Dialect Notes 1903: Word-List from East Alabama

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Sep 18 05:25:09 UTC 2010

SOCK, v. tr To throw a stick vigorously. "_Sock it to him_."

SNIPE-HUNTING, n. A practical joke in which the victim is led to some
distant and _left to hold the bag_ for the snipe to run into.

SNEAKERS. n. pl. Rubber-soled shoes, tennis shoes.

SLUE-FOOTED, adj. Having big, ugly feet; also having twisted or ugly feet.

       In StL BE, with feet turned outward beyond normal, the opposite
of pigeon-toed.

       "One foot, two foot, slue-foot drag / Shake your honey to the
Sugar-Foot Drag." Old song: The Sugar-Foot Drag

SMART-ELLICK, n. A[n] ... impertinent person.

         In E TX BE, especially of or to a child or an adolescent.

'SPECK, v. tr. and i. To suspect.

         I've always intuited the Southern _'speck_ wasn't "expect,"
as it's usually spelled out, but "suspect." This is the first print
support                                            that I've ever
found for that feeling.

SPIEL, v. i. To talk fluently and in an exaggerated vein. "He can
spiel, all right." (An East-Alabama Yiddishism?)

STUD, n. A stallion. Also used as a term of familiar address among men.

         In BE, any random male person, from newborn to geezer.

STORY, n. A liar, a story-teller. "You are a story." Euphemism.

          In BE, also the less-polite, "You (is/are) a lie."

SO-LONG, adv. Good-bye. (Once peculiar to East 'Bama? Who knew?!)

SAVE ONE'S MANNERS, v. phr. To do something out of courtesy [that]
which one dislikes to do, only to find that the one favored cannot
accept the courtesy; also, to ask one out of courtesy to do [that]
which it is well known is out of the question for him to do.

           Say what?! Needless to say, no examples are provided.
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.
–Mark Twain

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