Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Prairie Schooner Phrase

Wouldn't you like to ride on a prairie schooner?  Sounds like you'd just glide effortlessly through the Midwest.  In Iowa, 1841, the term referred to a stagecoach.  By the mid 1840's a prairie schooner was a covered wagon.  Get this - some covered wagons actually had sails to help them get along. So no hallucinating was involved.  Also the mass of grass on the prairies was often referred to as an ocean, hence prairie schooners, ships, and clippers.  Hard to imagine what Iowa must have looked like then.  I'm guessing gorgeous.

Source:  I Hear America Talking, p.107

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