[Ads-l] Kackalack (1923)

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Wed May 20 20:31:34 UTC 2015


The "Cadillac" reference makes the most sense to me.

If it isn't a coincidence, the "Carolina" sense may have developed in the
Carolinas based on the (admittedly slim) phonetic resemblance.

JL

On Wed, May 20, 2015 at 1:31 PM, Stephen Goranson <goranson at duke.edu> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Stephen Goranson <goranson at DUKE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Kackalack (1923)
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Maybe relevant?
>
> http://www.ebay.com/itm/North-Carolina-Cakillac-Snap-Back-Cadillac-Logo-/20=
> 1291789929
>
> Stephen
>
> ________________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of
> Bonnie=
>  Taylor-Blake <b.taylorblake at GMAIL.COM>
> Sent: Wednesday, May 20, 2015 12:53 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: [ADS-L] Kackalack (1923)
>
> I sometimes search for early sightings of "Cackalacky" (and variants),
> a slang moniker for Carolina (as in North Cackalacky).  The earliest
> I've found dates to 1972, but I recently stumbled on a mysterious
> "Kackalack," the meaning of which isn't entirely clear to me.  But
> it's interesting.
>
> The following passage appeared in a long column by "Colonel J.O.
> Midnight," the pen name (one of several) of Charles Stewart
> (1868?-1925), a well-known African-American journalist in the early
> 1900s [1].  I've supplemented the text below with some additional
> information (in brackets) contained elsewhere in the article, just for
> clarification.
>
> -----------------------------------
>
> The meeting [of the Rising Sons and Daughters of Protection] was
> great, and I had a record breaking time.  Mr. Mitchell toted me around
> in his Kackalack.  I had the pleasure of seeing many friends in that
> city [Birmingham, Alabama] and then was for another part of the world
> headed before the close of the week.  [From "J.O. Don't Think Much of
> Some People in Arkansas; Bishop Wallace Treated Inhumanly," The Kansas
> City [Kansas] Advocate, 8 June 1923; Pages 1, 3.  This excerpt appears
> on p. 3.  Via genealogybank.com.]
>
> -----------------------------------
>
> Stewart, in his "J.O. Midnight" persona, wrote in a folksy way, so it
> had occurred to me that "Kackalack" may be just a humorous way of
> saying "Cadillac."  (Earlier in the article Mr. Mitchell had been
> introduced as a professor, so it seems unlikely that this conveyance
> was something, for example, horse-drawn.)
>
> But I've just now noticed that earlier this year Michael Durbin posted
> the following in reply to Evan Morris's Word Detective post on
> "Cakalacky" [2].
>
> -----------------------------------
>
> January 31, 2015 at 8:37 am
> Years back I read or heard somewhere it originated as a mildly teasing
> reference to poorer Carolinians who mispronounced Cadillac as
> Cackalack. But I can=92t find the reference now.
>
> -----------------------------------
>
> Anyone familiar with a historical usage of "Kackalack," perhaps for a
> Cadil=
> lac?
>
> And any thoughts on Mr. Durbin's comment?
>
> -- Bonnie
>
>
> [1] See http://tinyurl.com/kcsd3jf.  Mitch Kachun, a professor of
> history at Western Michigan University who is researching Stewart,
> agrees that "J.O. Midnight" was likely using "Kackalack" for
> "Cadillac."
>
> [2] http://www.word-detective.com/2010/09/cakalacky/.
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>



-- 
"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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


More information about the Ads-l mailing list