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I've been translating the song by Johnny Horton, North to Alaska and was stuck on the word mushed:

He talked to his team of huskies as he mushed on through the snow

Searching through the dictionaries gave me nothing about it.

Doesn't it mean 'crawling' or just 'going?' Or, maybe, there's a mistake?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Mush is the traditional cry for encouraging sled dogs—“Mush, you huskies!”

Etymonline conjectures

first recorded 1862, as mouche, perhaps altered from French marchons! "advance!" (imperative of marcher "to march)"

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Thanks for the answer, and for that dictionary, it is very helpful. –  user71305 Apr 7 at 11:28

You are right, it seems to mean 'just going', as the AHD notes.

mush 2 (mŭsh)

v. mushed, mush·ing, mush·es
v.intr.
To travel, especially over snow with a dogsled.

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Yes, I've just wanted more accurate meaning of it. If I write "going" it would be flat and pale. –  user71305 Apr 7 at 11:38
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I would have to say that this definition is wrong: mush means to travel using a dogsled. Adding especially is like saying to drive means to travel, especially in a motorized vehicle. You can't use drive for airplanes. You can't use mush for cars. –  Peter Shor Apr 7 at 13:17
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'Mushing is a general term for a sport or transport method powered by dogs. It includes carting, pulka, scootering, sled dog racing, skijoring, freighting, and weight pulling. More specifically, it implies the use of one or more dogs to pull a sled on snow or a rig on dry land.' And please look at the article at Wikipedia –the 1909 musher photo is priceless. –  Edwin Ashworth Apr 7 at 13:27

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