Exposure to language

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Thu Dec 12 23:33:19 UTC 2002

> >BUT - I cannot say "dishcloth." It's not English. "Dishrag" is it.
>While I cannot say these are my preferences, they were so for my father
>(born in Missouri with some probable connections to Kentucky, and
>raised in Kansas.  I know both of these terms from my father's speech
>but prefer dishcloth to dishrag ....

Vance Randolph: a Missouri (Ozarks) story:

<<One time there was a young farmer had some folks come over to his place
for supper.

... the baby come a-crawling out on the floor, and you could see where he
has shit all over himself. ... the man spoke right up. "Marthy," says he,
"fetch the dishrag, and wipe that young-un's ass. If there's one thing I
can't stand, it's nastiness!"

... They didn't go there for supper no more ....>>

I grew up (in Detroit) with "dishrag" ... and "washrag" ... and "dustrag"
... and even "do-rag" (for the [hair]do). [My folks would not have endorsed
"snot-rag" = "handkerchief" however.]

But no "dishrag" for me any more, since I read this story.

-- Doug Wilson

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