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Just Outside My Door

September 21, 2011
Greeting folk. We had rain off and on last week, but also had some sun. It warmed up towards the end of the week. Some of the trees are beginning to get a few colored leaves. There are a few of them on the ground because of the strong winds. Never the less, the insects are still singing for we haven’t had any frost yet. Hopefully it won’t come for a while because I have quite a few bulbs to plant.

We never know for sure when Jack Frost will make his first visit. Recently I read in one of my mom’s yesteryear diaries that he arrived on Sept. 2 in 1981. I’m sure the farmers hope it will be quite awhile before he comes for they still have produce to harvest and store for winter.

Some of that harvest is food for cattle, but there are also foodstuffs for human consumption.

Speaking of the harvesting of crops, recently I was reading the late Hal Borland’s book “Hill Country Harvest.” He told about a conversation he once had with a neighbor. He was speaking about how when he was a boy they put corn into sows and husked it later in the fall. The man he was talking to asked what he meant by sow. Borland replied that it was an old New England word not used much today. It means putting the corn in bundles or shocks. Most folk today think of a sow as being a female pig. That instance reminded me that there are other words that are not recognized in certain areas of the country. They are called colloquialisms.

Did you know that what we call a gate, in some places is called a barway? That’s because it’s usually made with a metal bar though sometimes with wood. A “sluice “ or “sluiceway” used to be called a culvert. It’s a pipe that caries water from a brook under the road. A “brook” is another regional word that nowadays is not limited to just New England. In the west a brook is a creek, and in the South it is a branch or a run. In the Midwest a small stream is a brook. I have heard older people and folk in South Carolina call a creek a crick,

Some farm folk call getting a load of sand “drawing” a load. It is deeply embedded in the New England hills and valleys. It goes back to the days of oxen. “Haul” or “drag” is more commonly used. We often see “pineys” which are flowers in early summer, but sometimes they are called

“piney,” which also has its roots in Massachusetts. Actually, it is derived fro the Latin word Paeonia, which is closer to piney than to peony.

The word “fiftty” means one who exercises in some places. “Off the hinges” can mean a door off its hinges or excising, depending on the area. ”Mo” can mean “more” or “moment” and “yaho” means “money” or one hasn’t a “clue.”

The aforesaid is only a portion of words that have more than one meaning so be sure your friends know what you’re talking about.


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