Word Maps

For a description of the major dialect regions see the Introduction to this Word Maps section.

a-  prefix the sound /ə/ prefixed to the present participle of verbs (e.g., uh-going), less commonly to past participles and to adjectives. [CACWL data indicate that the a- prefix was commonly added to the present participles of verbs throughout the country in the mid 19th century, especially among less-educated speakers. (See Map.)]

1. added to the present participle.

Aug. 4, 1861: I arrived at the camp about ten oclock last knight & found them in tolerable health John was a complaining of the head ache a little. (Daniel J. Hileman, Hileman Letters, Lewis Leigh Coll. MHI) Rockbridge County, VA

Nov. 18, 1861: I now take my pencil in hand to give you a litle sketch of what is agoing on here we are all in a hury this morning agatting redy to start for the seat of ware. (Jairus Hammond, CW Document Coll. MHI) Franklin County, MA

Feb. 27, 1862: i am agoing to tell you all that we have packed up our things to day and we are to go tomorrow at 9 oclock in the morning. (Willard Woodis, Federal Soldiers’ Letters SHC) Worcester County, MA

March 23, 1862: the[y] is a good lot of Soldiers here now and they keep a comming every littl while. (Jairus Hammond, CW Document Coll. MHI) Franklin County, MA 

June 23, 1862: we crost the ner prong of the river and went to the other prong and thar was yankes aplenty in a swiming. (W. P. Mangum, Mangum Papers UGA) Jackson County, GA

Nov. 16, 1862: I dont see much prosspect of it [= the war] a ending soon. (Benjamin Jefcoat, Jefcoat Papers Duke) Orangeburg District, SC

Dec. 2, 1862: I have got so that I can go necked and barfoo[t]ed and lie in the mud and eat til you cant rest I have ben the harties latly that I ever was in my life and can beat the oldes woman in the world a cooking. (W. P. Mangum, Mangum Papers UGA) Jackson County, GA

Nov. 4, 1863: then we can have good times again going a fishing a hunting or anything else. (William Pedrick, Pedrick Papers Duke) Fulton County, NY

June 12, 1864: we pickits went out targit shooting the other day I beat the whole of them a shooting again. (Ezra Getchell, CW Document Coll. MHI) Somerset County, ME

2. added to a present-participle form of a compound verb or verb phrase.

Jan. 17, 1863: I want you to write to me and let me no all the news thare is a goin on in Otis[field] and if alf Lamb is a fox hunting. (Elisha Turner, Elisha Turner Papers MHI) Cumberland County, ME

Jan. 29, 1863: I hope that I will git home beefore long and I shall wann to go a posom hunting. (Thomas Warrick, Warrick Papers ADAH) Coosa County, AL

May 2, 1863: This forenoon we went out a target shooting and this afternoon are slicking up some for inspection tomorrow. (Jasper Lamson, Lewis Leigh Coll. MHI) Orange County, VT

Oct. 18, 1863: I am a shoe making Every Day I could get moore to Do than 3 men could do. (Martin Barkley, Barkley Family Letters SHC) Anderson District, SC

 

against, agin  preposition and conjunction Before, by, by the time. This feature is probably of Scotch-Irish origin and spread westward and southward out of Pennsylvania. (See Map.)

Jan. 9, 1862: i think i will Come home to Stay a gainst march though i may be miss taken. (Terah Sampson, Sampson Letters FHS) Shelby County, KY

March 16, 1862: we was on our road at too oclock the next morning we was on the spot against it was light. (William Harper, Harper Letter IHS) Wells County, IN

Jan. 18, 1863: I want you to knit mee som sox A gainst I come home if you can. (Lewis Jones, Lewis Jones Papers Duke) Morgan County, TN

July 29, 1865:  I will be home on furlough if possible in september about the time you think best but I feel shore I will get a furlough agin that time. (Fleetwood Benson, Benson Letters MHI) Blair County,

 

all to preposition Except for. (See Map.)

