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batture

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batture n, also attrib |baˈtyr, ˈbæčə(r)| Pronc-sp batcher [Fr “reef, sand bank”] Lower Missip Valley, esp sLA
An area of recent alluvium in the bed of a river that is usually above water, though subject to flooding; the ground between a levee and the river it confines.
1807 Orleans Gaz. & Commercial Advt. (New Orleans LA) 19 Oct [3]/3, [Advt:] All persons desirous of procuring Earth or fine Sand for Building, may be supplied by applying to Calalou, Overseer of the works on the Batture, at the foot of Girod street. 1823 (1878) Aime Plantation Diary 8 sLA, Ice was thick enough on the “batture” to bear the weight of a person. 1828 N. Amer. Rev. 27.425, The river is now, as the phrase is, making on the Illinois side. This new soil or batture is plainly distinguishable from the old bank of the river, by its younger growth of trees, principally cotton-wood. 1875 Old Folks’ Hist. Rec. 1.376 swTN, The people soon became satisfied that the “Old River” would have its way. . . This big bar then formed and became a fixture, at least for a time, and was called the batture. Upon this batture the Navy Yard was established and all the large and costly structures thereto belonging were reared. 1914 DN 4.162 Batture. . . Along the Mississippi River, the space between the levee and the water. 1932 Daily Herald (Biloxi MS) 11 Mar 9/1, The rising Mississippi river again has submerged the gardens of the batture dwellers who live in shanties and houseboats, raised on stilts, over on the river side of New Orleans’ levee. 1955 Grau Black Prince 257 LA, The river is high. The trees that grow out on the batture—on the land between the river’s usual bed and the levee, on the land that all summer and fall has been dry and fertile—are half-covered with water. 1967 LeCompte Word Atlas 222 seLA, Batture. . . All informants in Lafourche pronounced this response as /baˈtür/, but in the New Orleans area, this word has come into English as /bæčə/. 1968 DARE FW Addit LA23, Batture [ˈbæčɚ]—land between levee and river. 1973 Hattiesburg Amer. (MS) 28 Mar 3/7, There is still about 120 feet before the erosion reaches the main levee, but the batture collapse is about 300 feet deep and 1,000 feet long. 1987 New Yorker 23 Feb 46 LA, In the river batcher—the silt-swept no man’s land between water line and levee—lone egrets sat in trees. 2012 Gettysburg Times (PA) 29 Dec sec A 11/2, A new initiative targeting “batture lands,” or acreage outside the levees along the Mississippi, promises to return even more land to its original state.
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