[Ads-l] cotton-picking

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jun 25 23:57:43 EDT 2018


> I will say that it is always possible to ford a branch, and in many cases
it is possible to step over a branch.

That coincides precisely with my experience of a "branch."

On Sun, Jun 24, 2018 at 10:31 PM, Baker, John <JBAKER at stradley.com> wrote:

> Since I was also born and raised in Kentucky (specifically, rural
> south-central Kentucky), let me chime in with my different experience.  To
> me, “branch” is the standard way to refer to a stream that is smaller than
> a creek (which, in turn, is a stream that is larger than a branch but
> smaller than a river); I believe branches are called “brooks” in some
> places.  I don’t know where, exactly, are the divides between these
> categories.  I will say that it is always possible to ford a branch, and in
> many cases it is possible to step over a branch.  It may be possible to
> ford a creek; it is usually not possible to step over a creek, except
> perhaps with the use of strategically placed stepping stones.  It is not
> possible to ford a river with an automobile, except perhaps during a
> drought.
>
> To me, “branch water” is a literary usage, but perhaps it would be
> different if I had associated with more Bourbon drinkers when growing up.
>
>
> John Baker
>
>
>
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
> Of Laurence Horn
> Sent: Sunday 24 June 2018 9:37 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: Re: cotton-picking
>
> > 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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-- 
-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

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