April 14, 1862:  all of our Company is well all to six or seven has had the Measuls but thay ar geting well. (C. M. Epperly, Epperly Letters GLC) Floyd County, VA

Aug. 16, 1863:  I can Say to you that I am well all to Sore feet and cold. (John Futch, Futch Letters, NCSA) New Hanover County, NC

Sept. 1863:  this Leaves me Me well all to a Bad cold. (Harris Averett, H. H. Averett Corr. ADAH) Tallapoosa County, AL

Feb. 21, 1865:  I am Spaird to drop you a fiew linds to let you no that I am well all to a bad cold. (William Box, Box Family Papers USC) Laurens District, SC  

 

apple butter noun noun A thick, sweet sauce made of apples stewed in cider. [Schele de Vere’s Americanisms (1872, 143): “Apple-butter, not unlike the famous apple-sauce of Yankeedom, and made by stewing apples for twenty hours or longer in cider, is a dish peculiar to Pennsylvania and the Valley of Virginia, where it is produced in enormous quantities;” DSME apple butter, noun] (See Map.)

July 9, 1861: Mother if you can send us some aple buter it will be exceptible and any thing you send send it in my name and then we will git it. (James Miller, Miller Letters MHI) Lawrence County, PA

Aug. 18, 1861: Our fare is very good we have as good Bread as I ever eat and excelent Beef & Coffee that with our apple Butter tomatoes &c are not bad to take. (John Kiracofe, Kiracofe Letters Duke) Rockingham County, VA

Oct. 12, 1862: what pleased me the most was the Apple Buter they brought along. (George Hartman, CW Doc. Coll. MHI) Bedford County, PA

Dec. 3, 1862: we have plenty of Apples and Cider I have made 40 gallons of Apple butter and made 20 five gallons of Cane Molasses. (Mary Coburn, Coburn Letters KHS) Bracken County, KY

March 26, 1863: tha give us apple buter & cow butter to Eat up hear ther haint bin noe soldiers in this country. (John W. Waters, Neves Papers USC) Greenville District, SC

April 19, 1863: I got that Box that father Sent a day or two ago the things were pretty Badly Spoild in it there was a can of Aple Butter and a can of Peach Sauce that cept first rait. (William Culbertson, Culbertson Papers Duke) Williams County, OH

Oct. 16, 1863: you said you was making aple butter I wood Like to bee there to help you Eat it. (Jesse Evans, Evans Papers MHI) Vermilion County, IL

Jan. 4, 1864: the Box Contained Apple buter in part and We had a lively time. (David Herman, Herman Diary, CW Doc. Coll. MHI) Adams County, PA

 

brown bread noun A dark bread made with molasses and a mixture of cornmeal and flour, usually steamed. [DARE chiefly New England] (See Map.)

June 13, 1862: O for a loaf of Mothers brown bread and a junk of white oak cheese, the thought almost makes me, think I am sick, and must go home. (Freland Holman, CW Doc. Coll. MHI) Oxford County, ME

Sept. 28, 1862: our living is Beaf Porke and Brown Bread white hard bread tea coffee shugar and molasses. (Isaac McKay, CW Doc. Coll. MHI) Penobscot County, ME)

Nov. 28, 1862: If you could send some brown bread it would go first rate with some dried apple to make some sauce of. (Albert Carter, CW Document Coll. MHI) Worcester County, MA

Jan. 9, 1863: I should like a good loaf of Brown Bread. (Henry Smith, H. A. Smith Corr. VTHS) Windsor County, VT

 

cear, ceer  verb, noun  variant form of care. (See Map.)

Aug. 5, 1861:  I hope to see you all once more tell Isom to take good cear of his self. (Ephraim Hampton, Hampton Letters Emory) Grayson County, VA

Nov. 13, 1861:  god bless you my Dear  take cear of youre self. (Thomas Inglett, Inglett Letters UGA) Richmond County, GA

Oct. 4, 1863:  they Call me pap and i dont cear what they call me so they Call me to diner. (W. L. Brown, W. L. Brown Papers ETSU) Knox County, TN

Sept. 11, 1864:  Direct your Letters to Camp Whitin  Near Wilmington in the Cear of  Capt D Biles. (Wade Hubbard, Hubbard Papers Duke) Anson County, NC

 

connection noun Relative(s); usually treated as a collective noun. [OED connection, noun, 6. b.] (See Map.)

