St. Louis

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri Dec 1 06:36:13 UTC 2006

Time changes things, I guess. I haven't actually lived in Saint Louis
since 1962 and I've  visited there only once since then. That was in
'03 and it was heartbreaking. I took my wife to see the old family
manse on Page Boulevard. It was still standing, empty, on a block so
uninhabited that no vandal had broken out as much as a single wiindow.
In fact, there was only one wndow broken on a block in which only two
houses were inhabited.

IAC, back in my day, if a person of high-school age was asked where he
went to school and he answered, "Saint Louie," it was immediately
understood that he went to Saint Louis University High School.
[Little-known fact: Toussaint Charbonneau, son of Sacagawea and
pictured as a child on that dollar coin, graduated from Saint Louie
when it was still l'Académie Saint-Louis.] If a person of college age
was asked that question and the answer was "Saint Louie," it was
understood to refer to Saint Louiis University.
In fact, this still worked, the last time that I tried it, ca.1987.
Hearing that a certain guy was from Saint Louis, at a time when I was
living in Cambridge, MA, I asked him where he had gone to high school.
It is, or once was, the custom for anyone from the greater Saint Louis
metropolitan area merely to answer that he's from Saint Louis, when
asked where he's from, sometimes, even if he's from Illinois. So, if
you wanted to know where he was really from, you had to ask what high
school he had gone to. In this case, the guy answered that he had gone
to Kirkwood High, meaning that he was from Kirkwood, MO, and not from
Saint Louis. I told him that I had gone to Saint Louie and he
immediately understood what I meant.

Of course, until the mid '50's, Saint Louis was nearly as rigidly
segregated as any city in the Deep South. But Saint Louis was cool
about it. Instead of reading "No Colored" or "Whites Only," the signs
read, "We Reserve The Right To Refuse Service To Anyone." The
experience of a black person iin the 'Fifties woould be different from
that of a white person in the 'Sixties.

Relevant footnote: Catholic institutions were desegregated by
arciepiscopal fiat in 1946, under the aegis of John Cardinal Ritter, a
native of New Albany, IN, and former Archbishop of Indianopolis.


On 11/30/06, Beverly Flanigan <flanigan at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Beverly Flanigan <flanigan at OHIO.EDU>

> Subject:      Re: St. Louis
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Wot?  I was at St. Louis University in the '60s (for an English Lit MA
> under the revered Fr. Walter Ong), and I never heard it called Saint Louie
> U!  The city, on the other hand, was often referred to as Saint Louie,
> though mostly by outsiders; and of course the "Saint Louie Blues" were just
> that.  (Fr. Ong used to love to talk about where T.S. Eliot was born and
> how DeBaliviere Street was pronounced "DaBOLiver.")
> Beverly
> At 11:00 PM 11/29/2006, you wrote:
> >As the old song went, "You came a long way from Saint Louie and, baby,
> >you still got a long way to go."
> >
> >OTOH, some few people say "Sant Louie" and most others say "Saint
> >Lewis." "Saint Louie" usually refers to Saint Louis University or to
> >Saint Louis University High School.
> >
> >-Wilson
> >
> >On 11/29/06, James A. Landau <JJJRLandau at> wrote:
> >>---------------------- Information from the mail header
> >>-----------------------
> >>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> >>Poster:       "James A. Landau" <JJJRLandau at NETSCAPE.COM>
> >>Subject:      on offer
> >>-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >>
> >>On Wed 11/29/06 12:11 AM  Michael Adams <madams1448 at AOL.COM> used a
> >>phrase I've never noticed before: "on offer"
> >>
> >><quote>
> >>  I haven't a clue about the etymology of "gizmo," but I wonder if anyone
> >>else (Barry, particularly) has ever encountered it as a food term? In
> >>eastern Pensylvania, perhaps in Philadelphia and associated New Jersey,
> >>too, a "gizmo" was a sandwich shop item, half hamburger and half ham
> >>sandwich -- or maybe I should say whole hamburger and whole ham
> >>sandwich, but what I really mean is equal parts hamburger and ham
> >>sandwich. I decided after I ate my first and only one, that it was meant
> >>for those who couldn't get enough meat or salt from any other sandwich
> >>on offer.
> >></quote>
> >>
> >>OT comment to Jonathan Lighter:  The correct pronunciation is /seint
> >>looey/.  /seint loois/ or /seint loo at s/ is an illiteraticism created by
> >>monolingual Yankees who were too ignorant to bother to larn French.  At
> >>least this illiterati haven't yet changed the pronunciation of the name
> >>of my home town to /lewisville/.
> >>
> >>    - Jim Landau
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>_____________________________________________________________
> >>Netscape.  Just the Net You Need.
> >>
> >>------------------------------------------------------------
> >>The American Dialect Society -
> >
> >
> >--
> >All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
> >come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> >-----
> >-Sam Clemens
> >
> >------------------------------------------------------------
> >The American Dialect Society -
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Sam Clemens

The American Dialect Society -

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