Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jan 20 22:29:06 UTC 2011

On Thu, Jan 20, 2011 at 2:26 PM, Charles C Doyle <cdoyle at> wrote:

> "bellybutton"--which I had always taken to be a jocular nursery term, not altogether seemly in adult discourse.

Absolument! Indeed, for me, _bellybutton_ is only a literary term. The
shift from childspeak to adultspeak was from [neb@] to [nevl].

However, given the current state of corruption in BE as a consequence
of desegregation, nowadays, it wouldn't surprise me to hear a black
person use "bellybutton" independently of a TV-show script. Since I
grew up using _stummy_, it was a while before I was certain that I
grasped the meaning of the slogan, "Tums for the _tummy_!" It is - or
was formerly - the case that _stomach_  alone covers - or covered -
all of the sE nuances of "stomach abdomen belly tummy."
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

Once that we recognize that we do not err out of laziness, stupidity,
or evil intent, we can uncumber ourselves of the impossible burden of
trying to be permanently right. We can take seriously the proposition
that we could be in error, without necessarily deeming ourselves
idiotic or unworthy.
–Kathryn Schulz

The American Dialect Society -

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