Feb. 18, 1862:  I hope I will get to see you all a gain  So nothing more At present  Give my Respects to All of the Cornection.  (William B. Tucker, Boyd Papers Duke) Abbeville District, SC

March 26, 1862:  I was glad to heare from you all and to heare that you was a doing as well as you was tho I was sory to heare of the sickness among the connection. (Thomas Price, Price Papers Duke) Lawrence County, MS

Aug. 13, 1862:  if you get this I want you to rite to mee where all of our connexion is. (D. B. Brown, Camp-Reynolds Papers GDAH) Grayson County, TX

Nov. 25, 1862:  rite how you ar making out for Something to eat & rite how all the Cornection is. (E. B. Coggin, Coggin Papers ADAH) Chambers County, AL

 

crick noun variant form of creek; also in place names. [DAREespecially Inland North, North Midland, West] (See Map.)

Feb. 27, 1862: Just Recieveing an order of Colonel Sieber to march up on Soap crick about thirteen miles from Clifton tomorow morning and Remain their until further orders. (Henry Schmidt, Schmidt Papers FHS) Auglaize County, OH

March 10, 1862: We crosed over a battel field on our March it is Cald farfax crick. (Joseph Diltz, Diltz Papers Duke) Champaign County, OH

Nov. 14, 1862: I would like to have bin thare when that crick was sold I would have bought about a mile of it. (W. C. Hacket, CW Doc. Coll. MHI) Wood County, OH

May 23, 1863: keep away from the cricks and ponds less father Goes with you. (William Pedrick, Pedrick Papers Duke) Fulton County, NY

Sept. 9, 1863: wea gote marchinge orders on the 24 wea pulde stakes and marched Down goose crick on the easte side to the Potomack. (William Cline, Cline Diary Notre Dame) Ross County, OH

Aug. 14, 1864: Thare is a gristmill on the crick the boys went in yesterday got some flower we cleaned his mill out. (Londus Haskell, Lewis Leigh Coll. MHI) Washington County, VT

Sept. 15, 1864: wea ar oul weal and oul of the french crick boy and i hope that theas feau lins wil find ue [= you] the same. (Luke Ostrye, Ostrye Papers MHI) Chautauqua County, NY

 

daddy noun A father; the CACWL data indicate the term was much less common in the Midland and South than pap. [DARE widespread, but somewhat more frequent South, South Midland] (See Map.)

Sept. 3, 1861:  Daddy i wonder if you Aint nover going to right this makes three tims that i have roat to you. (Amos Dalton, Dalton Family Papers USC) Greenville District, SC

Jan. 1862:  I rote daddy a letter last weeke I look for a letter in a day or two and I rote one to Irvin and expect to git one poty Soon. (Hillory Shifflet, Shifflet Letters GLC) Madison County, KY

Dec. 6, 1863:  i would like to rite some to daddys folks though i am a looking for a letter from some of them evry day. (John W. Rogers, Poe Family Papers ADAH) Fayette County, AL

April 2, 1865:  Tell my dadys Folks I am out of the war yet. (J. A. Culbertson, Culbertson Papers Duke) Laurens District, SC

 

Dixie noun The Southern States. The term is surprisingly rare among Southerners except for Kentuckians, especially those serving in the Union Army. These Kentuckians believed that Dixie lay south of the Kentucky-Tennessee state line, an opinion not shared by soldiers from north of the Ohio River. Of the four Confederate soldiers who used the term, three were POWs in northern prison camps. The single Southern civilian using the term, John Riddle, is referring specifically to the song. On the possible origin of the term see Mitford Mathews’ Dictionary of Americanisms, pages 496-497. The earliest documented occurrences of Dixie and Dixie’s Land are in Daniel Emmett’s 1859 minstrel song. (See Map.)

