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big grass (for tall grass)?

Posted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 6:15 am
by aelnamer
I heard a speaker in a conference I attended refer to grass (lawn not pot) as big. The speaker is from Alabama but was born and raised in Wisc. I usually say the grass is tall, could you say big? The context:the speaker was talking about a Self Advocate who wanted to buy a blade for his lawn mower to cut the big grass. Is this usage localized to that area,or did he misuse the word?

big grass (for tall grass)?

Posted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 5:33 pm
by dalehileman
My wife Laverne who is good with the vernacular, says big makes her think of pampas grass. In a somewhat similar way it makes me think of any tall but also clumping grass like giant wild rye. Dunno why. You might try Googling the terms; I get 30 or 40 times more hits on "tall" than "big"

big grass (for tall grass)?

Posted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 6:07 pm
by Ken Greenwald
Ahmed, I’ve never heard of tall grass referred to as ‘big.’ My guess is that it is being used facetiously as in the manner of the expression ‘big hair.’ BIG HAIR is an originally U.S. phrase from the early 20th century, which became quite popular in the 1980s and is still in use. It refers to long hair that has been teased and sprayed into a large bouffant and it can be said of men’s hair as well as women’s.
<1913 “She looked at him repellently through her streaming tears. ‘BIG HAIR!’ she cried. ‘BIG HAIR!’”—‘Lahoma’ by J. B. Ellis, vii. page 73>

<1991 “I expressed my concern that I didn't want a power hairdo, that bouffant meringue known affectionately as BIG HAIR.”—‘Guardian,’ 13 May, page 34/5>

<1993 “BIG HAIR, make-up, shiny pink leotards with contrasting tights are out.”—‘Sunday Times’>

<2001 “Extremely BIG HAIR (watch out for the comeback of BIG HAIR) colored a flaming reddish gold.”—‘Vogue (U.S. editions), March, page 122/2>
(Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang, Oxford Dictionary of Slang, Oxford English Dictionary)
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Ken – April 9, 2005

big grass (for tall grass)?

Posted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 8:59 pm
by Bobinwales
We have long grass over here, and when I was younger I had lots of fun I had in it I vaguely remember.

big grass (for tall grass)?

Posted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 10:17 pm
by Erik_Kowal
I recall the shag grass of the '70s. How much fun we had in it depended on the kind of company we were keeping.

big grass (for tall grass)?

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 4:31 am
by Wizard of Oz
.. we have a tourist attraction called the "Big Banana" .. and as the banana plant is a grass maybe he was talking about bananas ?? .. a longshot but you never know ..

WoZ of Aus 12/04/05

big grass (for tall grass)?

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 4:46 am
by Ken Greenwald
Hey Wiz, We’re trying to maintain our PG rating on this site, so watch your mouth! (<:)
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Ken – April 11, 2005

big grass (for tall grass)?

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 4:54 am
by Erik_Kowal
Er... WoZ, the banana is a herb, not a grass, and belongs to a family of its own (Musaceae) that is different from the grasses (Graminaceae).