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Q: Origin of phrase "Hold 'er Newt" ( No Answer,   7 Comments )
Subject: Origin of phrase "Hold 'er Newt"
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Music
Asked by: cubanmishka-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 16 Feb 2003 22:05 PST
Expires: 18 Mar 2003 22:05 PST
Question ID: 162379
Need to know the origin of the phrase "Hold 'er Newt".
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Origin of phrase "Hold 'er Newt"
From: journalist-ga on 16 Feb 2003 22:47 PST
Greetings Cubanmishka:

I found many variations on the phrase but no info on the origin:

Hold 'er Newt, she's a headin' fer the pea patch

Hold 'er Newt, she's smelled the alfalfa

Hold 'er Newt!! (going over a big bump in the road).  

"HOLD 'ER, Newt! She's a-rarin'!!"

And personal references to the phrase:

Several things came from the radio - when things were getting out of
in our house, my parents would shout a phrase which I think came from
old radio serial: "Hold 'er, Newt, she's headed for the gay-radge!"

Hold 'er, Newt!" [Colleen, saying] Mom's way of telling us to hang on
for just a minute before persuing some (ostensibly) unwise action.

A song by that title appeared on the album "Nobody's Darlin' But Mine"
[1928-1937] by "Little" Jimmie Davis

The Vaughn label lists a song in their 1924-1930 catalogue:
Theodore Shaw - HOLD 'ER NEWT - 825 - - SHAW

The Vets’ Voice of Company 1774 in Bayport, Minnesota, declared in
December 1939, “It used to be ‘Hold ‘er, Newt’, but now it’s ‘Hold ‘er

It appears that the phrase originated in 1924 or earlier.  I would
have liked to have found the origin but I could not locate the info on
the Internet.  If you wish to accept my research as an answer, please
post thusly and I'll be happy to claim the fee.


"hold her newt"
"hold 'er newt"
Subject: Re: Origin of phrase "Hold 'er Newt"
From: cubanmishka-ga on 16 Feb 2003 23:51 PST
I found most of these by searching the internet but wanted to find out
where it came from. Saw the songs but couldn't find the lyrics.  I
would have liked to find the origin.
Subject: Re: Origin of phrase "Hold 'er Newt"
From: rico-ga on 17 Feb 2003 13:12 PST
According to this site,, advertising
a book titled, "Echoes From the Hills", the phrase originated in the
Ozarks.  See

And to add to journalist's list, a thread on this site

notes the "old farm expression"

"Hold her Newt.  She's heading for the rhubarb!" :-)

as an "old farm expression."

rico (heading for the pea-patch)
Subject: Re: Origin of phrase "Hold 'er Newt"
From: rico-ga on 17 Feb 2003 13:29 PST
Oh, and one other addition.  The name "Newt" is sometimes written as
"Knute." Variations of *that* one include...

"Hold her, Knute, she's a buckin'." "She's headed for the rhubarb" and
"she's headin' for the timber."  She *always* seems to be on the move,
though. In September 2001 the MINITEX Library Information Network of
the Minnesota Higher Education Services Office (HESO) at the
University of Minnesota was also looking for the origin of the phrase
(with the "Knute" variation). See the Acrobat document at...
(Page 4)

You (or a Researcher interested in pursuing the question further) 
might want to contact their reference services at: 612-624-4150 or
800-462-5348 to see if they ever received an answer.


Subject: Re: Origin of phrase "Hold 'er Newt"
From: cubanmishka-ga on 17 Feb 2003 14:05 PST
Doing a paper and needed the origin info.  Don't know if this will
suffice for it. don't think so. Maybe we should stop research as it
doesn't seem available online.
Subject: Re: Origin of phrase "Hold 'er Newt"
From: mathtalk-ga on 17 Feb 2003 21:08 PST
Hi, cubanmishka-ga:

Thanks for posting this interesting question.

You can certainly expire your own question at any time prior to
receiving an answer.  However if you are interested mainly in learning
the origin of this phrase, versus finding the information someplace
online, I would wait at least a couple of days.  Many times questions
like yours about popular culture can be well answered by a researcher
who manages to locate a terrific offline resource after all the online
possibilities are exhausted.

regards, mathtalk
Subject: Re: Origin of phrase "Hold 'er Newt"
From: cubanmishka-ga on 17 Feb 2003 23:31 PST
OK, I've got some time so I'll leave it open for a few days and see
what transpires. Thanks

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