short note: black strap molasses

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri May 27 08:04:53 UTC 2011

On Fri, May 27, 2011 at 2:37 AM, victor steinbok <aardvark66 at> wrote:
> molasses _are_

Say what, now?

As chance would have it, I myself know _(blackstrap) molasses_ only as
a literary term.

In Marshall, it was (Texas) ribbon-cane _syrup_, whereas, in Saint
Louis, it was "Karo" corn _syrup_.

My WAG is that "ribbon-cane syrup" is possibly a form of molasses,
"ribbon cane" being the name of the variety of sugar cane grown in
East Texas, as referred to in the prison song, No More Cane on the
Brazos [River]. But no one used the word _molasses_, except in the
put-down, "slow as molasses in February," i.e. Stepin-Fetchit-like in
one's movements. "Sho' Is Fine" was (is?) the local brand.

_Treacle_ is likewise only a literary term. I don't even know how to
pronounce it. I could look it up, of course.

But, why?

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

The American Dialect Society -

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