I Wuz Just Thinking: The Confounding World of Words

Image: American Institute of Learning and Human Development

Words spoken especially in the South often have more than one meaning, and they can sometimes get you in trouble.

This morning I was reading the column written by my friend, John Moore.  He was speaking of the different uses for the same words…such as the word “spell” as used in the South.

We learn how to spell.

We come to the house and sit a spell. 

We’re due for a dry spell.

I began thinking of other words.

Betty Mahurin Baker

My oldest sister was a school teacher.  When a student had just about gotten on my sister’s last nerve, she would very softly say something like, “Sweetie, you need to take your seat now”…

Anytime sister said, “Sweetie,” we sister’s knew she was really thinking bad thoughts…like “you little brat…shut up and sit down”....lol

After knowing this, I began to think back to all the kind teachers and friends  that at times have said the same thing to me.  Wow, now I’m beginning to wonder……

The word for “Hello” is said as “Howdy” in a good Texas greeting, such as .”Howdy, neighbor!”

One time, many years ago, my second cousin, Jennie – actually her name was Virginia Pearl but we called her Jennie Pearl – asked me to drive her to the country where she had heard that a woman had some figs for sale.

After nearing the location, there was a long dirt driveway to the top of the hill where the home was located.  There were several vehicles lined up and parked along the fence line, and we took the closest spot nearest the main road.

Just as we drove up, I saw a lady come out of her home and yell, “Howdy.”  Jennie Pearl, who was quite country herself, waved her hand and shouted, “Howdy.”.

The home owner again shouted, “Hi-dee” and Jennie Pearl gave a huge wave and shouted at the top of her lungs, ‘Howdy!”.

Over and over, the lady shouted, “Hi-dee,” and Jennie Pearl gave a huge wave and each time shouted, “Howdy.”

Jennie Pearl finally said to me, “That lady must be deaf.  She keeps shouting Hi-dee, and I keep telling her “Howdy.”

I was bent over laughing so hard.  I finally was able to get somewhat, in control of myself from laughing, and said, “Jennie, that lady is trying to get her dog to come back into the house and the dog’s name is “Haidee.”

I had been standing back of the car and was able to see the little dog running ahead of the lady when she came out of the house.  Jennie was just getting out of the car and had not seen the dog.

Jennie remarked, “Well, I was wondering what was wrong with that woman.”

Words, so many spellings, uses, and sounds, ...as I wuz just thinking

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