Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Fri Mar 23 07:47:41 UTC 2001

>I'm waiting for more responses on "brigady."  My native speaker informant
>some years ago defined it as "rowdy, rambunctious, wild, ornery" so I'm
>not sure about the "biggity/smarty pants" idea.

Webster's Third Intl. shows "brigetty" (1st pronunciation /brIg at di/) as an
alteration of "biggety" = "biggity" (South & Midland): (1) conceited, vain;
(2) rudely self-important, assertively independent, impudent.

OED (Supplement) shows "biggity" (US dial.) in the same sense.

Cassell slang dictionary shows "biggity" and "briggity", the same.

DARE shows "briggity" with about six spellings, including one with "d"
instead of "t" ... same meaning.

At MoA, I find a dozen instances of "biggity", one of "briggity", one of
"brigetty", all about the same in meaning, mostly like (2) above but
occasionally like (1) or in between.

On the Web, I find "Hillbonics: Learn to Speak Southern West Virginian",
with "biggity", "briggity", and even "briggity britches": translated

I think this is likely the word in question. The sense of "biggity" seems
to approach "rowdy"/"rambunctious" -- though not "ornery" -- in one case at
MoA, in my judgement: "he got so biggity dat ... de oberseah ... ha' ter
th'eaten ter whip 'im, ef he did n' stop cuttin' up his didos en behave
hisse'f." [in an 1887 Chesnutt story: an older man (a slave) has become
youthfully vigorous after using a magical hair tonic]

-- Doug Wilson

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