I say "Lusitan-i-ay"

Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Thu Dec 14 15:58:35 UTC 2006

FWIW: For the ejaculatory first-cousin of "lackaday"--"welladay"--the OED attests "welady" (1592) and "welody" (1652, where it rhymes with "melody") as variant spellings.


---- Original message ----
>Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2006 06:30:32 -0800
>From: Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM>
>Subject: Re: I say "Lusitan-i-ay"
>There's no historical justiification AFAIK for / I / in the syllable -day.  / i  / seems unlikely for 1746. "Canada" could have / i / in theory, but the probably wouldn't rhyme.And since "Lusitania" in the Arnold poem has to have [ e ] or something close to it to rhyme,
>  / 'kAn at di / would be irrelevant to it and just make everything murkier and more complicated.
>  Than usual.
>  JL
>Charles Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU> wrote:
>Unless "lackaday" and "Canada" were both pronounced with final /i/ or /I/, like "holiday" in some dialects and "Sunday" (etc.) in most?
>---- Original message ----
>>Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2006 14:58:46 -0800
>>From: Jonathan Lighter
>>Subject: Re: I say "Lusitan-i-ay"
>>Here's a nearly parallel case from the mid 18th C.
>> Lucy Terry Prince (1730-1821) is known as "America's first black poet"; she was of the generation just preceding the better known Phyllis Wheatley (1753-84). Her only known poem, written when she was fifteen or sixteen (and praised by a recent critic for its "radical use of direct speech") memorializes the victims of an Indian raid near Deerfield, Mass., in 1746. It comprises four eight-line rhyming stanzas. The final stanza is as follows:
>> And had not her petticoats stopped her,
>> The awful creatures had not catched her,
>> Nor tommy hawked her on the head,
>> And left her on the ground for dead.
>> Young Samuel Allen, Oh lackaday!
>> Was taken and carried to Canada.
>> Though "stopped / catched" (most likely /kaCt/) prevents the argument from being quite airtight, surely /e/ is the pronunciation intended.
>> JL

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list