She's been rode hard and put up wet

Discussion in 'English Only' started by ribran, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. ribran

    ribran Senior Member

    Austin, Texas
    English - American
    Good evening. :)

    There is a very Southern expression that can be used of a rough-looking woman, a woman who has obviously had a tough life; it is "She's been rode hard and put up wet." I doubt it is regularly used outside the South, so what I would like to know is whether it would be understood where you live.

    -Riley
     
  2. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    I'm from the Midwest and know it as "rode hard and put away wet" – for whatever that's worth. I have a feeling you're going to get a lot of yes/no responses that will leave you none the more decided about using it outside your corral.
     
  3. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    I've heard it here in California... and not from a Texan. :)
     
  4. pops91710

    pops91710 Senior Member

    California is no stranger to horse riding, either. Born and raised here and I have heard it quite often. Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Colorado are very much horse country. I have heard it there, too. I don't think it is uniquely Texan.
     
  5. ribran

    ribran Senior Member

    Austin, Texas
    English - American
    Hey, now, I didn't say anything about it being uniquely Texan. :)

    I've never heard it as "put away wet" before (see my recent thread "Put up the groceries").
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  6. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    I've never heard it in the UK, and in BE it's hard to talk of women having been ridden without evoking a sexual sense which isn't explicit in Ribran's explanation (a tough life).

    Incidentally that use of the simple past form as a past participle (she's been rode rather than she's been ridden) is lowland Scottish and/or uneducated in BE, I think. Is it common in the Southern States?
     
  7. ribran

    ribran Senior Member

    Austin, Texas
    English - American
    That's usually part of it, along with drug abuse, poverty, a general lack of stability, etc.

    It's fairly common in the rural South, outside which it is highly frowned upon. This particular phrase, however, is used throughout the South as it is considered an idiomatic exception.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  8. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    It's a well-known term in horse country, where it had no particular sexual connotation back in the days when I learned it. We used it for old geezers and anybody else who fit the description.

    As far as the past participle is concerned, I once had a neighbor in northeast Colorado, who used it frequently. When we were talking about a particular horse, he commented. "He needs rode."

    EDIT: It now occurs to me that as a result of American urbanization, there are probably many people who have no idea that that the term comes from the horse world.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  9. pops91710

    pops91710 Senior Member

    I know. It was just a passing observation.
     
  10. Bonz Senior Member

    Seattle, WA
    Mexican-Spanish, U.S. English, Spanglish
    So... for you horse-wranglers out there, what does the "put up (put away) wet" part of the expression mean? Now, I'm not a horse-virgin, I have ridden a great, big, gentle mare once around a paddock in California, but that's hardly any experience to go on...
     
  11. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    Put into the stall without having the sweat (from being "rode hard") wiped off.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  12. Bonz Senior Member

    Seattle, WA
    Mexican-Spanish, U.S. English, Spanglish
    Aha! So simple and yet I don't think I'd have thought of it. Thanks, ©!
     
  13. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    The idea is that you aren't supposed to put away your horse while it's wet (in movies there are sometimes signs in stables that say "Do not put horses away wet," which is why I know this). You're supposed to dry it. I think it might get too curly if you leave it wet? Anyway, it's something bad. Maybe it'll smell more like a horse, or start to get moldy.

    <Non-language question removed>
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2012
  14. pob14 Senior Member

    Central Illinois
    American English
    And here I always thought it was the saddle that was "rode hard and put away wet." Live and learn.
     
  15. Bonz Senior Member

    Seattle, WA
    Mexican-Spanish, U.S. English, Spanglish
    Yes, I thought the object of this sentence was the saddle as well pob14, but it does make more sense for it to be the horse now.

    <Discussion of the non-linguistic side issue removed>
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2012
  16. AnitaClare New Member

    American English
    I've worked as a racehorse "hot-walker" and groom in the past, so I can tell you exactly what is meant by being "put up wet." Just like human athletes, horses that have had a hard workout and are all sweaty need to be walked slowly and have a cooling down period. To properly care for a horse that comes back to the barn wet with sweat, he/she needs to be untacked (saddle removed) and walked for about a half hour on a lead rope, or until the sweat has dried--which is why busy trainers hire people to walk their horses. Once the horse is cool, he/she can be brushed and put up in the stall. Failure to do this will cause stiff muscles and lameness. So the exact meaning of the phrase, as it pertains to horsemanship, is to work your horse really hard and not take time to care for it afterward. For a human, it means you're in pretty rough shape.
     
  17. Egmont Senior Member

    Massachusetts, U.S.
    English - U.S.
    Welcome to WRF, and thank you for this very helpful contribution!

    (I have some experience with human athletes, but none with horses, so the specifics were new to me.)
     
  18. Big Daddy Pizza New Member

    english
    I am from North Carolina; 49yo; we used the term "rode hard and put up wet" quite often; we took it to mean a person was a hard partier; male or female; usually to mean if someone had a rough night; the day after; i.e hangover; a take-off was in a sexual term; as to be that a person had a great night of sex and would be wore out the next day. An older person who would be referred to as to having a rough life; drugs; jail etc..
     
  19. Biffo Senior Member

    England
    English - England
    I agree with fellow-Brit Thomas Tompion's comments in post #6

    1. I've never heard the expression
    2. It sounded to me like something from a porn movie rather than everyday speech
    3. Without the explanation I wouldn't have understood it
     
  20. Mahantongo

    Mahantongo Senior Member

    English (U.S.)
    I suspect that in the US, where both horseback riding and hunting are not class-specific pastimes, but activities engaged in by people across the social spectrum without distinction, figures of speech drawn from them would be more generally used than they would be in the UK, where there is such a strong class association with both riding and hunting.
     
  21. TanToes New Member

    English
    Being from The Derby City, and a horse owner, all I know word it as 'Rode hard and hung up wet'. Usually referring to how you feel or feel you look after working hard (-: but of course knowing it refers to not ' hot walking' a horse so it is cooled down and dry before putting it in a stable. (To remove tack and slowly walk them to cool down after riding is 'hot walking'.)
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2015
  22. TanToes New Member

    English
    Oh....tack meaning blanket, saddle, bit. Just a lead rope normally used to hot walk.

    Another equine derived term is 'long in the tooth'. You check the length of a horse's teeth to determine approx. age. Anything 'a bit long in the tooth' would be older.
     

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