Nov. 2, 1861: I want you to Send me the Balet [= ballad, song] of dixie If you plese. (John Riddle, Jackson Fam. Corr. Notre Dame) Moore County, NC

Feb. 11, 1862: it is thought the regiment well soon be full and then I believe they are going to Dixie. (William Harrel, Dunn Letters FHS) Breckinridge County, KY

June 1, 1862: I thought i woud Drop you afew Lins to let you know that I was still Down in Dixsy
yet. (J. A. Curtis, Watters-Curtis Papers FHS) Estill County, KY

Dec. 4, 1863: Some of them Copperheads at La Plata ought to be Sent to dixie to fight. (F. M. Emmons, Emmons Letters WHM-C) Macon County, MO

Dec. 12, 1863: I have seen a great many pretty Tennessee Girls since I left Kentucky I expect to get a wife in dixie if I live to serve my time out. (W. H. Curtis, Watters-Curtis Papers FHS) Estill County, KY

Dec. 18, 1863: I had rather go to dixey than to go to Cahlumbia [Kentucky] if I had my druthers about it. (W. C. Jones, Jones Letters FHS) Barren County, KY

March 13, 1864: : nancy and Deller my Dear litle children you papy is a way Down in Dixey a gan. (C. C. Carter, Carter Papers WKU) Monroe County, KY

March 31, 1864: this has been the nicest Day that I hav seen since I hav been in Dixey. (Levi Worster, Worster Diary UKY) Grant County, KY

 

father noun variant form farther. (See Map.)

Dec. 29, 1861: Dear Farther Mother and all the rest I thought I would write a few lines. (Hollis Johnson, Harrisburg CW Round Table Coll. MHI) Worcester County, MA

Sept. 8, 1862: I hope peace will Bee Made for I feel like I woul like to See old Carolina And My old farther And Mother Brothers And sisters Again. (George Barkley, Barkley Family Letters SHC) Anderson District, SC

Jan. 15, 1863: I received your letter 19th of the death of my Farther. (James Pratt, Pratt Papers MHI) Norfolk County, MA

Feb. 9, 1864: Dear Farther I wrote you aletter yesterday but is not satisfied with it. (James Roberson, Roberson Papers Duke) Stokes County, NC

March 17, 1864: is he still working on his farthers farm. (Hubert Saunders, Saunders Papers Duke) Monroe County, NY

Jan. 15, 1865: tell Farther I think he had better stay where he is then to think of going out to Californey. (Isaac McKay, CW Doc. Coll. MHI) Penobscot County, ME

Feb. 22, 1865: I am hear at your farthers now at this time I took dinner with them to day. (Benjamin Bell, Walton Corr. VPI) Floyd County, VA

 

forenoon noun Late morning. [DARE especially North] (See Map.)

March 14, 1862: I am stewing beries this forenoon and we are boiling some dried corn. (George Lacy, CW Doc. Coll. MHI) Tompkins County, NY

Feb. 1, 1863: rainey and wendey in the forenoon fair in the afternoon. (Thomas Vincent, Vincent Papers MHI) Oakland County, MI

Feb. 10, 1863: I have ben buisey this fournoon washing my clothes out. (Charles Page, CW Document Coll. MHI) Strafford County, NH

April 15, 1863: It commenced raining in the night and has rained hard all of the fore noon which makes it bad for soldiers to march and to lie out nights in the rain after they have been marching all day. (Henry Catlin, Henry Catlin Papers Duke) Litchfield County, CT

May 2, 1863: This forenoon we went out a target shooting and this afternoon are slicking up some for inspection tomorrow. (Jasper Lamson, Lewis Leigh Coll. MHI) Orange County, VT

March 27, 1864: I went down to the dock or fery on monday fore noon to put our men on board the boat. (W. J. Johnson, H. M. Johnson Papers Duke) Hillsdale County, MI

Aug. 18, 1864: I dont get much time to rite we have been Cutting bushes all the forenoon Clearing up A Camp ground. (Edwin Manson, Edwin Manson Papers Duke) York County, ME

 

gain verb To improve in health, vigor; to gain weight lost during an illness. (See Map.)

