Folk Awareness of Dialect

Donald M. Lance LanceDM at MISSOURI.EDU
Tue Dec 5 04:53:12 UTC 2000

Steve Hicks wrote:

>     "Iowa has a Byou-n@ Vista. And GUT- at n-burg. The classic
>      is N at -'vay-d@ for Nevada."
> Missouri also has a N at -'vay-d at ....the story about the Missouri
> town was that it was named by returning '49ers for Nevada County,
> Calif. (itself presumably named for the Sierra Nevada mountains).
> So....did the first Anglo settlers of California anglicize the name of
> the mountains when they named their new county ?
> (Nevada, Mo., was originally Hog Eye, I understand....a pioneer
> term for a mound in the middle of a prairie swale.  Unfortunately,
> there was already a post office named Hog Eye in Missouri {!},
> and "Nevada City" was substituted.  The "other" Hog Eye, I
> doubt at the insistence of local social climbers...
> eventually changed its name to the Biblical Haggai...)

A very interesting case.  Here's a paragraph from a paper of mine that will come out some
time next year.
A third name that may owe its existence to a Mason is Haggai, a town of considerable
importance at one time in southeast Missouri near the Iron Mountain mining concession. No
stores or shops other than those of the company were allowed on the concession, so
enterprising merchants built a town nearby to attract the business of the miners. Noting
that the Rand McNally’s Guide of 1890 gave the name of the town as Hog Eye, Ramsay
speculated in the entry in his card file that either the words reflect the local
pronunciation of Haggai, or Hog Eye was the original name and the spelling Haggai was an
attempt to give the name a bit of prestige. The original name for the community was
Fairview. Since the biblical prophet Haggai was one of the supervisors in the building of
the Temple in Jerusalem, the choice of this name for the business community may have been
quite intentional, though perhaps hyperbolic. The other Haggai indicated in Appendix A is
a creek in Texas.

More information about the Ads-l mailing list