Very OT: Uncle Remus frightened me as a child Re: "Jazz Means Happy and Loose Like" (1917)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Dec 5 17:25:12 UTC 2007

At 6:33 AM -0500 12/5/07, Dennis Preston wrote:
>Stupid Northern chillun (and their stupider parents) don't know that
>brer (or bre'r) means "brother." One English Professor (sic!)
>splained to me that that was the spelling for 'briar' ! (Member,
>Bre'r Rabbit lived in the briar patch!) They some r-full folk in the
>world (and even better folk-etymologizers).

I've usually seen him spelled "Br'er Rabbit" (rather than "Bre'r"),
which I took to be a clue in the "Br[oth]er" direction.  But I don't
know which apostrophic position is more standard, if either.


The American Dialect Society -

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