Heard on The Judges: "hold" = "borrow"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed May 7 01:40:53 UTC 2008

Twenty-ish, black, female plaintiff from somewhere near the town of
Concord, NY, who spoke a passing-strange dialect: r-ful, with
Noo-Yawk-City-like vowels, but, otherwise, Deep-Southern, such as
using "Mr. [First Name]" and "Miss [First Name]" as a sign of respect,
even to and of the couple that she was suing:

"So Mr. Albert said that he was gon' call Miss Betty and aks her could
I _hold_ her car."

I didn't find this use in HDAS [admittedly, my glaucoma, presbyopia,
and myopia handicap me when it comes to searching fine print and I may
have overlooked it], but DARE has it "in var applications of std sense
'be in possession of' ...":

a  "To examine, to look at ..."


c  "To borrow ..."

Clearly, the speaker is using "hold" in sense c, of which DARE has an
example from Virginia. However, this sense is "standard" in Saint
Louis BE.

DARE has an example of sense a from North Carolina, calling it "Rare."
But, again, this sense is also "standard" in Saint Louis BE.

(And, as usual, I'm talking about Saint Louis BE as I know it from a
half-century or so ago.)

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

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