196 years o' braggin'

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Aug 8 03:13:15 UTC 2009

I reckon, Larry, you must recall,

Girls run and hide!
Brave men shiver!
I'm Mike Fink!
King of the River!

'Course that was jist afore he met up with ol' Davy , who had a leetle bit
o' the snappin' turtle hisself.  The way Davy caught that bullet in
his teeth were awesome tu behold.


On Fri, Aug 7, 2009 at 9:46 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: 196 years o' braggin'
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 5:44 PM -0400 8/7/09, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> >  What follows was drafted in the summer of 2004, but never sent so far as
> I
> >can tell. The phone must have rung or something:
> >
> >
> >
> >I was passing through Houston International last month when I happened to
> >fall in with a trio of welders back home from a Vegas vacation.
> >
> >At one point the eldest man, who'd been talking about retirement, casually
> >said, "I can weld anything but a broken heart."
> >
> >The second eldest said, "I can weld anything I can jump across."
> >
> >The youngest, who looked to be in his late thirties, said, "I can weld the
> >crack of dawn."
> >
> >  Cool enough, right?  Now get a load of this:
> Shades of Mike Fink, keelboater of legend, who also had an
> interesting heritage, as reported e.g. at:
> http://www.bartonpara.com/discog/today/mikefink.html
> Well, my daddy was a bear in the Allegheny Mountains
> And my mother was a 'gator in the Ohio.
> I was born full-growed at the forks of the river
> And I cut my teeth on a catfish bone.
> Oh, my name is Mike Fink, I'm a keelboat poler,
> I'm a half-alligator and I ride tornaders,
> And I can out-feather, out-jump, out-hop, out-skip,
> Throw down and lick any man on the river.
> LH
> >
> >1810 Christian Schultz, Jr.,  _Travels on an Inland Voyage through the
> >States of New-York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee;
> >and through the Territories of Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, and
> >New-Orleans, Performed in the Years 1807 and 1808 _ (N.Y.: Isaac Riley)
> >145: * *In passing two [keel] boats next to mine, I heard some very warm
> >words; which, my men informed me, proceeded from some drunken sailors who
> >had had a dispute respecting a _Choctaw Lady*_.* Although I might fill
> half
> >a dozen pages with the curious slang made use of on this occasion, yet I
> >prefer selecting a few of the most brilliant expressions by way of sample.
> >One said, 'I am a man; I am a horse; I am a team; I can whip any man _in
> all
> >Kentucky_*, *
> >by G-d.' The other replied, 'I am an alligator; half man, half horse; I
> can
> >whip any _on the Mississippi_,* *by G-d.' The first one again: 'I am a
> man,
> >have the best horse, best dog, best gun, and handsomest wife _in all
> >Kentucky_,* *by G-d.' The other, ' I am a Mississippi snapping turtle;
> have
> >bear's claws, alligator's teeth, and the devil's tail; can whip _any
> >man_*,*by G-d.' This was too much for the first, and at it they went
> >like two
> >bulls, and continued for half an hour, when the alligator was fairly
> >vanquished by the horse."
> >
> >That was in Natchez.
> >
> >JL
> >
>  >------------------------------------------------------------
> >The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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