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from the vowel u, was pronounced w. And it must be confessed that the rule is somewhat arbitrary, This interchange of w and v is the most offensive peculiarity of the Cockney dialect.
2. The Londoner is also accustomed to omit the sound of h at the beginning of words, and to pronounce it where it does not belong; as art for heart; harm for arm.
3. He has a fondness for the sound of j (=dzh); as furbidge for furbish; radidges for radishes; rubbidge for rubbish ; to scrowdge for to crowd; skrimmidge for skirmish ; squeedge for squeeze.
4. He sometimes transposes letters, especially where r is concerned; as, ax for ask; palaretic for paralytic; perdigious for prodigious ; perwent for prevent ; progidy for prodigy; vemon for venom ; vemonous for venomous.
5. He sometimes inclines to repeat the same vowel; as, colloguing for colleaguing ; nisi prisi for nisi prius; obstropolous for obstreperous.
6. He sometimes employs a lingual d or t after a lingual n or l, by epenthesis or paragogue; as drownded for drowned ; gound for govon ; partener for partner ; bacheldor for bachelor : margent for margin ; regiment for regimen ; sermont for sermon ; surgeont for surgeon ; verment for vermin.
7. He employs a t after a sibilant; as, clost and closter for close and closer ; nyst and nyster for nice and nicer ; sinst for since ; wonst for
8. He sometimes makes an unnecessary syllable; as, beast-es for beasts; fist-es for fists; ghost-es for ghosts ; mist-es for mists ; post-es
9. He sometimes lays a false accent; as, blasphemous for blásphemous; charácter for character ; contráry for contrary.
II.- Derivation of Words. 1. The Londoner sometimes confounds two different forms; as, contagious for contiguous ; eminent for imminent; humourous for humoursome ; ingeniously for ingenuously ; luxurious for luxuriant ; scrupulosity for scruple ; successfully for successively.
2. He sometimes forms Words on the wrong model; as, admirality for admiralty ; commonality for commonalty ; curous for curious ; curosity for curiosity; debiliated for debilitated ; despisable for despicable ; loveyer for lover ; mayoraltry for mayoralty; necessiated for necessitated; stupendious for stupendous. 3. He sometimes forms words on a false model ; as,
attacted like transacted; duberous and industerous like boisterous ; musicianer like practitioner ; jocotious like ferocious; summon sed as if from summons; vulgularity like singularity.
4. He sometimes mistakes the word altogether; as, aggravate for irritate ; an otomy for anatomy; argufy for signify; conquest for concourse ; mislest for molest; moral for model ; pee-ashes for piazzas ; refuge for refuse; stagnated for staggered ; vocation for vacation.
III.-Composition of Words. The Londoner sometimes retains the prefixes be and a, which have been discarded; as, begrudge, unbeknown ; a-cold, a-dry, a-hungry.
IV.-Inflection. 1. The Londoner sometimes repeats the definite article; as, the t'other for the other,
2. He uses double comparatives and superlatives; as worser for 3. He forms hisn, ourn, hern, yourn, like mine, thine. 4. He forms hisself and their selves regularly.
5. He has adopted the modern inflection in some verbs where it has not been generally followed; as, see'd for saw ; know'd for knew ; com’d for came.
6. He forms fit for fought ; comp. light, pret. lit. 7. He uses the past tense for the perfect participle ; as fell for fallen ; rose for risen ; took for taken ; went for gone ; wrote for written. 8. He uses, no-hows for no-how, and no-wheres for no-where.
V.-Syntax or Construction. 1. He uses the accusative for the nominative; as, can us for can we; have us for have we; may us for may we; shall us for shall we.
