Date: Mon, 2 Oct 1995 10:07:10 -0700


Subject: Re: icebox

I vote with Larry here (hi, Larry!) for a national phenomenon all pretty

much at the same time. B. 1946 in Los Angeles, I remember our icebox when

I was very young; I remember the hole in the outside of the house where

the iceman placed the block of ice, and I remember years later when we

remodeled the kitchen and belatedly stuccoed over the ice door. We called

the new appliance a 'fridge' ("It's in the fridge"), which I take to be

the reduced form of refrigerator since my folks were confirmed Sears

shoppers (when Roebuck was still around), so it probably wasn't a

brand-name Frigidaire. The new even colder part was the freezer, but it

took years for everyone to stop calling the combined unit 'the icebox'.

On Sun, 1 Oct 1995, Larry Horn wrote:

Let me add some additional evidence for Kate Catmull's suspicion...

Wouldn't the distribution be by age rather than geography? My mother (b.

1930, Minnesota) used "icebox" somewhat more often than "refrigerator" or

"fridge," and I (b. 1958, Utah) mimicked her usage when I was a child. Now

I almost ever hear "icebox," and I never use it.

'Icebox' was used in our house when I was growing up in New York City (b.

1945) and I too used it standardly at the time but less and less frequently

since then. My wife (b. 1944), who grew up in Connecticut, reports the same

sequence. It's beginning to look like the gradual disappearance of 'icebox'

is a national, rather than regional, trend. We MAY have also used

'frigidaire' as a generic, but my memory is unclear on that one.