_Splib_ redux (UNCLASSIFIED)

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Dec 14 08:56:40 UTC 2010

On Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 11:22 AM, Paul Johnston <paul.johnston at wmich.edu> wrote:
> The words for pot in there make me believe that either someone confused "splib" with "spliff", or the two words fused together at some point for some speakers.

FWIW, I didn't become aware of the word, "spliff," till I saw the
movie, "The Harder They Come." Of course, since I haven't the foggiest
as to the origin of "splib" and have had only one FOB Jamaican in my
entire life,


And not to mention that, when I was "'coming up," weed wasn't a part
of the lifestyle of us "boojies," use of that substance being
considered "low-class" and "a disgrace to the race." Why, bluespeople
and jazz musicians used it! I was 35 before anybody that I knew
offered me a toke. And lied about how he happened to have a
magivney-giver in his possession: left behind by the previous occupant
of his new apartment.

Speaking of _boo[dZ]ie_, I've recently begun to hear that word
pronounced "boo[Z]ie." It could mean that [Z], once alien to the
speech of the real soul-person of whatever social class or level of
education, is now becoming normal. Of course, once upon a time, AFAIK,
it was generally the case that the intervocalic glo?al stop was
non-occurrent in any version of AmE, BE or not. But that's no longer

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"––a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
–Mark Twain

Once that we recognize that we do not err out of laziness, stupidity,
or evil intent, we can uncumber ourselves of the impossible burden of
trying to be permanently right. We can take seriously the proposition
that we could be in error, without necessarily deeming ourselves
idiotic or unworthy.
–Kathryn Schulz

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

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