Mudcat Café message #888958 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #56733   Message #888958
Posted By: GUEST, Dale
12-Feb-03 - 06:42 PM
Thread Name: Folklore: favorite southern US expression
Subject: RE: favorite southern US expression
The thing to remember about all this is that these are expressions to treasure. Listen while you can because the influence of TV, etc. is fast homogenizing the language. Listening to the old tapes from the 70s and 80s that I am privileged to hear and work with, I can detect a difference from what usta be, and what you would hear now.

That is not to say that the colorful local language is completely gone. I did hear the ultimate fixin' a couple of weeks ago.   A young lady I know (about 21)who was home from college said she was fixin' to fix a particular thing.

Students (most anyway) still speak with a certain amount of respect to, for example, school secretaries.   Now in the North you'd hear them say Mrs. Jones or Miss Smith, or possibly use their first names. But here in the South, while you will hear those titles used, you are far more likely to hear them referred to as Miz Julie, Miz Barbara, whatever. In the North, that would not have been an option.

An excellent source of Ozark humor and language is by Mitch Jayne. (former Dillard and of course, former Darlin' boy!)
Home Grown Stories & Home Fried Lies (subtitled Words With The Bark On Them And Other Ozark Oddments)   Ten sample pages are available for viewing at Amazon.

More about the book here.

Mitch is also a regular contributor for the Missouri Conservationist Magazine. Use the Missouri Conservationist search engine to find Mitch Jayne storys.

Here's an excerpt from one ~~~~

Zeke: Well onct you get past 65 it evens out purty smooth, but 65, that's the rough one.

Mitch: Why 65?

Zeke: That's when everbody figures if you ain't dead yit yer missin' a good chaince. They all fly in to sell you yer box or a plot to plant ye or burial insurance, or they set in to put ye in a home som'ers.

Mitch: They all came at you at once?

Zeke: Hit was a sight on earth. Had to nail up a barrel fer a mail box to catch all the dodgers fer rockin' cheers and wheel cheers and funerals and old folks magazines and nostrums fer regularity and perpetchural keer fer yer plot and rest homes and nursin' homes and a whole outlandish bunch of other plunder I cain't remember.

Mitch: Weren't interested, huh?

Zeke: Well sir, I bottled up a batch of my cold remedy jist fer us old folks. I call it "Ol Quiet Owl."

Mitch: "Ol Quiet Owl"?

Zeke: Take reg'lar doses of it, you keep gettin' old but you won't give a hoot.


The expression used by Zeke, "Hit was a sight on earth." was commonly used by my old Uncle Walter, gone from us for many years, but his language lingers on for me.