"Eerian": Detroit Polish/Italian contact vernacular

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Tue Nov 13 17:02:22 UTC 2001

>          Sure thing.  This was spoken in the poor Italian/Polish
>neighborhood of Detroit during the early 1960s.  I heard it spoken a couple
>of times, and it sounded oddly poetic -- rather like Romansch, although the
>meanings were totally different.  There may still be some Eerian speakers
>in that part of Detroit, if you can find them.
>N.B. that this "Eerian" isn't the accent suggested in the quote but a
>contact vernacular. The obvious interpretation of the name -- < [Lake] Erie
>-- is probably the real etymology, with the "explanation" a post-facto

What part of Detroit, please? I was a Detroit boy once. Maybe I know Eerian.

Lake Erie isn't really adjacent to Detroit, and I don't know that it would
be a likely source of the name. I wonder ....

-- Doug Wilson

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