1 also bend: An area of yielding ice made naturally or deliberately on a body of water; hence v phr run benders to run or skate over yielding or broken ice as a sport. esp NEast Cf belly-bender n, bending ice n, bendo(e) n, bendy-bow n, cracky benders n, hickory bender n
1860 Atlantic Mth. 6.671, There are still “busters,” as in our young days, and the ardent youth upon floating cakes of ice “run bendolas” or “kittly-benders,” or simply “benders.” 1864 Ibid 13.21 NEng, Ruddy-cheeked boys race headlong with their hawkey-sticks, and with their wild cries, making benders where the ice surges in a long swell. 1890 Narragansett Hist. Reg. 8.70 sRI, How we would enjoy once more running benders on the thin ice west of the Cove, or, with firmer ice, buckling on our skates for a race to Field’s Point. 1894 DN 1.328 NJ, Bender. 1905 Williams Down Country Lanes 208 IA, Did ye ever make a “bender”— / “Hick’ry bender” on th’ ice? 1921 Racine Jrl.–News (WI) 3 May 8/2, After a while employing labor will be like skating on thin ice, “benders[”] as it were. 1926 Portsmouth Herald & Times (NH) 21 Jan 5/7, While “running benders” at Frog Pond during recess yesterday, Irvin Barth . . broke through the ice and disappeared in the water. 1943 LANE Map 575, 3 infs, RI, Sliding on thin ice. . . Run(ning) benders; 1 inf, seMA, Run bends. 1965–70 DARE (Qu. B35, Ice that will bend when you step on it, but not break) Infs CT13, MI115, NJ39, NY2, 80, Bender; CT29, 39, NH16, Benders.
3 pl benders, also bends: Delirium tremens. Cf std go on a bender
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