A few weeks ago Blind Pig Reader Ron Banks left the following comment:
“I know the term stoved up very well and use it often. I’ve stove my fingers up many times when I played basketball and football. When I hurt my back and could hardly walk without a stabbing pain I was sho nuff stoved up! Great expression. I wonder where that one came from?”
A verb past participle of stave.
B adjective (also stove up) Bruised up, crippled to a degree that it is difficult to get around, sore or stiff in the joints from overwork or injury, worn out (usu used predicatively).
1975 Gainer Speech Mtneer 17 That horse got stoved from being rid down hill too fast. 1973 GSMNP-87:2:24 He lost a eye, and he was kind of what I’d call stove up all over. 1976 Weals It’s Owin’ She was in a car wreck and got all stove up. 1979 Carpenter Walton War 178 He come home so stove up he couldn’t hardly git in the bed. 1993 Weaver Scotch-Irish Speech 15 Someone in bad shape from a fall or other injury might be all “stove up” (pp. of the verb To stave?), but this condition could also come with age 1995 Montgomery Coll. (Cardwell, Shields).
Like Ron, I’m very familiar with the usage of the word stove described in the definition from the Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English. It’s one of those usages that is so ingrained in my mind that I wonder how I would convey being stove up without saying stove up?
I googled around and found this page that discusses the meaning behind the usage.
Have you ever stove your finger up? Or maybe you’ve been stove up after an accident?