Nov. 10, 1862: I have been very sick, but the last two day’s I have been gaining some. (James Mohr, Mohr Papers FHS) Marion County, OH

Nov. 15, 1862: we are on new and healthy ground and the health of the men is fast gaining. (Amos Hardy, Hardy Letters OSU) Penobscot County, ME

Dec. 28, 1862: Lyman is gaining as fast as can be expected but is weak yet and will get well as soon as he gets his strength. (Henry Catlin, Henry Catlin Papers Duke) Litchfield County, CT

Feb. 8, 1863: Abraham is in the hospittle yet he does not gain verry fast. (Josephus Jackson, Josephus Jackson Papers Duke) Rutland County, VT

Aug. 23, 1863: I am a gaining slowly but none to fast the doctor says I have got a bad Diarehea just now which makes me pretty weak. (Edwin Lane, CW Document Coll. MHI) Bristol County, MA

March 18, 1865: he had bin gaining and appeared quite smart but his Fever come on and took him off. (Frank Hurd, Hurd Letters MHI) Trumbell County, OH

April 22, 1864: I think that I am gaining slowly my cough does not gain very fast but I am gaining in strength and flesh. (Marlon Merrill, CW Doc. Coll. MHI) Warren County, NY

 

had ought to auxiliary verb phrase Should; to be under obligation (to do something). [DSME had ought to, verb phrase; OED ought, verb, II. modal auxiliary, 9. “U.S. regional and Eng. regional (midl. and south)] (See Map.)

Dec. 1, 1861: I had ought to have writen soner but neglected it. (John Burnell, CW Doc. Coll. MHI) Cumberland County, ME

Dec. 29, 1861: wee got out and Marched Down the hill A bout 1 Mile & ½ you had aught to hav seen some of the bous Looking as thay Went Down the hill. (Christopher Long, C.B. Long Letters IHS) Knox County, IN

Nov. 10, 1862: he has not got a cent of money to help him self with and i think that Elling had out to send him sum. (Alonzo Bump, Lewis Leigh Coll. MHI) Saratoga County, NY

March 18, 1863: the surgeons did not excuse him from duty and he had to go out on the pickett when he had ought to have been in bed and it set him in to a very high fever and died yesterday morning. (Charles Manson, Lewis Leigh Coll. MHI) Orange County, VT

Aug. 16, 1863: I think he had ought to stay at home. (Thomas Vincent, Vincent Papers MHI) Oakland County, MI

Feb. 25, 1864: thes prity Days givs me the Blues I feel as tho I had aught to Be at home. (Simeon Garriott, Royse Papers Duke) Washington County, IN

Dec. 30, 1864: I sopose that I had orght to write to Marcenia and I gess that I will before long. (Jairus Hammond, CW Document Coll. MHI) Franklin County, MA

 

haint, hant verb  negative contraction of forms of have and be.

1. haven’t, hasn’t. [CACWL data indicate this form was very widespread in the mid 19th century; DARE chiefly Northeast, South, South Midland, especially Appalachians] (See Map.)

Jan. 23, 1862:  we haint Bin in nary fight yet But we have Bin exspecting a fight for ever day for some time. (W. J. Honnoll, Honnoll Papers Emory) Tishamingo County, MS

Feb. 1, 1862:  I hant got the money nor letter you Spoak of sending by J W Major. (J. B. O. Barkley, Barkley Family Letters SHC) Anderson District, SC

Feb. 4, 1863:  we had about forty recruits come two weeks ago and haint got more then ten of them thay enlist to runnaway and do it to. (John P. Campbell, CW Document Coll. MHI) Norfolk County, MA

March 27, 1864:  Daniel i have taped 50 trees Bot haint got Sap Enoughf too Boil yet. (Jane Lee, D. B. Lee Papers MHI) Allegany County, NY

June 19, 1864:  I haint much new to rite  our camp is in A corn field. (Benjamin Cohee, Cohee Letters MHI) Bartholomew County, IN

2. am not.

