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#74072 - 06/24/02 02:25 AM swamping peaches
Godot Offline

Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 3
Hi there,

Two buddies growing up in Raymond Carver's short story "Tell the Women We're Going" spend summers "swamping peaches, picking cherries, stringing hops". Anyone out there who knows what "swamping peaches" means?



#74073 - 06/24/02 09:04 AM Re: swamping peaches
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear Godot: I have read that about the time peaches are ripening, a pool of water around
the base of the trees is kept filled, to achieve maximum juiciness of the fruit.
I have never seen the term "swamping" applied to it, but it seems that it fits.

#74074 - 06/24/02 10:57 AM Re: swamping peaches
WhitmanO'Neill Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 4189
Loc: Rio Grande, Cape May County, N...
Hello Godot, and "welcome!" to our little wordland! ...I've been waiting for you. Or...have you been waiting for yourself?! Sorry...couldn't resist...Beckett's work is one of my favorites!

Act I - Scene 1

Estragon, sitting on a low mound, is trying to take off his boot. He pulls at it with both hands, panting. He gives up, exhausted, rests, tries again.
As before.
Enter Vladimir.

(giving up again). Nothing to be done.
(advancing with short, stiff strides, legs wide apart). I'm beginning to come round to that opinion. All my life I've tried to put it from me, saying Vladimir, be reasonable, you haven't yet tried everything. And I resumed the struggle. (He broods, musing on the struggle. Turning to Estragon.) So there you are again.
Am I?
I'm glad to see you back. I thought you were gone forever.
Me too.
Together again at last! We'll have to celebrate this. But how? (He reflects.) Get up till I embrace you.

Speaking of swamping peaches...I can't find anything specific on any phrase site or in any dictionary. I think Dr. Bill's explanation is probably on target, but here's a look at swamp and as both a verb and noun to, perhaps, help deduce the context here:

(from Cambridge International Dictionary of English)

swamp (COVER)
verb [T]
to cover (a place or thing) with a large amount of water
High tides have swamped the coast.
The boat was swamped by an enormous wave.

If something swamps a person or thing, it comes to them in a larger amount than they can easily deal with.
Foreign cars have swamped the UK market.
I'm swamped with work (=have more work than I can easily deal with) at the moment.
On her 100th birthday she was swamped with (=received a lot of) cards and messages of congratulations.

To swamp someone or something also means to cause them no longer to be able to operate.
In many parts of the world, the rate of population growth already swamps the ability of society to cope.
FIGURATIVE I bought a new dress for my daughter, but it absolutely swamped her (=was much too big for her).

The only other possibilities I can surmise is that they were picking an overabundance of peaches; or, perhaps, they might immerse peaches in a tub of cool water to keep them fresh as they're picking them on a hot day...merely conjecture, though.

#218113 - 08/15/14 01:15 AM Re: swamping peaches [Re: WhitmanO'Neill]
toddster Offline

Registered: 08/15/14
Posts: 1
An old thread, but sorry, none of you are even close.
The Swamper is a worker (usually a teen) who drives the tractor through the orchard and collects the fruit from the pickers. He (sorry, usually broad shoulders required) tallies the number of buckets or totes that each picker has picked and dumps them into the bins, which will be loaded onto trucks and transported to the packing house.
I have swamped many, many tons of fruit in my day.

For example, this boy is swamping cherries: [img]http://static.squarespace.com/static/515...68/?format=750w[/img]

#218120 - 08/15/14 11:23 AM Re: swamping peaches [Re: toddster]
LukeJavan8 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 8531
Loc: Land of the Flat Water
Thanks for the research, and WELCOME.
----please, draw me a sheep----


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