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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Soil, Water & Air Resources Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #355519

Title: Soil Proverbs in America

item Sauer, Thomas

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/30/2018
Publication Date: 12/1/2018
Citation: Sauer, T.J. 2018. Soil Proverbs in America. In: Yang,J.E., Kirkham, M.B., Huber, S., editors. Global Soil Proverbs. Stuttgard, Germany: Schweizerbart Science Publishers. p. 209-212.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Every country has a selection of proverbs in usage that relate to soil and land. These sayings relate in a unique way to some perspective or representation of land in the local or national culture. In this chapter five proverbs relating to land and farming in the U.S. are presented with brief discussions of their origin and use. The proverbs include "Plowing the Back Forty", "They Were Dirt Poor", "When you Throw Dirt You Lose Ground", "He Bet the Farm", and "They Sold the Items Dirt Cheap". Several of these proverbs refer to the hardships and challenges endured by farmers in the 19th and early 20th centuries. They have come through to modern usage to express the extreme nature of farm life in a society that is now largely removed from an agricultural lifestyle.