"package store"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Aug 31 06:11:21 UTC 2000


At 1:32 PM -0400 8/31/00, Frank Abate wrote:
>You should check DARE (which I don't have handy).

This would take us through at least the mid-term election of the
Gore-Lieberman administration, if any.  The last DARE volume ends at
O.

>
>I would call "package store" a pure regionalism, and reflective (as Lynne M
>said) of Lieberman's CT origin.  He may not have realized he was using a
>regionalism, as it is the natural and expected term in his dialect area.
>
Right, and if I'm not mistaken we had a discussion of "packy" or
"packie" a couple of years ago, with Lynne one of the contributors.
Ah, here it is (some of it, anyway); it was back in '96--so twentieth
century.

--Larry
=================
Date:         Wed, 8 May 1996 06:55:56 -0400
Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>
From:         "M. Lynne Murphy" <104LYN at MUSE.ARTS.WITS.AC.ZA>
Subject:      Re: packy?
To:           Multiple recipients of list ADS-L <ADS-L at UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>

>  Late that next afternoon, I found Det. Lt. Royce Whitlock of the state police
>  where he usually went for lunch on his days off: downstairs in the basement
>  of a thriving cement-block mini-mall in Lynnfield--convenience store selling
>  milk, cigarettes, potato chips, and lottery scratch cards and keno tickets
>  that kept a bunch of older guys in satin jackets rapt in front of a TV
>  screen; two-chair barber shop; sewing supplies store; packy; and a take-out
>  sandwich shop.
>    --George V. Higgins, Sandra Nichols Found Dead. New York: Henry Holt,1996

a packy, in most of massachusetts (that i know of), is a liquor
store.  more formally, a 'package store'.  (this has something to do
w/ liquor selling laws in massachusetts, but i don't know what.)
don't know if it's spread to other parts of new england.

_packy_ was definitely the most dominant term  for liquor store in
western mass when i lived there in the early-mid 80s.  (i spent most
of my time there in a umass dorm, so the packy was a frequent topic of
conversation.)  a "packy run" is a trip to the liquor store (to stock up).

cheers,
lynne
=================
Date:         Thu, 9 May 1996 08:41:37 EDT
Reply-To:     American Dialect Society <ADS-L at UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>
Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>
From:         Larry Horn <LHORN at YaleVM.CIS.Yale.Edu>
Organization: Yale University
Subject:      Re: packy?
To:           Multiple recipients of list ADS-L <ADS-L at UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>

To support Alice [Faber?]'s intuition, I can confirm that 'package
store' is standard here but 'packy' inextant.  Of course, it's hard
to know that a form REALLY doesn't occur, but I've never encountered
it in 15 years in the same South-Central Connecticut regional area as
Alice's.   I also don't remember 'packy' from a couple of years spent
in Mass. in the '70's, but I do recall that
'package store' is somehow MORE standard there than here, although here it's
used interchangeably with liquor store. People I know always opt for the latter
unregional variant.   Of course not all liquor stores are package stores:
Warehouse Liquors, Liquor Land, etc.--the ones that are more like
supermarkets --are not package stores (much less packies).  Oh, if
you were wondering, we don't call them 'lickies' either.

Larry
============================================================Date:
Thu, 9 May 1996 09:21:52 -0400
Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>
From:         "M. Lynne Murphy" <104LYN at MUSE.ARTS.WITS.AC.ZA>
Subject:      Re: packy?

well, either "packy" is a later development, or maybe it's college
slang rather than general usage.  i swear, when i lived there, nobody
i knew used "package store" in normal conversations.  maybe we  were
more affectionate toward the package store (and its contents and
services) than average bay staters.

lynne
=================
Date:         Thu, 6 Jun 1996 23:40:47 -0400
Reply-To:     American Dialect Society <ADS-L at UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>
Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>
From:         ALICE FABER <faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU>
Subject:      Packy revisited
To:           Multiple recipients of list ADS-L <ADS-L at UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>

A few weeks ago, there was some discussion on the list about the term
"packy" for a liquor store. As per recollections by Lynn Murphy, this
seems to be a Massachusetts term, especially Western Massachusetts
(which starts, as far as I can tell, at Worcester, in other words,
comprising the western 3/4 of the state, but that's another thread).
Based on some other folks' unfamiliarity
with the term, Lynn had speculated that this might be a more "college-y" term.
At that time, I had volunteered to commission my sister to investigate among
her colleagues. This evening I received her report (along with a request for
other instances of regional variation in preposition usage along side "wait on
line" vs "wait in line", to which I could only add "sick to/at/in one's
stomach"). Her colleagues, from Enfield and Windsor, CT (essentially, just
south of the Mass/CT border) can't imagine calling a liquor store anything
other than a "packy"; my sister, as a non-drinker, had never encountered the
term before I commissioned her. These colleagues are 20-something to
30-something, not all college educated...

Alice Faber
=================
Date:         Sat, 8 Jun 1996 09:59:47 -0700
Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>
From:         David Goldstein-Shirley <dsgoldst at EA.OAC.UCI.EDU>
Subject:      Re: Packy revisited
To:           Multiple recipients of list ADS-L <ADS-L at UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>

Although I was subscribed to this list by someone else and have been
trying unsuccessfully for some time to be unsubscribed (if the listowner
is reading, would you please unsubscribe me?), I do have a response
regarding the term "packy" for a liquor store.

Is it possible that it refers to the ownership of many liquor stores by
Pakistanis?  I wouldn't be surprised if it is a British slang term.

David Goldstein-Shirley
University of California, Irvine
=================
Date:         Sat, 8 Jun 1996 14:10:39 -0400
Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>
From:         Margaret Ronkin <ronkinm at GUSUN.GEORGETOWN.EDU>
Subject:      Re: Packy revisited
To:           Multiple recipients of list ADS-L <ADS-L at UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>

         I too thought of your interpretation, but I felt that it
was unlikely in the context in which 'packy' was used on this list.

         Also, the British abbreviation of 'Pakistani' is 'paki'
or 'pakki', which came into use in the skinhead era/late 60s.
Tony Thorne's _Dictionary of Contemporary Slang_ (1990) gives three
senses of this shortening: (1) "an offensive racial epithet"; (2)
"a descriptive term for the many independent corner stores owned
and run by (South Asian) immigrant families", and (3) (still awake?)
"commercial or low-grade (South Asian) hashish... as opposed to
premimium products from Afghanistan, Kashmir, Nepal, etc.".

         I think it's unlikely that 'paki'/'packy' in the second sense
refers to "the ownership of many liquor stores by Pakistanis".
Pakistani expats may be branching into the liquor business, but
Pakistan is an Islamic republic (in which only "non-Muslims" and
"foreigners" can legally obtain liquor) and, I think, many if not most
expats would still try to uphold community values, at least in
public.


- Maggie Ronkin
=======================
Date:         Sat, 8 Jun 1996 22:21:00 EDT
Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>
From:         Larry Horn <LHORN at YaleVM.CIS.Yale.Edu>
Organization: Yale University
Subject:      Re: Packy revisited

Especially unlikely in the context of the use under discussion, given the
relative paucity of Pakistani-owned liquor stores in Western Massachusetts.
As we seem to have determined from the earlier discussion of the range of
these items, the distribution of "packy" is a subset of that of "package
store", which extends through much of (southern and central?) New England.
Thus there are proportionately far more "packies" along the Connecticut River
valley and adjacent areas of Massachusetts than in New Haven or Boston, but
as far as I know no such disparity can be observed in the distribution of
Pakistanis.
(Oh, and doo-wop music wasn't originated by Italians either.)

            Larry
========================
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