Query: "thoo"

Gerald Cohen gcohen at UMR.EDU
Tue Nov 27 18:18:03 UTC 2001

    FWIW, "through" was the first thought that popped into my mind too
upon reading the initial query. Also, perhaps the loss of "r" here
started in the plural ("They're through" rather than "He's through"),
putting 2 r's in proximity and leading to the tendency (not law)
which linguists call "dissimilation to zero." A parallel example
would be a pronunciation I have often heard in the Ozarks: "liberry"
for "library."

--Gerald Cohen

>From: "Douglas G. Wilson" <douglas at NB.NET>
>Subject:      Re: Query:  "thoo"
>Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2001 10:36:39 -0600
>>A student has asked if I've ever heard the word "thoo" (I'm guessing at
>>the spelling, but the first sound is a voiceless interdental fricative
>>and the second a high, back, tense vowel) to mean something like 'of
>>inferior quality' or 'a bit below par.'  The student heard it used in
>the following sentences:
>  >
>>He's had one too many; he's just a little thoo.
>>_Great Expectations_ is thoo compared to _Bleakhouse_.
>My best (althoe perhaps not good enough) guess: "thoo" = "through".
>"This boxer is flat on his back; he's all thoo."
>"This one is still standing, but he's looking a little thoo, too."
>-- Doug Wilson

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