Another one

Wilson Gray wilson.gray at RCN.COM
Sun Apr 24 02:37:24 UTC 2005

I'm one more native Texan not familiar with this expression, but I am
familiar with the tool called a "post-hole digger" and with toads.
Toads don't live underground. But, if they did, they'd have to live
below a certain depth, lest they be struck with a post-hole digger (the
tool) wielded by a post-hole digger (the man using the tool). A toad
struck by or caught up in a post-hole digger would certainly be
mortally wounded, if not killed outright. So, if there was such a thing
as a post-hole toad, such a toad living deeper under the surface than
the deepest reach - two or three feet, perhaps? - of a post-hole digger
would be as safe as home in bed with the covers over its head. Anything
even deeper than a post-hole toad is not something that anyone needs to
concern himself with or be concerned by.

Naturally, the above is just a WAG.

-Wilson Gray

On Apr 23, 2005, at 7:44 PM, Roger Shuy wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Roger Shuy <rshuy at MONTANA.COM>
> Subject:      Another one
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------
> About 25 years ago I was working on a criminal sting case with lots of
> undercover tapes. The speakers were West Texans and the tapes were not
> always very clear. But just the same I had to make a transcript for the
> trial. I could transcribe most of the stuff on the tapes but one
> sentence
> stumped me for quite a while. I couldn't tell if it was important to
> the
> case or simply small talk of some kind. After many listenings on
> different
> equipment, even slowing it down and speeding it up, I finally got
> it--the
> man was saying,  "That's deeper than a post-hole toad." This
> expression had
> absolutely no relevance to the case but I earned an hour or so of
> consulting
> pay just the same. I've never heard this one before or since and even
> the
> native Texan lawyers I worked with couldn't remember ever having heard
> it. I
> wonder if any list members knowlegeable about  Texas speech are
> familiar
> with it.
> roger

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