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Picture of Kalleh
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Shu and I visited my cousin in northern Wisconsin this weekend, and we heard a phrase we hadn't heard before, borrow pit, to mean, "an excavation in which material is removed to be fill for another site." We wondered if it was a regional phrase? Have you heard it?
 
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Picture of Richard English
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I've never heard of it. How do they fill in the "borrow pit" - create another one?


Richard English
 
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Picture of arnie
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I've never heard of it either, but it makes sense.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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I've heard "sacrifice" used similarly in various contexts, but not "borrow." As RE suggests, "borrow" implies eventual return, whereas "sacrifice" does not.


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
Posts: 5444 | Location: Muncie, IndianaReply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'd never heard the term either, so I looked it up in the Dictionary of American Regional English. Borrow pit is a variant of barrow pit (probably by folk etymology). It occurs mainly in the western USA, but there are some citations from the Midwest. It is first cited from 1931, but a 1950 citation has more information:
quote:
Barrow-pit is common in road-making, to mean the dtich or excavation beside a roadway ... The ditch by the side of an ungraded road is called 'bar pit,' 'borrow pit,' 'barrow pit,' 'bar ditch,' 'borrow ditch,' 'barrow ditch,' 'grader ditch,' and 'gutter.'
It goes on to say that some informants connect barrow with wheelbarrow (used to carry away the dirt). The term pit is more frequent than ditch or gutter.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
Posts: 5091 | Location: R'lyehReply With QuoteReport This Post
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If you fill it full of small nails, it's called a brad pit.
 
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Thanks for that, z. I will send it to my cousin. I thought it was a regionalism, but I couldn't find a source for it.
 
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