[Ads-l] vague Great Scott note

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Oct 4 07:06:32 EDT 2020


Thanks, Stephen. That cite is probably as close to the facts as it's
possible to get. Rick James was another person whose speech had the /grV-/
> [drV-] feature.

Renaming oneself either seriously or facetiously after a famous person is
still done today and even crosses the color bar. After Floyd Patterson
punched out Ingemar Johansson to regain the heavyweight title, a white
barracks-mate changed his name to "Floyd Patterson." Unofficially, of
course, but he wouldn't respond to anyone below the rank of sergeant who
addressed him as either "Bill" or "Loges." Very surprising, considering
that this was back in 1960 and he was from New Jersey, the last Northern
state to free its slaves.


On Thu, Oct 1, 2020 at 7:37 AM Stephen Goranson <goranson at duke.edu> wrote:

> News to me, Wilson.
> But, vaguely, apparently related to a play in which Akwasi Agyemang played
> Dred Scott, an online text claims: "During some time while in Saint Louis
> Sam changed his name to Dred Scott, or 'Great Scott,' a joke comparing his
> small height to General Winfield's large size."
>
> Stephen
>
>
> http://gallery.carnegiefoundation.org/collections/castl_k12/hlyne/akwasi_ds.pdf
> ________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of
> Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> Sent: Thursday, October 1, 2020 3:25 AM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Subject: vague Great Scott note
>
> 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:
>
> https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xQYKU5hpXA__;!!OToaGQ!_byJhFDC6wjdfl6LWsoukkF-e8QKjaXYu4IgIvwUxkFchm58JLCTXm8fF031mK1o$
>
> --
> - 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
>
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>


-- 
-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

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


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