"tarriwag", 1784 (UNCLASSIFIED)

Russ McClay mcclay at TAOLODGE.COM
Thu Jan 24 08:10:25 UTC 2008

On Wed, 23 Jan 2008, Wilson Gray wrote:

> FWIW, I know "tallywhacker" only as a literary term.

And fwiw...I remembered a story I read years ago and
thought I'd give the google book search a try to
find it...and find it I did:

36. That Boy Needs Pants
Told by Elbert Short, Crane, Mo., June, 1933. He
heard near Marionville, Mo., in the early 1900's.

One time there was some country folks giving
a big dinner, with a lot of high-toned company
from town. The house was kind of crowded, because
they had too goddam many children. The kids was
running all over the place, and hollering so loud
the grown folks couldn't hardly hear theirself think.

There was one boy that climbed right up on the dinner
table, so his mother had to pull him down by the
collar. She didn't want to give him hell in front of
the company, but the old man reached over and slapped
his bottom good.

"Maw," says the farmer, "how old is that there boy?"
The woman says he must be twelve, going on thirteen.
"Well, I reckon we'll have to put pants on him," says
the old man. "That's the second time he's crawled up
there and drug his tallywhacker through the butter."

The high-toned company just set there, without saying
a word. But everybody took notice they didn't eat no
more butter.

- From Pissing in the Snow and Other Ozark Folktales



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

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