Date: Wed, 8 Oct 1997 12:16:51 -0600
From: Joan Houston Hall jdhall[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]FACSTAFF.WISC.EDU
Subject: Re: widow's weeds
DARE's files have two nineteenth-century quotes for weeds:
1890 Holley _Samantha among the Brethren_ 140 NY, He took it into his head
to have a deeper weed at the last minute, so I fixed it on. He had the weed
come up to the top of his hat and lap over. I never see so tall a weed.
[Here it seems to mean a kind of scarf worn by a mourner at a funeral.]
1899 (1912) Green _VA Folk-Speech_ 478, Weed, n. A garment of any sort,
especially the whole garment worn at any time. Now commonly in the plural,
and chiefly in the phrase: "Widow's weeds."
No DARE Informants offered the term.