Aug. 2, 1862:  this makes 5 I have ritten to you sens  if I hant mistaken I no its four aney how. (C. M. Epperly, Epperly Letters GLC) Floyd County, VA

Sept. 11, 1864:  I haint thare and you woant get the hug and kiss unless you get Some of your neighbors to do it. (Samuel Reeves, Reeves Letters Notre Dame) Knox County, IN

Nov. 3, 1864:  we will show you how it is done on the 8th if I haint greatly mistaken. (Harrison Nesbitt, CW Document Coll. MHI) Luzerne County, PA

3. isn’t, aren’t.

April 7, 1862:  wee hant dooing any thing here onley drill a little twist aday. (C. M. Epperly, Epperly Letters GLC) Floyd County, VA

Oct. 5, 1862:  we will leave here tomorrow morning for Camp Denison  but it hant likely that we will stay there long. (William Culbertson, Culbertson Papers Duke) Williams County, OH

Nov. 18, 1862:  thare is not any of us home sick yet  I hurd that they said that Lewis was but it haint so. (Elisha Turner, Elisha Turner Papers MHI) Cumberland County, ME

4. followed by not.

Nov. 5, 1861:  I rote three times and never received any ritten untill to day but I hope you wont forget me yet I hant not forgot you yet. (J. L. Groves, Davison Papers Duke) Gaston County, NC

April 18, 1862:  I hant Not Mutch of Importance to Write to you only I recieve your kind leter the 15 Day of the presant Month. (Juniper Watters, Watters-Curtis Papers FHS) Estill County, KY

 

heap, heep  noun  A lot, great amount, a large number; usually in the phrase a

    heap of  (something). [DARE  chiefly South, South Midland] (See Map.)

Oct. 30, 1861:  thear is a heap of talk a bout taking winter quarters hear in Camp. (Gordon Thompson, Gordon Thompson Papers VHS) Mercer County, WV

Jan. 28, 1862: you ort to try and get a Soon Start a farming for ever thing you rase that is to eat will be powerful high  plant a heap of Potatoes. (A. J. White, A. J. White Papers Duke) Campbell County, GA

May 29, 1862: Billy I never can Get ust to doing without you I miss you everwhear I go I dream about you a heap of times. (Margret Box, Box Family Papers USC) Laurens District, SC

Aug. 16, 1863:  he wrote that they seed very hard times down thare and had a heap of hard fighting to do. (Mary Epperly, Epperly Letters GLC) Floyd County, VA

 

hear  verb  variant past tense, past participle of hearn (also hern, hirn, harn). [DARE  chiefly South, South Midland] (See Map.)

Jan. 20, 1862:  I wold be glad to hear from you I havent hearn from home in some time  I writen severl time now and havent received any answer yet. (John W. Hodnett, Hodnett Letters Duke) Troup County, GA

June 25, 1862:  Edward West is Pretty Bad off  I Reckon you have hearn hit. (M. S. Varner, West Papers USC) Spartanburg District, SC

July 13, 1862: I hante herd from Fathers folks for three months if you hav hern from them let me no. (Hillory Shifflet, Shifflet Letters MOHS) Madison County, KY

Jan. 1865:  I Was very sorrow to heir that Carline was Sik but I hern Sens tht She Was betr. (Thomas Walker, Walker Family Papers TSLA) Knox County, TN

 

help  verb  variant past tense, past participle hope, from the earlier English irregular past tense and past participle forms holp, holpen. [see OED help, verb; DARE  chiefly South, South Midland] (See Map.)

1. past tense hope.

