TheEditor at WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG
Sun Jul 28 08:52:12 UTC 2002
Three weeks ago, I posted the following request:
> A subscriber has written as follows to ask about a puzzling bit of
> American dialect usage. Can anyone help?
> > It's from Virginia-North Carolina, an older generation, (maybe a
> > hundred years back) and probably from the Appalachians. Three
> > different older friends remember their grandmothers' using it. It
> > means "I'm full", "I've had plenty to eat". Phonetically: "My
> > sufficiency is serrancified". Could be "cerr", or one "r", or
> > perhaps never printed! All four of us are curious about its
> > origins.
Belated thanks to those who helped me out. The resulting piece went
out in my World Wide Words newsletter yesterday and provoked quite a
large response. It looks from comments as though the expression is
best known in Canada and that it was originally something like "My
sufficiency has been suffonsified and anything additional would be
superfluous". That form of the word is the one that is most common in
online searches, where the Canadian focus is also obvious.
One subscriber pointed out that it appears in a passage in Margaret
Atwood's novel, "Cat's Eye". She has two teenage girls, living in
Toronto in the 1940s, who say, "Are you sufficiently sophonisified?".
I also found a restaurant reviewer in Vancouver whose pen name is
"Sufficiently Suffonsified". Oddly, there's also a 1999 record by the
Austrian band Cunning Dorx with the title "Paradigms Suffonsified".
It would seem that the word is not defunct, though belonging to an
earlier generation. Any further information would be most welcome!
Editor, World Wide Words
E-mail: <TheEditor at worldwidewords.org>
More information about the Ads-l