Query: "thoo"

Donald M. Lance LanceDM at MISSOURI.EDU
Tue Nov 27 19:53:36 UTC 2001

Southern loss of -r- between th- and a back rounded vowel -- throw, threw, through,
throat.  I don't know whether I've heard it in 'throne' or 'throng'.  Haven't you noticed
that lots of quarterbacks thow the ball and it goes right thu the receiver's hands.

Gerald Cohen wrote:

>     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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