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#130571 - 07/19/04 06:56 PM Barditch
fundybaygirl Offline

Registered: 07/19/04
Posts: 1
I an reading a story which takes place in west Texas. The author routinely refers to the excavation on either side of a county road as a "barditch". I can't find the word in any on-line or hard copy dictionary. Does anyone know the origin of the word and why people from Texas might use it? Does anyone else use this word in place of simple old "ditch"?

#130572 - 07/19/04 07:30 PM Re: Barditch
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Why do people from Texas (particular West Texas) do anything? Welcome to the madhouse.

This site has some information about Barditch. Dunno if it's relevant:


That's the old Boston, not the new Boston.

#130573 - 07/19/04 10:14 PM Re: Barditch
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10538
Loc: this too shall pass
bar ditch is Western alteration of 'borrow ditch', which NI3 defines as "a ditch dug along a roadway to furnish fill and provide drainage" -- none of which 'splains nothin'.

except that the roadfill is borrowed from the ditch, I suppose. hmmm. roadfill. seems like there's a rhyme there somewhere...

#130574 - 07/20/04 02:48 PM Re: Barditch
Zed Offline

Registered: 08/27/02
Posts: 2154
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
"a ditch dug along a roadway to furnish fill and provide drainage"
Why else would you dig a ditch?

#130575 - 07/20/04 03:46 PM Gutterball
musick Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 2661
Loc: Chicago
Why else would you dig a ditch?

To keep them varmint auto-mobiles from rekin' my fence an lettin' loose all muh herd!

#130576 - 07/20/04 03:58 PM Re: Gutterball
jjj135 Offline

Registered: 06/02/04
Posts: 5
"..the roadfill is borrowed from the ditch, I suppose.." Exactly! Also along a stream prone to flooding they may have a 'barpit' from which they borrow material for a berm, levee or dike.

#130577 - 07/20/04 08:05 PM Re: Barditch
Father Steve Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/06/00
Posts: 2788
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA

#130578 - 07/21/04 04:11 PM Re: Barditch
TEd Remington Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 3467
Loc: Marion NC
The term actually goes back to Elizabethan England and has to do with the curiosity of the populace about Shakespeare's mysterious rash. Everyone was going around asking, "I wonder what makes the Bard itch."


#130579 - 07/21/04 05:57 PM Re: Barditch
Zed Offline

Registered: 08/27/02
Posts: 2154
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
TEd The only appropriate answer would be a Ha-ha.

#130580 - 07/21/04 06:49 PM Re: Barditch
jheem Offline

Registered: 01/06/04
Posts: 1475
Loc: California
I thought bowditch was Anglish for bolgia as in the ditches that the 9th circle of hell is divided into:

Noi passamm'oltre, e io e 'l duca mio,
su per lo scoglio infino in su l'altr'arco
che cuopre 'l fosso in che si paga il fio
a quei che scommettendo acquistan carco.
[Inferno. XXVII, 133ff.]

We onward went,
I and my leader, up along the rock,
Far as another arch, that overhangs
The foss, wherein the penalty is paid
Of those who load them with committed sin.

We traveled on ahead, my guide and I,
Along the ridge as far as the next bridgeway
Arching the ditch where they must pay the price
Who earned such loads by sowing constant discord.

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