Song title in iTunes

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Thu Feb 7 21:40:43 UTC 2008

Thanks for the explanation. I was also misled by the typo in your original
post, as "E*i*vil and Hinkty".

m a m

On Feb 7, 2008 2:44 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at> wrote:

> The thirty-second iTunes snip doesn't provide sufficient context for
> me to do more than to make an educated(?) guess.
> "Evil" here describes a personality trait and not a moral failing. A
> person who is "evil" in this sense is a person with a mean, nasty,
> unpleasant personality.
> "She's so mean and evil that can't anybody [be found who will] stay
> with her," describing a mean old lady for whom it was difficult to
> find a housekeeper-companion
> "Hinkty" means "snobbish, biggety, putting on airs, acting above one's
> station." The "correct" spelling of this word can't be known, since
> the spellings "hinkty" and "hankty" are both pronounced in the South
> and in a whole lot of the North as though spelled "hankty." And
> "hinkty" as a pronunciation could be a Northern hypercorrection.
> It could also be the case that the late bluesman, a native of East
> Texas whose day job was migratory agricultural worker, could have been
> being hinkty in presuming to use "hinkty" in his song, mispronouncing
> it as "hanky," a word otherwise unknown, there being no shortened form
> of "handkerchief," always pronounced "HANK-a-cheef."
> -Wilson

The American Dialect Society -

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