Dec. 18, 1862:  Miles Drum was Shot in his head above his tempel and lodged against the skin on tother side and I hope to bery him. (Marcus Hefner, Hefner Papers NCSA) Catawba County, NC

March 26, 1864:  one of owr Compeny dide with fever this weake  his name was Cox  he was a good Soldir I hope to Shrowd him. (John McCorkle, McCorkle Corr. GHS) Taliaferro County, GA

March 27, 1864:  winney wass so scard about haveing that complant it hope carry hir off the negroes told hir it was the sam complant Mariah dide with. (J. W. Ramey, Tayloe Papers VHS) Perry County, AL

2. past participle hope.

ND [ca. March 1862]: I have taken medisen for my cough for youn doctor Redwine for my cough which has hope me. (James Chapman, Chapman Letter GDAH) Heard County, GA

June 12, 1862:  If ever you can get the chance to ever send me a box I would you to put mee half or a galon of Whiskey in it  if I had a had a little this long march it would a hope mee a great deal. (Isaac Lefevers, Lefevers Papers NCSA) Catawba County, NC

June 28, 1864:  we was Sorry to hear of our nabers being Kiled & Wounded By the Rebes but it Cant be hope now. (W. H. Chapman, Chapman Family Papers TSLA) Campbell County, TN

 

hospital noun variant forms horsespitle, horse pitle, horse pital, horse pittle (perhaps by folk-etymology). (See Map.)

Sept. 2, 1861: I & william is down sick with the measles we are at the horse spittle at fetrics burg. (James Roberson, Roberson Papers Duke) Stokes County, NC

Oct. 20, 1861: I want you to wright to me and give me all the nuse I and henry are in the horse pittle. (P. C. Hunter, Horn Coll. MSU) Choctaw County, MS

Jan. 17, 1862: thare is som thirty or forty sick ons in the horspital but non of them I thinck non very dangerous. (R. S. Fitch, Fitch Papers Duke) Fleming County, KY

May 18, 1862: ther is a heep of sickness in camp JW Milford an D Cleland is gon to the Horsepitle. (William Boyd, Boyd Papers Duke) Abbeville District, SC

May 25, 1862: I went to the horspitle the other day. (Thomas Woodham, Woodham Papers UGA) Stewart County, GA

June 19, 1862: I have left the horse pital I had the mumps and thay sent me to the horse pital I am now with my company. (W. T. Hart, CW Document Coll. MHI) Spotsylvania County, VA

July 14, 1862: the helth of our Company is onley tolerble good ther is 3 of our Company in the horsepittle ther is Severel Complaining rite Smart. (E. B. Coggin, Coggin Papers ADAH) Chambers County, AL

March 4, 1863: I hav bin in the hourse pittle for a bout three weeks I have got so I can go backerds and foreds from the horse pittle to the companey. (William Watkins, Watkins Papers Emory) Franklin County, GA

June 6, 1863: the boys is all tolerable well except captin bening field he is gon to the horspitel. (Daniel Revis, Revis Letters NCSA) Henderson County, NC

 

howdy interjection and noun  A greeting; from how- do- ye?; often as a noun it functions as the object of the verbs send, tell, give. [CACWL data indicate this form was widespread through the South and South Midland, but particularly common in western North Carolina; see OED how-do-ye, how-d'ye, howdy, phrase and noun, “Now obs. or dial. Freq. in colloq. phr. to tell (a person) howdy”; DARE  chiefly South, Midland] (See Map.)

May 4, 1862:  you must kiss Laurence and Jane for me and tell Martha howdy for me  I like to have for got little Joseph  kiss him too. (Joseph Drummond, Drummond Papers Duke) Barnwell District, SC

May 18, 1862:  tell all the Children hody for me. (Jesse Fuller, Confederate Miscellany Emory) Itawamba County, MS

Nov. 26, 1863:  i hope we wil meet agane so i give howdy to all both black and white. (Franklin Setzer, Setzer Corr. UVA) Catawba County, NC

Oct. 7, 1864:  Billy & Eliza sends howdy to you & wants to see you very bad. (Huldah Hubbard, Hubbard Papers Duke) Anson County, NC

