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squirter

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squirter n Also maple squirter, seed ~ [See quot 1898] Cf pollynose n

= key n 2, esp the immature one of a soft maple n.
1898 Outlook 59.351, School-boys gathered the green [silver maple] seeds to “squirt” the sappy contents of the seed-cases into the face or down the neck of some neighbor at school. Soon the “squirters” grew so hard that the school-boy had to resort to blue-grass blossoms and dandelion stems to persecute his neighbor. 1912 Sat. Eve. Post 9 Nov 50 MO, Jake is one of those simple fellows with just enough brains to form tails for other people’s ideas, which he scatters round like a maple tree sowing “squirters.” 1933 Harper’s Mth. Mag. 168.155 IA, Seed squirters were scattering from the great silver maple trees. 1935 Hyatt Folkl. Adams Co. IL 184, In the spring children pop “squirters” (the seedpods of the soft maple tree) into each other’s faces. This juice is supposed to cause freckles. 1951 Winona Republican & Herald (MN) 30 Apr 4/4, In the spring it [=a maple tree] showered maple squirters all over the back yard, and all we had to do was rush out and pick up a handful and come into the kitchen shooting. 1954 Kossuth Co. Advance (Algona IA) 8 Apr [22]/3 (newspaperarchive.com), The soft maple is covered in the spring with seeds, squirters as we called them when a boy. 1968 DARE FW Addit NJ21, Common maple has “squirters” on it. These are the things and seeds that fall from the tree in the spring and swirl through the air as they fall. 2011 DARE File—Internet, I was unsure about how good it would work. After getting it I tried it out and vacuumed my gutters that were full of maple squirters out.
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