2. He employs double negatives, like the ancient Anglo-Saxons ; as, I don't know nothing about it.
3. The use of the ancient full expression, which has been abridged in modern times ; as, and so for simple só; how that and as how, denoting the simple fact; if so be as how, denoting a contingency; for to, denoting a purpose ; for why or because why, denoting the
4. Idiomatic expressions; as, a few while for a little while ; to fetch a walk for to take a walk ; what is gone with such an one ? for what is become of such an one ? to learn for to teach ; what may his name be? for what is his name? what should he be ? for what is he ? to remember for to remind; gone dead like gone crazy ; this here for this ; that there for that.
It will probably be long before the dialectical varieties of the English, though they are constantly diminishing, will give place to the high models offered by our best scholars.
SECTION XCIII.-AMERICAN DIALECTS.CAUSES OF EXISTING
1. One cause is found in the diversities of origin of the immigrant population of the United States. The first settlers, from different parts of England, took with them the varieties of dialect then existing in the mother country. To these were added the Dutch, or the Low Germanic language; the German, or the High Germanic language; the French and Spanish languages; the Irish, the Italian, the Swedish, the Danish, the Norwegian. Moreover, Asiatics and Polynesians have gone to California, and introduced some of their vernacular words into the body of the language, at least as it is spoken there. Hundreds of thousands of immigrants, from different portions of Europe, are every year finding homes in America, taking their language with them, to communicate some portion of it to others, and to transmit it to their immediate descendants.
2. The second cause of existing dialectical varieties in the United States is found in objects of thought peculiar to that country, requiring different terms from those used in England.
SECTION XCIV. CLASSIFICATION OF AMERICANISMS. The peculiarities of the English language, as spoken in America, may be arranged under the following heads:
I. Words borrowed from other languages, with which the English language has come into contact in America.
1. Indian words, borrowed from the original native tribes. Here belong many geographical proper names ; as, Kennebec, Ohio, Tombigbee ; also a few appellatives ; as, sagamore, quahaug, succotash.
2. Dutch words, derived from the first settlers in New York; as, boss, a master ; kruller ; stoop, the steps of a door.
3. German words, derived from the Germans in Pennsylvania ; as, spuke, sauerkraut.
4. French words, derived from the first settlers in Canada and Louisana ; as, bayou, cache, chute, crevasse, levee.
5. Spanish words, from the first settlers of Louisiana, Florida, and Mexico; as, calaboose, chaparral, hacienda, rancho, ranchero.
6. Negro words, derived from the Africans; as, buckra. All these are foreign words.
II. Words introduced from the necessity of a new situation, in order to express new ideas.
1. Words connected with and flowing from political institutions; as, selectman, presidential, congressional, caucus, mass-meeting, lynch-law, help for servants.
2. Words connected with ecclesiastical institutions; as, associational, consociational, to fellowship, to missionate.
3. Words connected with a new country; as, lot, a portion of land; diggings, betterments, squatter'.
Some of these words are rejected by good American writers. They are not of such a nature as make a new dialect.
III. The remaining peculiarities, the only ones which are truly distinctive, fall for the most part under the following heads :
1. Old words and phrases which have become almost obsolete in England; as, talented, offset for set off; back and forth for backward and forward.
2. Old words and phrases which are now merely provincial in England; as, hub, now used in the midland counties ; whap, a provincialism in Somersetshire; to wilt, now used in the south and west of England.
3. Nouns formed from verbs by adding the French suffix ment ; as, publishment for publication; releasement for release; requirement for requisition. As the verbs here are all French, the forms of the nouns are undoubtedly ancient.
4. Forms of words which fill the gap or vacancy between two words which are approved ; as, obligate, comp. oblige and obligation ; variate, comp. vary and variation. The existence of the two extremes confirms the propriety of the mean.
5. Certain compound terms, which, in England, have a different compound; as, bankbill for bank-note; book-store for bookseller's shop; bottom-land for interval land ; clapboard for a pale ; sea-board for sea-shore; side-hill for hill-side. The correctness of one compound, in such cases, does not prove the incorrectness of the other.
