I was crossing through a fence the other day and it occurred to me that I have never heard that fence referred to by it’s proper name. Ever. In fact, if someone tried to enunciate “barbed wire” I’d probably giggle. They have always been bob wyer fences. The “wyer” makes sense because we love to throw extra syllables into words but I’m not sure how “barbed” got shortened to “bob”.
You can actually test the ability of a man to be a good husband by simply passing through a bob wyer fence with him. If he holds up the top strand of wire for you then you have a keeper. If not you better just leave that redneck in the woods. A real gentleman always holds up the top strand of wire for his sweetheart to pass through less she catch her clothing on one of those barbs.
Granted, if you are passing through a bob wyer fence you are most likely trespassing. These fences usually mark property boundaries and keep in the livestock but cutting through the woods is a whole lot faster than following the road.
It’s funny that it took me 43 years to notice how we were abusing the words “barbed wire”. Not too surprising though since I was in my 30’s the first time I figured out that the word “surprise” has an “r” before the “p”. Who says sur-prise? No one that I know.