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I agree 50%. Normal people (i.e., my parents) called the shoe-size ones "rubbers" and they called the boot-size ones "boots". ... and satisfyingly solid little buckles. Not so much that I'd wear the boots when my mother didn't make me, though.

Has anyone else ever heard the term "arctics" for these? As I recall, they got that name because they were originally developed for use in cold climates. The RHUD has "arctics: warm, waterproof overshoes", but the ones I recall were uninsulated, and therefore not very warm.

Ray Heindl
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My rubbers went halfway to the knee and were definitely boot-shaped.

I'm sure the ladies were very impressed Emotion: smile

I spent my last ten dollars on birth control and beer My life was so much simpler when I was sober and queer But the love of a strong hairy man has turned my head I fear And made me spend my last ten bucks on birth control and beer

(someone was singing this over New Year's)
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I think I might have used "overshoes" as a synonym for "galoshes", or vice versa.
I might be willing to say that overshoes/galoshes are a special type of boots. But what makes them non-boots, or not very bootlike, is that they aren't full substitutes for shoes. You still have to wear some sort of shoes inside them, as it were.

Steny '08!
Many learned articles have been written about Chekhov, but I don't remember any that pointed out the startling ubiquity of the galosh in his fiction.

I think you missed the most famous instance of galoshes in Chekhov: Act IV of /The Cherry Orchard/. Great scene for working on subtext.

Cheers, Lea

Lea V. Usin
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"?

Ms Conlon:
'I think we'd call those "rubber overshoes."'
But that now seems to have been straightened out.
(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.

I called them galoshes. I recall that many kids called them rubbers. "Boots", no, I agree.

Charles Riggs
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things might I agree 50%. Normal people (i.e., my parents) ... my parents') calledthe boot-size ones "snow boots", "overshoes", or "galoshes".

I think I might have used "overshoes" as a synonym for "galoshes", orvice versa. I might be willing to say ... is thatthey aren't full substitutes for shoes. You still have to wear some sortof shoes inside them, as it were.

I'm now remembering that around 1970, mid-calf-length winter boots, without shoes inside them, came into style for women's or at least girls's winter wear. In my neighborhood, they were called "shoeboots". It was only somewhat later that I got the idea that "boot", as a generic term, meant something you wore instead of a shoe.
Jerry Friedman
I'm now remembering that around 1970, mid-calf-length winter boots, without shoes inside them, came into style for women's or at least girls's winter wear. In my neighborhood, they were called "shoeboots".

I wore "shoeboots", like what you describe but either specifically for boys or gender-neutral, when I was in elementary school in the 1970s. No shoes inside, mid-calf, and they were lined with some substance that was intended to provide warmth or insulation.
It was only somewhat later that I got the idea that "boot", as a generic term, meant something you wore instead of a shoe.

For me, shoeboots were an alternative to wearing "rubbers" or "galoshes". My recollection is that rubbers and galoshes were regarded as outdated forms of apparel, but shoeboots were never that popular. During the late 1970s and early 1980s you started to see more and more kids wearing things that resembled those L.L. Bean "duck boots". Perhaps this was part of the preppie movement that owed so much to the 1950s Revival, thus connecting this discussion with the Cult of Fonzie (who, however, wore motorcycle boots I think).

Steny '08!


* 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 believe there're many kinds of felt, not only the pleasantly soft kind for a fancy hat but also the heavy, firmly woven material put to commercial use. The latter is what must be understood under the translation 'felt boots', about which Chekhov and many others have written over the years. Those boots have long been a well-known fixture in Russian society. Here are pictures of two types, one pair with a felt sole and the other with a rubber sole. Those boots are as Russian as the very Russian earth itself.
As long as the topic is footwear, it's worth mentioning another famous type of footwear with a prominent role in Russian classical literature, the peasants' 'lapti' of yesteryear. There are still contemporary expressions in the Russian language using the word. Russian peasants traditionally wove their 'lapti' out of strips of bark from the lime tree. When they couldn't get that, they used the bark of the elm or willow. Here's a picture a pair.
You might want to consider extending your research and writing about the role of footwear in Russian literature.
Regards, WB.

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What were you doing in Greenland? (I'm guessing mining or geological surveys.)

I believe there're many kinds of felt, not only the pleasantly soft kind fora fancy hat but also the heavy, ... sole and the other with a rubber sole. Those boots are as Russian as the very Russian earth itself.

As long as the topic is footwear, it's worth mentioning another famous type of footwear with a prominent role in Russian classical literature, the peasants' 'lapti' of yesteryear. There are still contemporary expressions in the Russian language using the word. Russian peasants traditionally wove their 'lapti' out of strips of bark from the lime tree. When they couldn't get that, they used the bark of the elm or willow. >

Well, I've moved on to samovars and tea-drinking now.

I like watching Ray Mears's programmes about surviving in the wild. He did one about Byelorussians during the war who hid in the swamps and forests and made shoes out of birch bark. In my versions of Chekhov there are several mentions of bark shoes, which must be a translation of "lapti".

It's amazing what people can do with bark: in another programme, Mears travelled with some nomads in mid-northern Russia and their babies wore bark nappies packed with chippings, which kept the babies remarkably dry. One of the women made Mears a magnificent pair of deer-fur boots. Chekhov's felt overboots lasted so short a time on his journey to Sakhalin that I suspect they were badly made. However, he had a reliable leather coat:

"To-day I rubbed my leather coat with grease. It's a splendid coat. It has saved me from catching cold."
I've never thought of rubbing my leather coat with grease, I must say. Then again, I've never travelled through Siberia by chaise.

Peasemarch.

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