[Ads-l] an early "high fluting" (1838)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Jul 18 23:14:58 UTC 2015


> On Jul 18, 2015, at 6:00 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
> On Sat, Jul 18, 2015 at 4:48 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
> wrote:
> 
>> 1836   U.S. Songster 216,   I play upon de cymbal an I makes de handsome =
>> sound, I's a high feluting nigger dat dey calls Jim Brown.
>> 
> 
> I don't know. It already seems to have the current meaning to me, in this
> example.

Except that nobody now ever uses it in reference to themselves, except to deny they're high-falutin or like high-falutin things.  It's like what Haj Ross used to claim a few decades back about "lurk"--one never describes oneself, only others, as lurking in a culvert, a claim that may or may not have reflected actual usage but seemed plausible at the time.  Now of course anyone can describe themself as "just a lurker" on an online group, or acknowledge, sort of like non-serious shoppers in an expensive store, "I'm just lurking".  But I think I'm right about "high-falutin", modulo ironic usage (which Jim Brown may indeed have been employing above).

LH  

> OTOH, the playing of hand-made fifes, together with what I term
> "neo-African" drumming - the drums used are the ordinary bass drums, trap
> drums, snare drums, etc. commonly used by ordinary marching bands and not
> the stereotypically Afro-Cuban congas, tumbaos, bongos, etc. of known
> African origin - is a tradition that has continued, unabated, to the
> present day, in the wilds of the Deepest South.
> 
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.youtube.com_watch-3Fv-3DW5dVXEjLatc&d=AwIBaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=1xvdYzloS4LfEbXZjBnmlmxanmUxK2eMrvEsd4Ncmro&s=AJfPCpziS0h9OE_GCjBMyp3Igjd4Zb0FO2mUxsOQ0e0&e= 
> -- 
> -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 - https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=AwIBaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=1xvdYzloS4LfEbXZjBnmlmxanmUxK2eMrvEsd4Ncmro&s=BQM6KZtYAsVJK4KpPSyeTf9RRhHEGm5Hhbi8WhqqdEs&e= 

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