Just wondering

Seán Fitzpatrick grendel.jjf at VERIZON.NET
Sun Dec 31 23:40:17 UTC 2006

Back in the ‘50s, in Washington, D.C. and suburbs, my mother, a D.C. native,
and my grandmother, who had grown up in the area, used purse and pocketbook
interchangeably, but there was a lower limit to the size of bag that could
be called a pocketbook.  Once it got below the omnium gatherum size, it was
a purse.  A clutch was a clutch purse, not a clutch pocketbook.


In the Summer of 1972, I worked in Boydton, Va (on the Va-NC border) with a
local good-old boy, who referred to his billfold /wallet as his pocketbook.
He was a Korean War vet, so I suppose he was born 1928-1931.  I don’t recall
anyone else of any age presenting that usage, but it may be that once I
registered the dialectical variant, later instances didn’t catch my


Seán Fitzpatrick
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