[Ads-l] antedating Wolverine as nickname for Michiganders

Andy Bach afbach at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jan 28 18:33:31 UTC 2019

Economic and Social Beginnings of Michigan: A Study of the ..., Volume 1By
George Newman Fuller

has it from "A Winter in the West" Vol 1, Charles Fenno Hoffman pg 210-212

I wondered what "frog pasture" was (a swamp) and it appears a couple of
transcription errors in the news article and quote in Fuller;
"pert" for "peert" (italics in the book)
"I allow," rejoined another of the company; "but I wish that fellow would
shut the door; he must think that we were all raised in a saw-mill, and
then he looks so *peert *whenever he comes in."
 "scarce" where the Hoffman has "sarce"
"From the eastern side, stranger?" said another  to me, "I am told it's
tolerable frog pasture. Now here the soil's so deep one can't raise any
long sarce - they all get pulled through the other side. We can winter our
cows, however, on wooden clocks, there's so many Yankees among us," &c.

No idea what either of those really means.

On Fri, Jan 25, 2019 at 5:21 PM Peter Reitan <pjreitan at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Barry Popik's site has an earliest date from the New York American, August
> 19, 1834, page 2, column 2.  That reference includes a list of nicknames
> seven different states or regions, including "Woolverines" for people from
> the Michigan Territory.
> https://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/origin_of_wolverine_michigan_nickname
> Buffalo Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, June 17, 1834, page 1.
> https://www.newspapers.com/clip/27308083/buffalo_patriot_and_commercial/
> I recently ran across an earlier example.  It is either a humorous story,
> or personal anecdote, about a bar-room scene at Prairie Ronde, Kalamazoo,
> Michigan Territory, December 26, 1833.  The writer describes his visit to a
> bar out in the prairie, and the "wild looking characters" assembled there.
> The text of the piece includes most of the same nicknames repeated as a
> simple list in the August 1834 item, but with some additions, omissions and
> alternate spellings or names.
> [Begin excerpt]
> "There was a haired 'hoosher' from Indiana, a couple of smart looking
> 'succors' from the southern part of Illinois, a keen eyed, leathern belted
> 'badger' from the mines of Ouisconsin, and a sturdy, yeoman-like fellow,
> whose white capote, Indian mocassins and red sash proclaimed, while he
> boasted a three years residence, the genuine wolverine, or naturalized
> Michiganian.  Could one refuse to drink with such a company.
> "The spokesman was evidently a 'red horse' from Kentucky, and nothing was
> wanting but a 'buckeye' from Ohio, to render the group as complete as it
> was select.  I was in the midst of the first real prairie I had ever seen,
> - on an island of timber, whose lee while making slow headway for the last
> two hours, with a biting breeze on my beam, it had been my whole object,
> aim and ambition to get - a comfortable bar room, a smoking 'cocktail' - a
> worshipful assemblage (Goldsmith's Club was a fool to it) had never entered
> my dreams? -- Could I refuse to drink with such a company?  The warm glass
> was in my frozen fingers.  The most devout temperance man could see no harm
> in that!  It is touched smartly by the rim of the red horse - it is brushed
> by the hoosher - it rings against the badger - it come in companionable
> contact with the wolvering - 'my respect to you, gentlemen, and luck to us
> all.'"
> [End excerpt]
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org



Andy Bach,
afbach at gmail.com
608 658-1890 cell
608 261-5738 wk

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

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