For y'all's enjoyment
beeline at mindspring.com
Mon Mar 6 22:06:17 EST 2000
Gina, here's an amen for your might should/could observation. The odd usage
also comes in handy when you're responding gently to someone's strong
suggestion while also expressing your right not to take it. "Yep, I might
could burn that old barn down, but I might should wait to see if that city
feller wants to buy the wood. Weatherized, ya know."
If I remember correctly, southern-style English is closer to "the Queen's
English" than that spoken by either northerners or westerners. The nearly
dead Appalachian vernacular, however, was closest to Shakespearean English.
I went to grade and high school with kids who regularly said "dasn't" for
"dare not" and correctly used "shall," for example. Of course, cable and
satellite tv have basically destroyed the Appalachian lingo, much to the
dismay of linguists.
But now, before it disappears, here's more verbal southern color:
Get your dander up -- to get angry
Blivit -- five pounds of shit in a three-pound poke (sack)
Vittles -- human food
Varmints -- small creatures who eat your vittles; also, even smaller
critters who eat you
Skedaddle -- to scoot away quickly, which varmints do very well when
Druthers -- things one would rather have or do
Goober pea -- peanut
Gussied up -- all fixed up real purty
High-falutin' -- hoity-toity, above him/herself
Poontang -- derogatory slang for the female sexual organ
Hey -- in the South, a greeting; in the North, a request for one's
Bubba -- common nickname for a southern brother; female siblings might be
called "Sis" or "Sissy"
(I went to a party a number of years ago, now known as "The Bubba Party,"
and found myself in the household smoking area talking to a group of
transplanted and visiting Yank- ah, folks who weren't from around here. The
smoking room was at the end of a short fat hall that led to the keg, the
kitchen, and the rest of the house. As we indulged in our filthy habit and
watched six male attendees meeting and greeting 'round the beer, we talked
about things southern. Someone asked about "Bubba" and I explained it.
Faced with their collective disbelief about the high number of Bubbas in
the South, I simply leaned over and hollered "Hey! Bubba!" toward the keg.
Five of the guys standing there responded. 'Nuff said.)
And finally: even though I'm old enough to *never* get carded for
*anything*, my father is "Daddy" and my mother is "Mama."
"B" at home
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