Paul Johnston paul.johnston at WMICH.EDU
Sun Apr 12 15:44:54 UTC 2009

I have a related query. Is "looky here" really "look ye here", "looky
here" (with preserved Class 2 Weak verb ending, whether original or
restructured as an intransitive marker) or something else?  It could
have crossed the Pool with nearly anyone, if the first, Southwestern
Englishmen, if the second, but I don't know what its American
geographical distribution was.  Knowing that might help, as certain
areas attracted more Southwesterners than others.

Paul Johnston
On Apr 12, 2009, at 11:30 AM, Jesse Sheidlower wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jesse Sheidlower <jester at PANIX.COM>
> Subject:      Re: lookit
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> It's also in DARE, to which I don't have access right now, at the
> airport....
> Jesse Sheidlower
> On Apr 12, 2009, at 11:23, Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at STANFORD.EDU> wrote:
>> On Apr 11, 2009, at 6:28 PM, Victor Steinbok wrote about:
>>> ... "look at t" as an
>>> interjective substitute for faux imperative exclamation "look"
>>> (="consider this"). E.g., "Lookit, here's what we decided--take
>>> it or
>>> leave it." At some point in the past, I noticed that this expression
>>> is
>>> commonly used by Rush Limbaugh, although I know a number of other
>>> people who also use "look at t" exclusively where I would use "look". A
>>> small number of people sometimes (non-exclusively) use "look here".
>>> I don't know if it's a deform of "look at" or its own malapropism,
>>> but
>>> it always creeps me out when people use it.
>> not in AHD4, but the Oxford folks are on to it.  NOAD2 has an entry
>> labeled "informal" for it, with subentries for a verb ('phonetic
>> spelling of "look at"') and an exclamation ('used to draw
>> attention to
>> what one is about to say').  OED2 has an entry with the gloss
>> 'Listen!' and (surprisingly) no style or region label.  its etymology
>> derives it from "look" with an arbitrary final element.  there are
>> cites from 1917 (Dialect Notes) through 1972.
>> i suspect that people with "lookit" also have plain "look" for this
>> purpose.
>> arnold
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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