Heard in Missouri: "but good!"

Doug Harris cats22 at FRONTIERNET.NET
Thu Dec 20 21:42:32 UTC 2007

Like dInIs, I heard (and used) it (but most often heard it used by my
mother or another one in relation to how one would be punished in X
situation) throughout my ('40s and '50s) Louisville-area years and, I
believe, during my few early 50's years in Morehead and Mt. Sterling KY).
I was surprised to learn, some years ago, that this and several other
phrases commonly heard there were _not_ 'native' to other US areas.
(the other) doug
I am a native speaker of it, as were my parents and pert night
everbody around me (Louisville area, early 1940s on). Never thought
of it as regional.


>Question about an expression I just heard: "but good!"
>I just returned from St Louis where I was visiting my 88 yr old
>mother. (Born & raised in southeast Missouri, near Cape Girardeau.)
>Addressing me and her friend/contemporary, my mom related a
>conversation about someone's 16 yr old daughter: the girl had stayed
>out until 3 a.m., sans permission, with her cell phone turned off...
>Very worrisome to the parents, natch.
>My mom's friend then asked if the girl would be punished. My mom
>responded, "I asked [the father] if she was grounded...he said BUT
>The expression never registered with me before, although it sounded
>familiar rolling off her tongue; it apparently means something like
>"and how!"
>Is anyone familiar with this critter?
>(Hard to Google such a ubiquitous 2-word combo.)
>Missouri-native in NYC

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

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