Date: Wed, 8 Oct 1997 23:52:11 -0400

From: Gregory {Greg} Downing downingg[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]IS2.NYU.EDU

Subject: Re: Widow's Weeds

At 03:31 PM 10/8/97 -0600, you wrote:

I know the term, but do not use it. I'm not sure I have ever heard it in

conversation, but know it as you do--a literary term.

Fritz Juengling, St. Cloud State University, Minnesota

On "widow's weeds": I imagine this is one very common way words become

literary -- the custom that gives it a reason for being dies out, after

which point the only people who know it are those who see it in books, in

contexts from, treating, or evoking the past. In OED2, the only examples of

"widow[']s weeds" in the citational material occur between 1700 and 1890.

Greg Downing/NYU, at greg.downing[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] or downingg[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]