[Ads-l] vague Great Scott note

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Thu Oct 1 07:25:31 UTC 2020

Read somewhere or other, dekkids ago, that Dred Scott's name was
actually "_Great_ Scott," the spelling, _Dred_, representing an
eye-phonetic representation of the local BE pronunciation of _great_.

IMO, this is quite plausible, since the shift of /grV-/ to [drV-] is a
feature of some varieties of BE to the present day. Cf. e.g. "Grinder Man,"
by John Lee Hooker:

- Wilson
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 - http://www.americandialect.org

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