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old sod, n.

Forms:  see old adj.   and sod n.1 Also with capital initials.(Show Less)
Frequency (in current use): 
Origin: Formed within English, by compounding. Etymons: old adj., sod n.1
Etymology: < old adj. + sod n.1 Compare earlier old country n., old land n.   (see 3   s.v.).
Frequently in form ould sod  , apparently frequently with the intention of identifying the word as typically Irish English (compare e.g. quot. 1977).
Chiefly Irish English.

  Usually with the. One's country of origin; spec. Ireland. Cf. sod n.1 4b.Frequently in Irish American usage.

1863   Mrs. Toogood Specim. Yorks. Dial. (MS)    He does not like to leave the old sod after having lived there so long.
1868   Harper's Mag. July 281/2   A brawny son of ‘the ould sod’ took the floor.
1891   E. Roper By Track & Trail ii. 25   And did ye see ould Ireland lately?.. And how's the poor ould sod?
1892   W. G. Lyttle Life in Ballycuddy 12   A'll niver lee the auld sod again.
1939   J. Joyce Finnegans Wake 194   Dry yanks will visit old sod.
1955   J. P. Donleavy Ginger Man v. 35   I'll give you the jug to remember me when I'm gone from the ould sod, sacked in with some lovely French doll.
1977   Time 12 Dec. 30/1   Overseas Chinese may not want to go back to live in the People's Republic any more than a U.S. enthusiast for Ireland wants to live on the Ould Sod.
1999   D. Bolger Ladies' Night at Finbar's Hotel 229   It was good to be back on the ould sod.

1863—1999(Hide quotations)


This entry has been updated (OED Third Edition, March 2004).