shtml there is an article by Rob Kyff, a teacher and writer in West Hartford, CT, which in passing mentions a possible origin for this New York City expression for a slide, which Mr Kyff attributes to a Dutch provenance:

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"Though the Dutch surrendered New Amsterdam to the British more than 335 years ago, Dutch words, expressions and names still bloom like tulips in American English.

Dutch is the source, not only of many common words, such as "sleigh," "boss" and "span," but of many place names: "Rhode Island" ("Roodt Eylandt") "Flatbush" ("Vlachte Bosch") and "Gramercy" ("De Kromme Zee").

As Bill Bryson notes in his lively book, Made in America, Dutch was spoken in some parts of the Hudson Valley well into the 1900s. The abolitionist and feminist Sojourner Truth, for instance, who served as a slave in a Dutch household in Albany, spoke only Dutch as a child, and Franklin D. Roosevelt's mother spoke Dutch to her family. (In fact, I'm descended from a Hudson Valley Dutch family and can still remember hearing my great-grandmother speak Dutch.)

I also remember the delicious cookies she baked, which may explain why Americans adopted so many Dutch words related to food: "cookie" ("koejke"), "waffle" ("wafel"), "coleslaw" ("koolsla") and "dope" ("doop") sauce.

Speaking of "dope," a surprising number of adopted Dutch words describe stupidity and deceit. (I won't mention any relatives here.)

"Dunderhead" comes from the Dutch "donder" (thunder), "nit wit" from "Ik niet wiet" ("I don't know"), "poppycock" from "pappekak" (soft dung), "huckster" from "hokester" (a tradesman), and "snoop" from "snoepen" (to sneak candy into one's mouth).

In addition to being naughty, the Dutch were nautical, giving us "sloop," "boom," "hold," "bulwark," "freebooter," "hoist," "bumpkin" (originally a short spar) and "caboose" (originally a ship's galley).

The "pond" in "sliding pond," a New York term for a playground slide, may come from the Dutch "bann" (track), and some scholars trace "flea market" to the Dutch "vlie market" ("valley market"), a market at the foot of Maiden Lane in Manhattan.

Anglicized versions of Dutch place names are found all over New York City: "Red Hook" ("Rood Hoek"), "Brooklyn" (from "Breuckelen," an ancient village in the Netherlands), "Turtle Bay" ("Deutel Bogt") and "Bombay Hook" ("Bompties Hoek").

And "Flushing" in Queens flows from the Dutch "Vlissingen."

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The same geographical association with New York is also made by the compilers of Volume IV of the Dictionary of American Regional English, which is anticipated to appear in late 2002 or early 2003.
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Post by Archived Reply » Mon May 24, 2004 1:56 am

Very nice article, Erik. Especially for me :-)

"flea market" to the Dutch "vlie market" ("valley
market")" I don't think this one is very likely, since we call it "vlooiemarkt", i.e. flee market, and this is a very old word as far as I know. (the great online dutch etymological dictionary is still in progress)
nit wit" from "Ik niet wiet", maybe "wiet" is some form of dialect, but in normal dutch it is "Ik weet het niet" (nowadays wiet is a synonym of marihuana, to link this subject to the one above)

"bann", maybe this is old spelling, we now call it a "baan". The whole word is "glijbaan", where glij means sliding!

cookie" ("koejke) typo? the 'je' means it is small, so the word is "koekje"

For the ones who is interested: english vowels are pronounced all wrong compared to german and dutch. (remember your great vowel shift around 1600?)
the dutch oo is pronounced as the english "ow" as in bowl
the dutch oe is the english oo as in cookie
ee is as english "nay"
ij is as english ai
etc.

Reply from Desiree van den Berg (Amsterdam - Netherlands)
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Post by Archived Reply » Mon May 24, 2004 2:10 am

Desiree, although I believe the majority of Mr Kyff's descriptions are essentially correct, your posting shows the value of getting a second opinion from someone who knows Dutch thoroughly and has been able to double-check some of the etymologies he has given. It seems that to some extent at least, he has fallen into the trap of indulging his own fancies rather than taking an objective, factually-based approach.

