Thursday, August 4

n'east style -jeezum crow

10engines neighbour N'East Style has a great series of illustrated New England sayings happening. Jeezum Crow is the latest.

Like similar oaths (jimminy crickets etc), jeezum crow is a thinly veiled blasphemy. Highly regional, almost confined to New England, and according to the Dictionary of Regional English (DARE) it likely sprung from Vermont and upstate New York vernacular speech.

Sidenote: if you have been waiting for the final instalment (Sl-Z, vol.5) of DARE to be published, the end is in sight. It is with the publisher and set for release in 2012. Via.

Here is more info on DARE. Fascinating resource;
Like other dictionaries, the Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) is arranged alphabetically by headword, from A to Z. What is different about DARE is that it shows where people use the words that are included. We all know, for example, that Americans have many names for the kind of sandwich that includes meats, cheeses, lettuce, tomatoes, etc., served in a long bun.

What DARE can tell you (and can often illustrate through the use of maps based on fieldwork) is where the words hero, hoagie, grinder, sub, torpedo, Cuban, etc. are the local terms for this sandwich...

And what about the words people use for the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street? Boulevard, devil strip [great phrase -ed.], grass plot, neutral ground, parking, parking strip, parkway, terrace, tree bank, tree belt, and tree lawn are just a few of them.