[Ads-l] cotton-picking

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Jun 24 21:36:53 EDT 2018


> On Jun 24, 2018, at 9:13 PM, James A. Landau <JJJRLandau at NETSCAPE.COM> wrote:
> 
> On Sun 06/24/18 08:22 PM Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote
> 
> 
>>> 2) what is the difference between "creek" and "crick" when referring to a small stream?  Is it a regional variation?
>> 
>> In East Texas, we used "branch" - cf. "bourbon and branch-water" - in St. Louis, "creek," in NE PA, everyone uses "crick."
>> 
>> My guess: regional variation. 
> 
> My reply:
> 
> Born and raised in Kentucky, I have never heard bourbon-and-branch-water referred to as anything except "bourbon and branch water".  However, I do not recall ever having heard "branch water" in any other context.  Nor do I recall in Kentucky ever hearing a stream called a "branch".
> 
> However, around Washington DC there are several streams with that name, e.g. Paint Branch, Piney Branch.  The Anacostia River has a Northeast Branch and a Northwest Branch

I think “branch” is used very widely across the country in the sense of “fork (of a river)”

I’m not familiar with rivers or creeks being called branches in other contexts, though. I hadn’t encountered “cricks” outside of necks until I learned some dialectology, and naively, having come from well outside bourbon country, I always assumed branch water had something to do with tree branches.  (Presumably you wait patiently until the rainwater drips off them and then collect it.)  So it’s nice to have that cleared up.  

LH

> , the latter of which has a tributary called "Sligo Creek".  There is also "Rock Creek" in DC and Maryland.
> 
> In Virginia it is common for a small stream to be called a "run", such as Bull Run (which gave its name to two major Civil War battles) or Four Mile Run which is only two or three miles from DC.  In the Baltimore area "falls" does not mean a waterfall but rather a stream that has rapids or waterfalls in it, e.g. Jones Falls which runs through downtown Baltimore.  In the Hudson and Delaware valleys "kill" (from the Dutch) is used for a waterway, sometimes a major waterway such as Arthur Kill and Kill van Kull.  There is a town in I think Delmarva called "Whorekill" and I find it macabre that the wreckage from the World Trade Center was dumped in an area of Staten Island called "Fresh Kills".
> 
> There are other regional names for a stream; the above are the ones that came to mind.
> 
> - Jim Landau
> 
> 
> 
> 
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