"pethy" as a dialectal variant of "pithy"; Ozarks usage

Gerald Cohen gcohen at MST.EDU
Sun Jan 23 23:59:03 UTC 2011

A former student of mine sent me the item below. I checked DARE and see
that "pethy" is presented as a variant of "pithy" but don't find examples
(under "pithy") with the specific meaning given by my student. Should it
perhaps be added, or have I overlooked something?

Gerald Cohen
Missouri University of Science and Technology

[Letter from my student]:

Hi Dr Cohen,

I don't know if you are still interested in Appalachian/Ozarkian words but I
used on this week without realizing it was one.  My husband, who did not
grow up in the Ozarks, had never heard the word.

My father and his family used to refer to radishes or turnips as "pethy"
meaning they were more grainy and had a "too strong" flavor.  I looked it up
with google and some suggest perhaps they mean "pithy" but it doesn't quite
seem the same to me.  Interestingly I found several people who used the word
in the same way my family did so thought you may want to add it to your list

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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