"swamp yankee"

Paul Johnston paul.johnston at WMICH.EDU
Tue Jul 18 21:00:13 UTC 2006

I've heard the expression to refer to anyone from SE New England,
particularly around Providence, Fall River or New Bedford.  I've also heard
of the SE New England dialect called "Swamp Yankee" by Bostonians, though
the people of the area concerned regard the term as derogatory.

Paul Johnston
----- Original Message -----
From: "sagehen" <sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM>
Sent: Tuesday, July 18, 2006 10:58 AM
Subject: "swamp yankee"

> ---------------------- Information from the mail
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       sagehen <sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM>
> Subject:      "swamp yankee"
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> A question from another list:
> "-I am reading a book by David Handler, set in Connecticut,
> that refers to several of the characters as swamp yankees.  My husband was
> born in Connecticut, not far from where the story is set, but this is not
> a phrase he is familiar with."
> Reading the same book as this poster, I simply assumed a reference to the
> poor, landless, powerless class.  Does the phrase have some more
> meaning?
> A. Murie
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> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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