Still, if so many politicians are perpetually willing do the same, can it really be so wrong?
Reply from Erik Kowal ( - England)
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Post by Archived Reply » Mon May 24, 2004 2:25 am

Well, I don't personally recall the great English vowel shift; I wasn't in the country at the time it happened.

On the other hand, just think how lucky were are not to have to refer to it as the 'great vowel movement'!
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Post by Archived Reply » Mon May 24, 2004 2:39 am

It often feels so good when you have thought up a nice history for a word, that you want it to be the truth. I can't blaim him. But you can tell he doesn't speak a word of Dutch himself!

By the way, he forgot "Harlem" from the Dutch ancient city "Haarlem".

Great vowel movement! Hi.

Well, with the word "shift" I always think of "work shift", and imagine the vowels packing up and going to bed and other vowels taking over. Also a very weird term.


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Post by Archived Reply » Mon May 24, 2004 2:53 am

But the real question is: How do they market the American (?) confection Poppycock in the Netherlands? I'm sure they don't but the thought of a marketing person being tasked is a concept that many engineering folks I know would call 'sweet justice'.
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Post by Archived Reply » Mon May 24, 2004 3:08 am

What is poppycock??? They definately don't under that name. When spoken it would mean to us: little doll cook ????

Talking about international marketing. We're not doing well on the political market. Our prime minister is called "Kok". Yep, pronounced as Cock. :(

And I'm sure there's a lot of other words that are strange in someone elses language...
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Post by Archived Reply » Mon May 24, 2004 3:22 am

Classic in that line, Desiree, is the Norwegian word for speed/haste: "fart." He went off in great haste. Han gikk i en stor fart! Literally, He went in a big fart. That may very well be true both ways! *G*
Reply from Leif Thorvaldson (Eatonville - U.S.A.)
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Post by Archived Reply » Mon May 24, 2004 3:37 am

Poppycock is a caramel coated popcorn with nuts I believe. It is especially popular at Christmas, or that is the only time I remember ever having it. I am amused at the etymology. I couldn't understand why someone would name a product that, since in Canada, poppycock was considered a polite way to say bullshit. I really can't wait to tell my mum this since it was her favourite expression when whe knew we were telling a lie.
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Post by Archived Reply » Mon May 24, 2004 3:51 am

For the marketing people who read this: we don't have caramel coated popcorn with nuts in the Netherlands! It sounds really nice, so there's a whole new market of people here, that are used to spending loads of money on candy! (we even eat it when it's black...)

Thanks for the explanation Ian!

And in Dutch a common word for going off in great haste is "vaart": Hij ging er met een flinke vaart vandoor. He went off in a grate haste...
Common etymology, probably Germanic I guess. (we don't voice the "v", so it sounds like an "f")
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Post by Archived Reply » Mon May 24, 2004 4:20 am

Thank God!!! It wasn't just my family's expression. My partner did not believe me . I never knew the thing in the park that you climb up to slide was called anything else but "slidingpon" (now I know it is spelled sliding pond... I grew up in Bensonhurst Brooklyn from 60-80's and that is the only word used for that "slide" in the park.
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Post by Archived Reply » Mon May 24, 2004 4:34 am

I had a similar experience with sliding pond. I'm from Bayonne, New Jersey, and we always called it a sliding pond. When I used the term a few years back at a housewarming party, the hosts were aghast at the term sliding pond. They pointed out there was a slide but no pond. My native Floridian spouse also never heard the term. Yet, my brother remembered it but said he had similar problems finding others who used it. I feel vindicated seeing this thread. Also, you can find more references if you search for "sliding pond" in quotes on the internet explorer bar.
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Post by Archived Reply » Mon May 24, 2004 4:49 am

I was overjoyed to find this discussion about "sliding pond." I was sure I remembered calling the slide this while growing up on the South Shore of Long Island, New York in the middle-50's to early 60's. When I could not find anyone else who remembered it, I began to wonder if I had immagined it all.
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