fire n, v Usu |faɪr, faɪə|; also esp Midl |fơr|; also esp Delmarva, sNJ, |fɔr|; for addit varr see quots Pronc-spp fahr, far(r), fiah, fieh, fiuh, foir, for
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C As verb.
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2 in phrr fire an anvil and varr: To explode powder in a hole in a blacksmith’s anvil or between two anvils as a celebratory noisemaker; hence vbl n firing, freq in phrr anvil firing, firing an anvil. [Engl dial: cf EDD to fire the anvil, ~ stithy at fire v. 11] Also called shoot v Cf anvil chorus n, anvil salute n
1831 Adams Sentinel (Gettysburg PA) [19 July 5]/5 (newspaperarchive.com), Mr. Martin Pierce . . was killed on the morning of the 4th inst. while engaged in loading a cavity in an anvil for the purpose of firing. 1847 WI Argus (Madison)30 Mar /6, Neither shall we attempt to make converts to the constitution by singing nigger doggrel, firing an anvil, or joining a glee club. 1858 NY Commercial Advt. (NY) [9 July 2]/5, John Reed was engaged with a party at Fall’s tavern in Greece, firing an anvil, when the plug driven into the anvil flew out, and passing along the side of his face, mangled it in a shocking manner. 1872 Eve. Gaz. (Pt. Jervis NY) 6 July 1/1, He was engaged in firing salutes in a manner peculiar to that vicinity, which is called “firing an anvil.” A large iron ring or band . . is placed on an anvil, and packed full of powder. Another anvil is then set on top of the ring, and the powder ignited. 1897 Burlington Hawk-Eye (IA) 8 July 7/2, At Ely, while a party of men were firing an anvil, a ring several inches in diameter burst. 1909 Jrl.–Advance (Gentry AR) [12 Mar 2]/2 (newspaperarchive.com), The citizens of Gentry fired anvils Wednesday night rejoicing over the fact that the citizens had secured a sufficient amount of their cash to assure Gentry the Bentonville-Joplin Electric Interurban. 1914 Corsicana Semi-Weekly Light (TX) 31 July /5 (newspaperarchive.com), Incident to the Ferguson jollification last night a number of young men arranged to do some anvil shooting near the ball park . . , and had fired the anvil one time when the accident occurred. 1967 Times–Std. (Eureka CA) 9 June 15/1, From I. R. Dunbar . . comes this advice on how to fire anvils: “Firing the anvils is a simple thing. You set one anvil upright on the ground so its level. Then you place a ring made of 3/8 inch or 7/16 inch round iron. . . Then you fill the ring with fine black gun powder, level it off, then turn the other anvil upside down and cross-wise on top of the other anvil. After this is done, heat a length of half round iron about 12 or 14 feet long and touch the powder alongside of the top anvil and up she goes about five or six feet into the air.” 2015 Times–News (Twin Falls ID) 3 July sec B 3/4, Anvil firing at dusk at north side of Popplewell; and fireworks at dusk.
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