On Language on Heck

Mon Feb 13 16:33:38 UTC 2006

        I don't think the quote fits with the Scottish National
Dictionary "Heck!"  The interjectional "Heck!" sounds exactly like the
"Haw!" interjection that is familiar to me as a farmer's command to
mules or horses to tell them to turn left.  "Haw!" means "turn left,"
not "look left."  It wouldn't be used to address your friends' attention
to something that is in sight.

John Baker

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
Of Joanne M. Despres
Sent: Monday, February 13, 2006 10:49 AM
Subject: Re: On Language on Heck

I think this "heck" is probably a different one from the euphemism we're
familiar with.  The Scottish National Dictionary reports an
interjectional "heck" that is "a call to a horse to turn to the left" .
. .
also used as verb and figuratively of persons . . . Found in n. Engl.

On 12 Feb 2006, at 15:59, Baker, John wrote:

> Here's a
> use from 1854:
>         <<We drove all over Edinburgh, up to the castle, to the
> university, to Holyrood, to the hospitals, and through many of the
> principal streets, amid shouts, and smiles, and greetings.  Some boys
> amused me very much by their pertinacious attempts to keep up with the

> carriage.
>         "Heck," says one of them, "that's _her;_ see the _courls_.">>
> 1 Stowe, Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands 81 (1854) (via Making of
> America).

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

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list