socked in

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socked in

Post by Ken Greenwald » Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:15 pm

aaa
What’s the connection between ‘wasting’ and ‘socked in’? For the answer see here where Shelley (pigeons beware!) asks:
Shelley wrote: By the way, how did we get the expression "socked-in" for snow that is so plentiful as to keep everyone immobile?
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. (<:)

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)
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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>
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Ken G – February 9, 2013
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Re: socked in

Post by trolley » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:20 am

I don't think the term "socked in" is used in reference to snow, around here. Of course, I just might not be paying enough attention again. For me, being socked in refers to reduced visibility because of fog or low cloud, Scotch mist.
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Re: socked in

Post by Wizard of Oz » Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:00 am

.. trolley we don't use it around here either .. now some might suggest that is because it never snows here .. but if it did well I'm sure we'd have a word for it ..

WoZ feeling snowed under
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

Re: socked in

Post by Wizard of Oz » Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:03 am

.. actually I tell a lie .. it did snow here once on our Mount Sugarloaf .. a rather largish bump on the landscape that has just one road in and the same road out .. the traffic jam created by sightseers took about 6 hours to clear .. many never even got close to the 10 cm "dump" ..

WoZ going downhill
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

Re: socked in

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:21 am

I had been wondering where that expression came from... Thanks, Ken, for digging out the origin of 'socked in'.
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Re: socked in

Post by Shelley » Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:37 pm

Ken Greenwald wrote:aaaThe 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 . . .
It was at this point in my reading of your post that I started getting a rush. (RUSH, not rash!) Just goes to show how geeked I am about word and phrase origins. It's either that or I need to go drink some orange juice or something.

I love that this is so literal. Except for their appearance together in the same post, I'm pretty sure wasting and windsocks are not related. However, it's easy to make the connection between socked-in and pigeons, because what I now use to repel them is quite similar to a windsock.

Thanks for looking this up, Ken!
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