Power of Admin

Doesn’t look like a bottle of rum to me…

Yes! True that. Gosh, what else doesn’t it look like?

If not looking like rum, does it matter?

That’s a tricky one. Let’s see now. What if it were rum in spite of all appearances.

Then we should fry up some Piggy, get the Jameson for Mr K and sit telling lies* for a while.

[size=65]* This is a new phrase I’ve kind of fallen in love with down here in the “Deep South”. It is used thusly:

I did change the name of the deacons and removed the “southernese” for readability but this is exactly how it is used. In its original form…


Tullen’ Lees is now the name of my next album.

This [size=150][1]could be heard, almost verbatim, in any of the small towns along the East Lancashire Road route from Manchester to Liverpool.

  1. /size ↩︎

At one point in the not so distant past I read an article about the “true American accent” and how it had changed over the centuries. The claim was that that the accent of the Deep South was closest to the sound of America as it was at the beginning of the country. A mix of English, Irish, Scottish and other European accents all smashed together.

That’s true, of course, but what you referred to as Southernese, is dialect I think. Of the top of my head (something you can’t say or do), I’d say that accent is different stresses on the way we sound our words, whereas dialect alters the words’ spelling and pronunciation almost beyond recognition.
My favourite dialect poet is Sam Fitton. Here’s one of his. Hope you enjoy :wink:

My Owd Case Clock

We o’ han cherished things no doubt,
We somehow feel we cornt do ‘bowt:
Some furniture we value heigh,
We’n things ‘at money couldna’ beigh.
I have an owd case-clock a’ whoam
I wouldna’ sell for any sum;
It stood i’ th’ corner, so I’m towd
When first I coom to live i’ th’ fowd ;
It stons theer yet, an’ neet an’ day
It measures time an’ ticks away –
“Tick, tock; tick, tock.”

Its cheery dial seems to say:
“Let’s laugh to while the time away,”
An’ though it hasno’ changed its chime
It’s sin some changes in its time;
It’s gazed on o our household crew,
It’s watched ‘em come, it’s watched ‘em goo.
When little Jack were ta’en one day
It watched us side his things away,
An’ when our tears began to flow
It said “Cheer up, Time heals, I know;
“Tick, tock; tick, tock.”

It’s like a sentinel i’ th’ nook;
Th’ owd lad con read me like a book,
An when I’ve had an extra glass
It seems to know, it does bi’ th’ Mass!
That clock’s both human an’ divine;
One neet I geet a bit o’er th’ line;
It chuckled, as it winked one e’e:
“Tha’s had a drop to’ mich I see,”
It hiccupped, “Well tha art a foo”;
The beggar seemed to wobble too: –
“Tick, tock; tick, tock.”

I don’t know if I’d call it dialect. Southernese is easily understood and generally not a barrier to communication like creole or ghulla dialects are. The big thing with southernese is getting through the unique colloquialisms. Things like “telling lies” or “bless your heart” (that’s an actual insult I’ve discovered) or “old Bob’s grave”. If you asked a southerner to write the dialogue out it would be done exactly as the first quote. And if you read the second quote phonetically you will be instantly transported to a boat launch with a few good old boys sitting on five gallon buckets, each with a pole in hand and a beer between their feet, spending the afternoon avoiding the wife and “telling lies”.

Now… the 10 or so couples Boss Lady and I met last week from Wales, London, Liverpool and Scotland… they speak different dialects. They couldn’t understand each other let alone the poor ships crew from all over the world trying to explain “the menu choices for this evening are…”

I think I read the same article, but it wasn’t general Southernese, it was a specific accent/dialect in a particular strip of the Appalachians, no?

If I recall correctly, which seems to be less often as I age, there were regional associations. Appalachian areas lined up with Wales, Scotland and Ireland while east and south of the blue ridge area was more Cornwall, Essex etc. The northern Appalachian starts to fade to German influence and south of the ridge trends toward south of England (French/Spanish influenced). Since that article, which I thought was old when I read it a while back, I’ve noticed that that accents from Appalachian areas are migrating south to the ridge and the ridge accents are migrating westerly. But the west boarder is not moving. We are losing the character of the south thanks to the invading Yankees.

It is more common to hear a Bronx accent in a southern metro area than it is a real southern accent. You have to get into the backcountry to really find the south these days. And then you risk getting shot unless you are invited.

And now my previous headlessness may make more sense to some. :slight_smile:

You recall a lot more detail than I do, my friend, so I will defer to your powers of recollection.

This time. :slight_smile:

When it comes to useless knowledge, Vic-k and I are actually on the ball. Useful stuff… eh. Who’s has time for that? And the competition is fierce!

May I quote that?

If you dare.

I’m unfamiliar with the article you read, but the information sounds a bit off, speaking as a native of the East Tennessee hills and a 45-year resident of coastal Maine. If you’re interested, find a copy of David Hackett Fischer’s Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America. This is the definitive book on the subject, and explains the four main invasions, from four very specific areas of Great Britain, and how this shaped (and continues to shape) the American character, cuisine, form of government, and accent, and why second-generation H’mong refugees in Houston watch NASCAR and talk like Jed Clampett.


I would not be surprised to discover I’m 100% wrong. Between an “unlimited booze” ticket on a cruise and getting … old, I’m not sure if I’m Jaysen or Vick-K these days. My interest in the topic arises from realizing that none my generation of relatives sound like we are from the hills of WV. It feels like our identity is vanishing into the media cesspool of bland sameness. My very limited interaction with EU and very deep intereaction with India seems to indicate this is a bit of an American thing. Others may affect a high brow accent for business but they seem to encourage identification via regional accents/tones.

Maybe I’m just too sensitive about what I see as a targeted attack on REAL uniqueness in favor of consumer based “unique identity”.

Guess I’m officially old.