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When I was a kid they were called "rubbers." As in "It's rainingout, so wear your rubbers!" (We don't get snow in coastal California.)

Rubbers were different from galoshes AIRT. Rubbers were low-topthings they just covered the shoe, but did not go further up the ankle. Rubbers were more like shoes and galoshes were more like boots, onemight say.

I agree 50%. Normal people (i.e., my parents) called the shoe-size ones "rubbers" and they called the boot-size ones "boots". Weird people (i.e., anyone whose usage differed from my parents') called the boot-size ones "snow boots", "overshoes", or "galoshes".

My experience of these things was about the same as Tony's, except that I enjoyed buckling and unbuckling all those ingenious and satisfyingly solid little buckles. Not so much that I'd wear the boots when my mother didn't make me, though.
In my circle, the term "rubbers" in this sense became unusable sometime in the early '70s, though maybe that's because of the age I was (early teens) rather than any linguistic change.
=20
Jerry Friedman
Russian galoshes were not spats. Your uncle would have no trouble immediately identifying the galoshes in Chekhov's stories, although they ... he put them on the small figure, whose most prominent feature is now those enormous rubber galoshes. Regards, WB.

What an excellent post.
I checked through Chekhov's letters, and indeed he does badmouth Tomsk, in particular for its muddiness. Though he doesn't report the incident you mention, he seems obsessed with footwear while in Siberia, bombarding his friends and relatives with constant updates on the subject.

Reading the posts on this thread, I realise that I misunderstood what Chekhov meant by goloshes because what my uncle meant by goloshes were technically overshoes - they didn't rise up the calf. I suspect also that there's more than one word for these things in Russian, since my translation of the letters contains the occasional overshoe ("I am going today to buy rubber overshoes") and overboot ("I must observe that there is no spring yet in Siberia . . . I wear my fur coat and felt* overboots day and night..") as well as the expected torrent of goloshes.
It is dawning on me that in a country so often covered in snow or mud, you need a way of protecting your shoes, so this elaborate cult of goloshes makes sense.
* But now I am wondering if the word "felt" is an accurate translation from the Russian, because I can hardly imagine a material less suitable for tramping about in the snow than felt. ("I had to buy felt over-boots in Ishim.. So I drove in felt boots till they collapsed from the mud and the damp.")

Anton, what did you expect, mate?
Peasemarch.
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When I was a kid they were called "rubbers." As in "It's raining out, so wear your rubbers!" (We don't get snow in coastal California.)

Yes, that too, but never "rubber overshoes", as one poster opined.

Would it make you any happier to know that I, the opining poster, actually meant only that I would describe them as "rubber overshoes"? (No, I didn't make that plain.) I probably actually called them "rubbers" (until that term had other meanings) or "overshoes." I wouldn't call them boots; "boots" cover more territory.

Maria Conlon
The Poster who Misspoke Herself
Yes, that too, but never "rubber overshoes", as one poster opined.

Would it make you any happier to know that I, the opining poster, actually meant only that I would describe ... called them "rubbers" (until that term had other meanings) or "overshoes." I wouldn't call them boots; "boots" cover more territory.

They are (or at least were) very common in Canada. Aside from wearing them outside (I associate them with walking in slush), you wore only one when you were curling so that you could grip with one foot and slide on the other.
I know we had a specific name for them, but for the life of me I can't remember what we called them. I'll have to rely on other Canadian posters to prompt my memory.

Cheers, Harvey
Ottawa/Toronto/Edmonton for 30 years;
Southern England for the past 22 years.
(for e-mail, change harvey.news to harvey.van)
* But now I am wondering if the word "felt" is an accurate translation from the Russian, because I can ... buy felt over-boots in Ishim.. So I drove in felt boots till they collapsed from the mud and the damp.")

The felt inner-boots really are thick felt. Similar items are sold in the US for hunting wear. My father had a pair that were a gray felt material with a quilted pattern of sewing to give them some body. They insulate, keep the foot comfortable, and serve as shoes when you are inside and remove the outer boots.
You don't normally wear just the felt boots outside.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
When I was a kid they were called "rubbers." As in "It's rainingout, so wear your rubbers!" (We don't get snow in coastal California.)

Rubbers were different from galoshes AIRT. Rubbers were low-topthings they just covered the shoe, but did not go further up the ankle. Rubbers were more like shoes and galoshes were more like boots, onemight say.

I agree 50%. Normal people (i.e., my parents) called the shoe-size ones "rubbers" and they called the boot-size ones "boots". Weird people (i.e., anyone whose usage differed from my parents') called the boot-size ones "snow boots", "overshoes", or "galoshes".

My experience of these things was about the same as Tony's, except that I enjoyed buckling and unbuckling all those ingenious and satisfyingly solid little buckles. Not so much that I'd wear the boots when my mother didn't make me, though.
In my circle, the term "rubbers" in this sense became unusable sometime in the early '70s, though maybe that's because of the age I was (early teens) rather than any linguistic change.
=20
Jerry Friedman
Would it make you any happier to know that I, the opining poster, actually meant only that I would describe ... called them "rubbers" (until that term had other meanings) or "overshoes." I wouldn't call them boots; "boots" cover more territory.

Of course boots cover more territory. "These boots were made for walking".
Interesting words in the lyrics in one verse:
You keep lying, when you oughta be truthin'
and you keep losin' when you oughta not bet.
You keep samin' when you oughta be changin'.
Now what's right is right, but you ain't been right yet.
Would it make you any happier to know that I, ... "overshoes." I wouldn't call them boots; "boots" cover more territory.

Of course boots cover more territory. "These boots were made for walking". Interesting words in the lyrics in one verse: ... bet. You keep samin' when you oughta be changin'. Now what's right is right, but you ain't been right yet.

Great song - early Girl Power.

Laura, who hasn't complained yet..
(emulate St. George for email)
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
* But now I am wondering if the word "felt" is an accurate translation from the Russian, because I can ... buy felt over-boots in Ishim.. So I drove in felt boots till they collapsed from the mud and the damp.")

I don't know about the Russians, but the felt boots we wore in Greenland were made for outdoor use. The snow there was absolutely dry and felt more like flour. The temperature was well below zero Fahrenheit most of the time we wore those boots. The boots have hard soles, of course.

We never wore the felt boots when weather turned warmer and there was any dampness. For that we had the Mickey Mouse boots, made of rubber. About three pairs of socks were used with both types of boots.
Skitt (in Hayward, California)
www.geocities.com/opus731/
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