6. Certain colloquial phrases, apparently idiomatic, and very expressive; as, to cave in, to give up; to flare up, to get excited suddenly ; to flunk out, to retire through fear; to fork over, to pay over; to hold on, to wait ; to let on, to mention ; to stave off, to delay ; to take on, to grieve.
7. Certain words used to express intensity, whether as adjectives or adverbs, which is often a matter of mere temporary fashion ; as, dreadful, mighty, plaguy, powerful.
8. Certain verbs expressing state of mind, but partially or timidly; as, to allot upon, to count upon; to calculate, to expect or believe ; to expect, to think or believe ; to guess, to think or believe ; to reckon, to think or imagine.
9. Certain adjectives, expressing not only quality, but subjective feelings in regard to it; as, clever, grand, green, likely, smart, ugly.
10. Certain abridged expressions; as, stage for stage-coach; turnpike for turnpikeroad; spry for sprightly; to conduct for to conduct one's self. There is a tendency in most languages to such contractions.
11. Quaint or burlesque terms, whether verbs, as, to tote, to yank; or nouns, as humbug, loafer, muss; plunder for baggage ; rock for a stone.
12. Certain very low expressions, mostly political; as, slang whanger, loco foco, hunker ; to get the hang of a thing, for to learn how to do it.
13. Ungrammatical expressions, disapproved by all; as, do don't ; used to could for could formerly ; can't come it for can't do it; there's no two ways about it for it is just so.
SECTION XCV.-LOCAL PECULIARITIES. To the question whether there is an American-English dialect, an answer must be given in the affirmative or the negative, according as you extend or contract the meaning of the term dialect. When reading the pages of Judge HALIBURTON'S Sam Slick, it might seem that the difference between it and the best English is so great as to constitute it a dialect. But they are caricatures. EVERETT, and PRESCOTT, and IRVING, write in a style as purely English as the best English writers. The people of the United States, descended from English ancestors, have, in consequence of common school education, and the use of the same standards, fewer dialectical peculiarities than the people of England.
There are certain local peculiarities which distinguish—1, The people of New England. 2. The people of the Southern States. 3. Some of the Western States.
The people of New England, especially those who live in the interior, have inherited marked peculiarities of pronunciation and phraseology, which distinguish them from the people of other parts the country, though these peculiarities, constantly diminishing, are not as great as similar ones existing in some counties of England. The drawling pronunciation of the Yankees, for example, has an equivalent in the “Suffolk whine.” The people of the Southern States have a more full, and open, and mellifluous pronunciation than the
23 (Eng. LANG, 5.]
people of New England, though they do not articulate the consonantal sounds so distinctly. The people of the West have great variety in their peculiar style of expression and in their pronunciation, which is extensively similar to the districts from which they or their ancestors emigrated.
SECTION XCVI.-SPECIMEN OF AMERICANISMS,
