"Give me some sugar."

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Dec 18 22:27:17 UTC 2007

When I was at UC Davis in 1969, I had occasion to say to my
girlfriend, a white native of Sacramento, "Gimme some sugar'." After
an awkward silence lasting some few seconds, she finally replied, "I
don't know what you mean." From that time to the present, I've asked a
random assortment of white Northerners about this expression and have
yet to find one who was familiar with it. (I haven't asked any white
Southerners, since they're as rare as black people in the rarefied
Northern atmosphere in which I live. In addition, I've, for no good
reason, assumed that the expression is General Southern and is not
peculiar to BE.)

Google yields about 80,000 raw hits for all variants: "sugar" v.
"suga," "give me" v. "gimme," etc.

DARE has only(?) "gimme some juice," under GIVE, presumably only in
its literal meaning. Interestingly enough, all of DARE's Black
variants are in use nearly everywhere in BE as I know it.

So, I guess that this is still almost surely only a Down-Home expression.



All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
                                              -Sam'l Clemens

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list