[Ads-l] "(jump) salty"
laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Jan 16 20:03:39 UTC 2015
On Jan 16, 2015, at 2:21 PM, Ben Zimmer wrote:
> My latest Wall St. Journal column is on "salty" ('exceptionally
> bitter, angry, or upset'), which won the Most Likely to Succeed
> category in the ADS WOTY voting. I talk about how it's a revival of
> African-American slang dating back to the '30s, particularly in the
> expression "jump salty" (which has come up on ADS-L several times).
> The column includes a modest antedating for "jump salty," which OED2
> has from 1938 and HDAS and GDoS have from 1936:
> 1935 _Philadelphia Tribune_ 18 July 11/1 Now as far as France and
> Italy were concerned, Hitler was jumping salty, spreading that jive.
> There are a few other examples from 1935 in the Philadelphia Tribune.
> It's interesting that the early examples are found in Philly,
> considering how "salty" has persisted in urban slang there.
Ben et al.,
re "drawlin" as discussed in the latter link above:
Another, drawlin, was up for debate in the food court of the Gallery mall on a recent afternoon.
Jahnasia Jones, 14, a student at Murrell Dobbins CTE High School, translates it thus: " You drawlin means 'You playing too much - like, stop, for real.' We also say, 'You irkin.'"
But her friend, Isaiah Dunbar, 15, said the word might also signify amusement, "like, 'You funny.' "
Most linguists agree that jawn is a cognate of joint. But when it comes to drawlin, there's not much to go on, Zimmer said.
"If it originates in oral use, it can become popularized in a community without having ever much of a written record," Zimmer said.
Not that this necessarily helps, but Patti Smith, in her (Philadelphia- and South Jersey-inflected) audio reading of her wonderful memoir _Just Kids_, exhibits a number of Philly-isms in her phonology, among which is her consistent linking [l] in words like "drawing". So there are frequent references to Mapplethorpe's and her "drawlings". (I brought this up last summer when we were in the middle of a thread on "hog mawls".) I'm wondering if the slang word above, whatever its current range of applicability, might have originated as "drawing" rather than "drawling". As to the meaning, I did say it wouldn't necessarily help.
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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