Unusual use of "Tarheel" (1848, 1852)

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Mon Sep 23 15:06:23 UTC 2013

There is a blues line to the effect that "I'm not raising frogs to fatten
snakes" i. e., I'm not a fool.  Jack Teagarden uses it in a record from the
late 20s or early 30s, if I recall, and Hot Lips Page, from probably the
late 30s or early 40s.

So calling someone a snake-feeder is perhaps calling him a fool?
And I see that Henry Clay Snakefeeder has a pet hog.  It's a folk
belief/herpetologically correct belief (which?) that pigs eat
rattlesnakes.  So H. C. Snakefeeder is feeding snakes to feed to his pig --
a fool's chore, if ever there was one.


On Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 1:09 AM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sun, Sep 22, 2013 at 9:27 PM, Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > snake feeder
> "Snake *doctor*" = "dragon-fly"
> =
> --
> -Wilson
> -----
> 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
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much since then.

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

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