South Georgiaisms

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Aug 25 20:43:22 UTC 2009

I know "tight as Dick's hatband" well from my East-Texas childhood,
but primarily in the meaning, "*really* tight," in the literal,
physical sense, with the more-metaphorical "tight with money, etc."
sense away distant. The ETX BE sense accords well with the analysis
proposed by that well-known English slangologist whose name escapes
me, at the moment. Buh chawl know of whom I speak. According to him,
"Dick" is actually "dick" = "penis" and the tightness of a dick's
"hatband" metaphorically references the tight fit of a condom.

When I read this, I was a bit taken aback, since this is one of my
prim, 98-year-old, well-educated-in-the-North (Master of Psychiatric
Social Work), daughter-of-a-man-of-the-cloth (Methodist, not Baptist,
thereby distinguishing us from the Babdis rabble of *both* races!),
genteel-Southern-colored-lady mother's favorite expressions.

The other Georgic expressions are completely new to me.


On Tue, Aug 25, 2009 at 3:43 PM, Bill Palmer<w_a_palmer at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Bill Palmer <w_a_palmer at BELLSOUTH.NET>
> Subject:      South Georgiaisms
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> My late mother in law (born and grew up in Moultrie GA, in the SW part =
> of the state) used a number of words and expressions I have never heard =
> anyone else use, either before or since.  She was born in 1908 and was =
> college educated, Wesleyan College in Macon GA and U of California, when =
> the only one there was,  was in Berkeley.=20
> Exx:
> "Tight as Dick's hatband" for a parsimonious person
> "Tough as whit-leather"...someone we would call hardnosed=20
> "Bumfuzzled"...surprised or disconcerted
> "Pine burr" for what I would call a "pine cone"
> Google hits on all, but I'm wondering if these expressions still live =
> anywhere or are now just theoretical, or if they are known to anyone on =
> the list.
> Bill Palmer
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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