Alrighty..I'm a bit bored and hanging at the house tonight, so I'll bite. And, no, I'm not proofreading my own post in the hopes of protecting myself from the grammar/spelling police. You'll all just have to deal with my mistakes.
I guess the first thing I'll call out is the very slight bit of irony is this statement..
The following is all stated in good spirits, but it does stem from years of being repeatedly being poked at for my southern accent and colloquialisms.
Under any circumstance, I'm a southerner. A southerner with a pretty strong accent. However, I've been told by a number of folks practicin' pedagogy that I have a fairly decent mastery of the English language. I've been labeled as "unlearned" a number of times because of my speech, particularly by "non-southerners" that don't know me. Anyone that does know me will generally say that I'm a pretty good distance, on the other end of the scale, from "unlearned". Those same people may also say I'm an intolerable a**, but that's not what we're discussing here.
To the point (and I'll dramatize a bit). Like the majority of native North Georgians, my heritage is Gaelic. I'm a hillbilly...a redneck. My forefathers were Ulster-Irish. Some may use the incorrect moniker of Scots-Irish, but it's all one in the same. The Queen's English was not our first language.
When we landed in the Colonies, we were pushed into Appalachia, where we had to fight the natives on one side and England on the other, constantly, just to have a safe place to sleep. And this was after the centuries of oppression from England that sent us here to begin with. Any southern hillbilly's family would have a pretty good chance at being from this Gaelic heritage.
As a result of "my people" being somewhat isolated, until relatively recently, we picked up (and still use) a few little oddities from the incorporation of the Gaelic lnaguages into English.
With all that said, I really enjoyed some of the posts about language morphing, over time, into something almost unrecognizable from its original roots. So, I thought I'd share some oddities from the Gaelic/Hillbilly influence that some folks may find interesting.
I'm sure some of you have heard a southerner say he "was fixin' to do something". The word make, do, and a-going are all synonyms of fix in Gaelic--namely the phrase "ag dul". So, "I'm a fixin' to lay down", is a phrase rooted deeply in this heritage.
Also, there's no good word for "only" in Gaelic. So, you'll often hear a southerner say "There ain't but one"....as opposed to "There is only one."
When you hear a southerner say "Who with?", instead of the proper "With whom?"--again, Gaelic influence.
You'll hear many southerners use the word "what" instead of "that". "He's the guy that went to town" becomes "He's the guy what went to town" when a Gaelic influence is felt.
And a few words that most everyone uses that came from these same influences---please excuse my spelling, as most of this is from memory---
uisce beatha---a Gaelic term meaning "breath of life". Well..that's "whiskey". Yep. The hillbillies did, and do, distill their own liquor--a skill brought from the "motherland".
smithereens--smidirini is a Gaelic word meaning "small pieces".
slob--slaba, in Gaelic, is "mud".
slew--sluagh is a "crowd".
shanty--sean tigh means an "old house".
galore--go leor is "enough".
even the word "session"....
Anyway, I just thought I'd take a moment to share. And please understand, when I say "Gaelic", I use that in a *very* general sense. Just understand it to mean one of the few Gaelic languages (Irish, Scottish, etc). And for the purposes of this post could even mean Celtic. Because of the melting pot that is my accent, I just chose to leave out all the historically accurate minutia in favor of simply conveying the spirit of the post somewhat succinctly.