bendy leather n [EDD bendy leather (at bend sb.1), “A boy’s name for ice in a half-thawed condition, yet elastic and capable of bearing a weight.”] C Atl
= rubber ice n; a game played on such ice.
1895 Wilmington Daily Republican (DE) 4 Mar 1/4, The attention of the ruler of the universe is called to the bad condition of the sidewalks in the city of Wilmington. One is reminded of walking on “bendy leather,” as the boys used to say when walking on rather weak ice. The pavements go up and down with your weight. 1900 Harrisburg Star–Independent (PA) 15 Dec 1/5, The ice on the canal is what the boys call “bendy leather” and has failed to attract even the most daring. 1924 Wilmington Morning News (DE) 29 Jan 3/2, Some of the more venturesome of the youngsters out of school yesterday afternoon were seen playing “bendy leather” on the dams along the upper Brandywine. 1950 Easton Star–Democrat (MD) 12 Dec /4, An ancient sketch of this company’s tracks stretching over the river ice, with cars dipping in “bendy leather” at different points, is still a show piece in Perryville and Havre de Grace. 1967 DARE (Qu. B35, Ice that will bend when you step on it, but not break) Inf PA29, Bendy leather.