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Tish Davidson
07-31-2006, 07:49 PM
I'm sure many people have had the experience of learning a new word or a new fact and then almost immediately seeing this word everywhere or seeing the fact referenced everywhere simply because you have suddenly become aware of the word. For example, yesterday I was editing references for a technical paper and one of the authors was named Sugarbaker. I thought it was an odd name I had never heard before. The last night I picked up a mystery written in the 1980s by Susan Dunlop, and one of her characters was named Sugarbaker. I know this kind of happening is a coincidence, but I think once in the long, dark past I knew another specific word for this kind of information coincidence. Anyone know what it is? Its driving me crazy trying to remember.

Oh yes, and what do you call the green strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street? My husband calls it the tree lawn (He's from New York City). My friends who grew up in Missouri call it the verge, but I am absolutely positive I once knew a very specific word for this strip of grass. Senility, I suppose, is coming in on little cats' feet.

FloVoyager
07-31-2006, 08:08 PM
We call it curb grass around here.

Hmmm. Now I'm curious. There probably is some real and proper name for it.

alleycat
07-31-2006, 08:11 PM
"grass strip" is about the best I can do.

pdr
07-31-2006, 08:16 PM
serendipity as your word for finding something out by chance?

My vote goes for verge.

MidnightMuse
07-31-2006, 08:39 PM
My dad called it "That blasted nuisance no one else will mow." I never thought it might have a real name :)

Jamesaritchie
07-31-2006, 09:46 PM
Regional words likely differ, but it's nearly always called a "Planting strip" by highway and street departments.

Tish Davidson
07-31-2006, 09:51 PM
I think planting strip is the word I had in mind, although tree lawn is much more poetic.

Sandi LeFaucheur
07-31-2006, 10:41 PM
If you live in a place with lots of snow--and hence ploughing--the bottom 4 feet of your lawn is generally referred to as the kill strip. But the bit between the sidewalk and the road, I'd call the verge.

Cat Scratch
07-31-2006, 11:30 PM
Oh yes, and what do you call the green strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street? My husband calls it the tree lawn (He's from New York City). My friends who grew up in Missouri call it the verge, but I am absolutely positive I once knew a very specific word for this strip of grass.

Wow, I've never even thought of calling it anything specific. In my former city, I probably just would have called it "the place where people don't pick up after their pets/don't step there."

Patricia
07-31-2006, 11:36 PM
Curb grass in my part of California. Isn't Sugarbaker the name of the owner of the design shop in "Designing Women"? an old TV series?

Shiraz
07-31-2006, 11:48 PM
We call it the "boulevard" where I come from.

And, yes, Patricia - the interior decorators were the Sugarbakers. Didn't you love that show?

arrowqueen
07-31-2006, 11:52 PM
I'm with pdr. We call it the verge as well.

Shadow_Ferret
08-01-2006, 01:03 AM
I've never heard it called verge or tree lawn. Not even sure I've heard it called curb lawn, but that sounds the most likely. I just called it "that strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street." Or "the part of the lawn by the curb."

reph
08-01-2006, 01:31 AM
I think the local variant here (Calif.) is "frontage strip." I may also have heard "foot frontage." You can check zoning codes to see what your city planners call it. Here's Cleveland's, which refers to frontage strips:
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/clevelandcodes/cco_part3_352.html

The area may or may not have lawn cover. (Not all front yards have lawn anyway.) It may be landscaped with something else or paved or left as bare earth. It may not even exist. Our sidewalk goes to the curb except for the cut around the street tree.

Patricia
08-01-2006, 01:42 AM
We call it the "boulevard" where I come from.

And, yes, Patricia - the interior decorators were the Sugarbakers. Didn't you love that show?

Well, gang, I'm not sure I care what it's called as long as it gets mowed. :)

Shiraz, I didn't watch it when it was prime time. I catch a re-run now and then. I tend to favor the earlier episodes over the later ones. Loved the clothes and decorating ideas. :)

My-Immortal
08-01-2006, 01:48 AM
I've heard it called the 'parkway'....

And the old saying I've heard concerning it is:

Why do you park on the driveway,
but you can't drive on the parkway?

Take care -

allion
08-01-2006, 03:28 AM
A second for the boulevard. Not sure why we call it that. All I know is that it needs to be mowed.

Karen

Jamesaritchie
08-01-2006, 12:20 PM
I've heard it called the 'parkway'....

And the old saying I've heard concerning it is:

Why do you park on the driveway,
but you can't drive on the parkway?

Take care -

I think you have that saying wrong. Everywhere I've been you do drive on the parkway.

Jamesaritchie
08-01-2006, 12:22 PM
I'm with pdr. We call it the verge as well.

I've never heard it called "verge" anywhere in official channels. I'm pretty sure this is just a regionalism.

Bufty
08-01-2006, 02:15 PM
Britain is a fair-size region, and over here that strip has been a verge as long as I can remember. Plus, it's defined as such in the Oxford Dictionary. Just another of those across-the-pond differences.

pianoman5
08-01-2006, 02:41 PM
I grew up in England, and as far as I recall it was always called 'the verge' or 'the grass verge.'

In Australia we call it the 'nature strip', which I've always thought kinda cute. It at least carries the promise of a veritable arboretum inhabited by a Noah's Ark of species, even if it more commonly expresses itself as a stretch of patchy grass smeared with dog s**t.

FloVoyager
08-01-2006, 06:06 PM
You drive on the parkway and park on the driveway. That's how I've heard it.

Tish Davidson
08-01-2006, 07:51 PM
My Webster's (American) dictionary confirms the usage of verge as British. It also says, though that the verge is "the male intromittent organ of any of various invertebrates." Isn't English wonderful?

You there, octopus, keep your verge to yourself and stop bothering that female octopus.

rekirts
08-01-2006, 08:10 PM
On the Canadian prairies we also call it a boulevard.

Soccer Mom
08-02-2006, 03:44 AM
My Webster's (American) dictionary confirms the usage of verge as British. It also says, though that the verge is "the male intromittent organ of any of various invertebrates." Isn't English wonderful?

You there, octopus, keep your verge to yourself and stop bothering that female octopus.

I love that! I'm going to start using "verge" in every day conversation!

Cabinscribe
08-02-2006, 04:44 AM
I know this kind of happening is a coincidence, but I think once in the long, dark past I knew another specific word for this kind of information coincidence. Anyone know what it is? Its driving me crazy trying to remember.


Synchronicity.

Carl Jung wrote about this.

Now you don't have to go crazy, and you can sleep tonight!
:)

Tish Davidson
08-02-2006, 05:12 AM
Thank you. I knew serendipity wasn't quite what I was after, but synchronicity seems to be what I had in mind.

PaperMoon
08-03-2006, 06:59 AM
Leave it to the Brits to have a name for that strip of grass. I think that's lovely, and I'd love to hear Tony Blair use it in a sentence.