HomeQ&ALight as a verb... Is this an idiom from Texas?

Light as a verb... Is this an idiom from Texas?

5
votes

One of my friends wrote this to me, but I am confused about the "light" part. Does it mean that it landed on her? Is this common to use? Or just here in the US? This is what she wrote: "Saw an AWESOME fireworks show in Rockwall last night. It was really fun. Only problems was the creepy junebugs that kept trying to light on me. Yuck!" Thanks!

Una de mis amigas escribió esto, pero estoy confundida en cuanto a la parte donde dice "light" como verbo. Quiere decir que estaba sobre ella? Es común usar "light" así? O tal vez solo aquí en los Estados Unidos. Vivo en Texas. Tal vez esto es solo usado aquí... Si alguien podría esclarecer mi duda, se los agradecería.

6928 views
updated SEP 28, 2013
posted by 00e46f15

7 Answers

3
votes

In English there is a verb alight which means "to land on". She could have meant that the june bugs where trying to land on her.

In my mind though alight is much softer than ugly bugs thumping on one. It is more like the snowflake alighted on the leaf.

updated JUL 18, 2010
posted by aprender100
Yes, that is what I was thinking. That the june bugs were trying to land on her... I just wasn't sure if it was an expression. Gracias! - 00e46f15, JUL 6, 2010
3
votes

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English l?htan; akin to Old English l?oht light in weight Date: before 12th century 1 : dismount 2 : settle, alight 3 : to fall unexpectedly —usually used with on or upon

Whew I had trouble copying that - it is from the Merriam Webster dictionary. I don't think I have ever heard anyone use 'light' in this way in conversation, but it is perfectly fine and I am aware of it and I'm a long way from Texas.

updated JUL 6, 2010
posted by margaretbl
Sorry, yes it landed on her! A bird could light on a branch, etc. - margaretbl, JUL 6, 2010
I looked here in this website and did not find this use as a verb... that is why I was not sure if people really used it. Thanks! - 00e46f15, JUL 6, 2010
2
votes

I have heard it used that way. Sounds fine to me.

updated JUL 6, 2010
posted by 0097f7e0
2
votes

I was raised in Texas and have always had problems with the words lighted and lit. I suspect some of the differences are regional. Here in the North people always use "lighted" where I use "lit". John lighted the pilot light on the stove. John lit the pilot light on the stove. John lighted a match. John lit a match. Saying a bug lit on your arm is quite natural to me. A mosquito tried to light on the only patch of skin that was exposed. No problem to my ear. Of course, I could never pronounce the word "pen" either. Everything is pronounced pin. Ball point pens are ball point pins to me. There will always be regional quirks in language usage. It took me years to quit saying "pilluhs" for "pillows", etc.

updated JUL 6, 2010
posted by 0074b507
1
vote

I use the expression here in Pennsylvania - but I usually use the form 'lit' : A mosquito lit on my leg and bit me.

The true word is 'alight' which means to settle after descending.

That's the beauty of language; it conforms to it's usage in society.

updated JUL 6, 2010
posted by lkelly
1
vote

Heh, heh. Here in northwest Florida (southern Alabama?), it is mighty common to use light that way...particularly with flying things like bugs and birds.

The bug lit (landed) on the table.

Parents also say it to kids that are running all over the place, "Hey! You kids light somewhere."

@Qfreed, Lighted? Ugh!

updated JUL 6, 2010
edited by webdunce
posted by webdunce
0
votes

Wow. I have never, ever heard light that way. To me it makes no sense.

updated JUL 6, 2010
posted by 003487d6
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