ABOVE MY BEND, out of my power. ABSQUATULATE, to run away. ALL-FIRED, very. TO ALLOT UPON, to intend. AMAZING, wonderfully. AMost, almost. ANY HOW YOU CAN FIX IT, any rate whatever. ANY MANNER OF MEANS, any means. TO APPRECIATE, to raise the value of, or rise in value. Any, either. Avails, profits or proceeds. Awfuli, disagreeable, ugly. BACK AND FORTH, backward and forward (New Eng.). BACKWOODSMAN, an inhabitant of the forest on the western frontiers of the United States. TO BACK OUT, to retreat from a difficulty. Bad Box, bad predicament. BALANCE, the remainder (South). Bang, excel; as, “This bangs all things.” BANKABLE, receivable at a bank. BANK-BILL, bank-note. Bark UP THE WRONG TREE, mistake one's object or cause. BARRENS, plains upon which grow small trees, but never timber. Bee, a collection of people who unite their labours for an individual or a family, as a quilting-bee. Bee-LINE, a straight line from one point to another. BETTER, for more; as, “It is better than a year since we met. BETTERMENTS, improvements on new land. B'Hoys, noisy young men in the city of New York. BIG BUGS, people of consequence. BIME-BY, in a short time. Blaze, mark on trees for guiding travellers. BLOW-UP, a quarrel. TO BLOW UP, to scold. BOBOLINK, skunk blackbird ; rice bunting. BOGUS MONEY, counterfeit money. Boss, master. Bossy, a name applied to a calf. BOTTOM LAND, & term applied to low land on the bank of a river, BREACHY, a term applied to runaway oxen. BREADSTUFF, bread, corn meal, or flour. BROTHER CHIP, person of the same trade. BUNCOMBE is a term applied to speeches made for electioneering purposes. CALCULATE, expect or believe (N.E.). TO CARRY ON, to frolic. Caucus, private meeting of politicians. TO BE A CAUTION, to be a warning. TO CAVE IN, to give up. Chay, chaise (N.E.). CHICKEN FIXINGS, chicken fricasséed. CAIRP, lively (N.E.). TO CHOMP, to champ. CHORE, small work. CLAM-SHELL, lips or mouth. TO CLEAR OUT, to take one's self off. CLEVER, good-natured or obliging. CLEVERLY, well. CLIP, a blow. TO CONDUCT, to conduct one's self. CONSIDERABLE, very. CONSOCIATION is the fellowship or union of churches by their pastors and delegates. Cookey, a cake. CORDUROY ROAD is a road made of logs laid together over swamps. Corn, maize. CORN-DODGER is a cake made of Indian corn. COTTON to is to like or fancy. CRACKER is a small hard biscuit. CURIOUS, excellent (N.E.). TO CUT DIRT, to run. 'CUTE, sharp, cunning (N.E.). DARKEY, a term for negro. DEADENING, girdling trees. TO DEED, to convey by deed. DEMORALISE, to corrupt the morals. Desk, pulpit. DICKER, to barter. DIFFICULTED, perplexed. DIGGINGS, neighbourhood or section of the country (West.). DONATE, to give as a donation. DONE GONE, ruined. DONE BROWN, thoroughly. DONE FOR, cheated. DO DON'T, do not (Ga.). Don'r, do not, sometimes improperly used for does not. DO TELL ! is it possible ! (N.E.) DRUMMING, soliciting of customers. E’EN A’MOST, almost. Το ENERGISE, to give active vigour to. EVERLASTING, very. To fall, to fell, to cut down, as to fall a tree. TO FELLOWSHIP WITH, to hold communion with. ON THE FENCE means to be neutral, and to be ready to join the strongest party. FIRST-RATE, superior. Fix, a condition, a dilemma. Fixings, arrangements. A FIXED FACT, a well-established fact. TOBIZZLE OUT, to prove a failure. TO FLARE UP, to get excited suddenly. TO FLAT OUT, to prove a failure. TO GET THE FLOOR, to be in possession of the house. TO FLUNK OUT, to retire through fear. Fogy, a stupid fellow. TO BE FOREHANDED, to be comfortably off. To FORK OVER, to pay over. To FOX BOOTS, to foot boots. FRESHET, the overflowing of a river. FULL CHISEL, at full speed. FULL SWING, full sway. GAL-BOY is a romping girl. TO GIVE HIM THE MITTEN is to discard a lover, GO AHEAD, to go forward. To Go By, to call, to stop at (So. and West.). TO GO IT STRONG, to act with vigour. TO GO THE WHOLE FIGURE, to go to the greatest extent. Going, the state of the road. GOINGS-on, behaviour, GONE GOOSE, ruined. GREEN, inexperienced, English, verdant. GUESS, think, believe. GRIT, courage. Gully is a channel worn in the earth by a current of water. Hain'r, for have not (N. E.). To get the Hang of a thing is to get the knack. TO ITAPPEN IN, to come in accidentally. HARD RUN, to be hard pressed. TO HAVE A SAY, to express an opinion. TO HEAD OFF, to get before. HEAP, å great deal. HELP, servant. HET,