What’s the connection between ‘wasting’ and ‘socked in’? For the answer see here where Shelley (pigeons beware!) asks:
That’s an interesting question with an answer I never would have suspected. And it should be noted that this usage is not to be confused with the ‘socked in’ as in socked in the kisser. (<:)Shelley wrote: By the way, how did we get the expression "socked-in" for snow that is so plentiful as to keep everyone immobile?
SOCKED IN: Closed in by bad weather, often said of an airport; fogbound; snowbound. This expression originally found in the context of flying, has its roots in the use of a windsock at airports to provide wind direction. The windsock, a large, open-ended, cone-shaped sleeve attached to a post by a pivot, at one time provided pilots with wind direction. When the weather deteriorated (fog or snow) to the point that the sock couldn’t be seen, the field was said to be ‘socked in’ and takeoffs and landings would be difficult to impossible. The expression is said to date from the 1940s.
(American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms, Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins, Picturesque Expressions by Urdang)
The following quotes are from archived sources:
_______________________<1946 “An advanced radar landing system that enabled planes in wartime to set down safely at fields solidly ‘socked in’ by weather will be installed at La Guardia Field . . .”—New York Times, 17 October>
<1956 “Blizzard in Erie Area: Highway and Air Travel Socked in by Heavy Snow.”—The Nevada Daily Mail (Missouri), 21 November, page 9>
<1974 “. . . weekend travelers were stranded at socked-in airports, and motels and hotels . . .”—The Press-Courier (Oxnard, California), 2 December, page 2>
<1985 “Eastern Washington is just terrible, they have low clouds and fog and it hasn’t improved any. Olympia and north from Toledo is really socked in.”—Anchorage Daily News (Alaska, 25 December, page 113>
<1999 “. . . Assumption Church and Our Lady of Black Rock School were socked in by ice and standing water along the curbs from recurrent breaks in the water supply as well as the snowfall.”—Buffalo News (New York), 23 January>
<2006 “They are known for building big projects dams, airport runways, bridges. And they are socked in nicely with the political structure.”—Boston Globe (Massachusetts), 3 December> [[‘closed in’ but not by weather]]
<2009 “The area generally has milder temperatures than much of the high country, and the snow melts sooner, making late spring and early summer ideal times to visit. Much of it is accessible in winter, when higher areas are socked in by snow.”—The Gazette (Colorado Springs), 9 July>
<2013 “Very serious’ storm begins battering New England . . . as governors warned people to get home and be prepared to be socked in without power.”—usnews.nbcnews.com, 8 February>
Ken G – February 9, 2013