"To a t-y-t" again

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jul 4 12:10:00 UTC 2013

I don't if this relates to the midwestern t-y-tee.

In translations of Henri Murger's "The Bohemians of the Latin Quarter", you
find the following lines:

"There came a sister of Charity—
Ty! Ty! tee! tee!"
It makes me wonder if the t-y-tee is a mnemonic for the pronunciation of
the ending of words like 'charity' that end in 'ty'.


On Wed, Jul 3, 2013 at 8:23 PM, Bonnie Taylor-Blake <b.taylorblake at gmail.com
> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Bonnie Taylor-Blake <b.taylorblake at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      "To a t-y-t" again
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Here's a slight antedating of that apparently now mysterious
> expression "to a t-y-t" (and variants; see [1]), which we had
> previously pushed back to 1867.
> "I also got the package with the gloves thread and needles in. the
> gloves are just the thing and fit to a T Y t."  [21 December, 1863,
> Corporal Ed Cort, writing from Hogjaw Valley, Alabama; From _Dear
> Friends; The Civil War Letters and Diary of Charles Edwin Cort_, 1962,
> p. 120.]
> Twenty-one-year-old Ed Cort had enlisted in the Union Army in 1862 and
> served with the 92nd Illinois Vol. Infantry Regiment.  He grew up in
> Monongahela City, Pennsylvania, but moved to Lee County, Illinois
> sometime after 1855.  Helyn W. Tomlinson, who published this
> collection, noted that "[p]unctuation and paragraphing [of the
> published letters and diary entries] were changed when they helped to
> clarify meaning but the spelling and capitalization (or lack of it)
> have been left as found in the originals."
> As a side note, some time ago I had noted appearance of "to a t-y-tee"
> in the 24 October 1867 issue of The Daily Iowa [Des Moines] State
> Register [2].  Here are two more from the same paper from the same
> period.
> "He says [Council Bluffs and Omaha] is charming land out there, but we
> think it is one bright particular *charmist* that makes him think so
> for he acknowledges that geographically and economically he wouldn't
> give Des Moines for seven hundred and forty-one thousand Council
> Bluffs.  We agree with him to a t-y-tee."  [From "Out and Back," 16
> November 1867, p. 1.  Via GeneaologyBank.]
> "John always keeps the gayest of [dress] goods, the best workmen, and
> never fails of fitting his customers to a t-y-tee."  [Untitled, 14
> April 1868, p. 1.  Via GeneaologyBank.]
> -- Bonnie
> [1]
> http://listserv.linguistlist.org/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind1211A&L=ADS-L&P=R4952
> [2]
> http://listserv.linguistlist.org/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind1211B&L=ADS-L&P=R2422
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