saw gourds

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In reference to the sound made by sawing.


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saw gourds (third-person singular simple present saws gourds, present participle sawing gourds, simple past sawed gourds, past participle sawed gourds or sawn gourds)

  1. (chiefly late-19th-century US slang, intransitive) To snore very loudly.
    • 1870, Fitz Hugh Ludlow, chapter II, The Heart of the Continent, page 91:
      I thought of these things with a tendency to philosophize, but Zeno himself would have gone to sleep after such a day as I had spent. In five minutes, thoughtless and philosophers, we were all “sawing gourds” together in the land of Nod.
    • 1873, Bill Arp’s Peace Papers, paper xxxiii, page 216:
      He set by the fire a chawin his tobacco and swapped lies with us untill bed time, and we put him in the surplus room and he sawed gourds so, it was after midnight before we got to sleep.
    • 1892, John Crittenden Duval, chapter XI, Early Times in Texas II: The Young Explorers, page 154, § 8:
      The fuse burnt down to the skin and went out, but Cudjo still continued to saw gourds, apparently in no wise incommoded by the burning of the fuse.
    • ante 1897, Francis Bartow Lloyd; Lily C. Lloyd, editor, chapter XXX, Sketches of Country Life, page 188:
      When a farmer gits a good run of stock and various and sundry crops growin around him, with the natural increase in full swing, he is in the middle of the big road that leads right on to the land of peace and plenty and love and liberty. When the day’s work is done, and the gold of evenin meets the dusk of night, he can draw his bobtail night shirt about him and tumble down to pleasant dreams, knowin that while he sleeps and dreams and saws gourds his worldly possessions are growin and stackin up all the time.