Exposure to language

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OHIOU.EDU
Fri Dec 13 17:57:14 UTC 2002

Footnote:  I still can't say "dish the dirt."
Perfect!  But Randolph's story has a particular resonance for me (and it
probably did for him too), because in my childhood in Minnesota our term
for 'shit' was in fact 'dish'.  But we used old catalogs, not rags. . . .

Was this use of 'dish' in the vocabularies of any of the rest of you oldtimers?

At 06:33 PM 12/12/2002 -0500, you wrote:
>> >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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