 

it personal pronoun

1. variant form hit. [see OED it, pronoun; from Old and Middle English pronoun hit; CACWL data indicate this form was widespread through the South and Midland]

Oct. 11, 1861: tell Adline & marget shiply that wee wood like to be to the quilten if we Dont come to Hit you must have one when we come home. (A. J. Odell, Odell Letters TSLA) Sullivan County, TN

Jan. 30, 1862: i think we will have Sum hard fightting to dow be fer meny days there is a great deel of taulk of hit now and i think it is sow. (W. H. Phillips, Culbertson Papers Duke) Laurens District, SC

May 8, 1862: Thomas I rot you a letter and sent hit off But I Recond that you never got hit. (Henry Price, Price Papers Duke) Lawrence County, MS

May 11, 1864: i hav tried the best to come and I cant get the chance of hit but i think that it wont be long till i will come home to stay with you. (D. H. Mitchell, CW Soldiers’ Letters ADAH) Talladega County, AL

May 29, 1864: hit will bee ahappy time to meet with them and tell the hard ship that you have went through. (Elizabeth Chapman, Chapman Family Papers TSLA) Campbell County, TN

 

know verb

1. past tense knowed, nowd, node. [DARE scattered, but chiefly South, South Midland]. (See Map.)

July 7, 1861: I called the Corperals and the fellow was calleboosed he knowed it would not do to Strike an officer Sure. (Harvey Miller, H. H. Miller Letters IHS) Cass County, IN

Aug. 26, 1862: the yankees is as fraid to attact us as if they knowd that we would kill them all. (T. R. Payne, Watkins Papers Emory) Franklin County, GA

Oct. 20, 1862: I saw Jacob Miller the other day from Columbia that was the first man that I saw that i node sins I am here. (Jacob B. Hawes, CW Document Coll. MHI) York County, PA  

March 17, 1863: she was rashonal all the time as long as she could speak she knowed us when we got there about 10 oclock sunday. (Mary Ivey, Ivey Papers Emory) Upson County, GA

Feb. 26, 1864: the only person that I knowed as soon as I saw them was Aunt Mary Ann Barnes. (William Benjamin, CW Doc. Coll. MHI) Kent County, DE

April 3, 1864: if i Just node that you was faring well or if I was with you and my folks I cold live on bread and water and live happy. (W. P. Mangum, Mangum Papers UGA) Jackson County, GA

April 21, 1864: O if you node the troble that I am in on acounte of you and my litel children. (D. J. Blanton, CW Document Coll. MHI) Horry District, SC

July 4, 1863: I have hurd sevral times as well as you that it had surrenderd before now through the hawk eye [= an Iowa newspaper] but I did not believe A word of it for I was here and knowed better. (Clark Whitten, Whitten Papers MHI) Lucas County, IA

2. past participle knowed, node.

June 18, 1862: Dear wife If I had a node that I would astaid hear this longue I would a had you to a Rote me another letter to this place but sow it tis. (Isaac Lefevers, Lefevers Papers NCSA) Catawba County, NC

June 20, 1862: carie if I had knowed what I now know I would of stad at home. (Thomas Woodham, Woodham Papers UGA) Stewart County, GA

Sept. 26, 1862: the Camps is the place to find a man out shore I have noed men to do things here that I never would have thought tha wold have Stooped so Loo I will name no names but I can tell you a heap when I see you. (A. J. White, A. J. White Papers Duke) Campbell County, GA

 

middling qualifier  Fairly, rather. As a qualifier, this word is mainly limited to Pennsylvania. In the South, tolerable was the predominant form. (See Map.)

Aug. 12, 1861:  Our grub is midling good here  plenty of soft bread and crackers and fresh beaf and pork and rice and som beans and the field that we drill in has fore tater paches in it and we dont starve for taters. (James Miller, Miller Letters MHI) Lawrence County, PA

June 8, 1862:  I will Some day give you something of a true detail of the killed and wounded for I believe I know midling well for I have learnt from experience. (Luther Granger, CW Document Coll. MHI) Susquehanna County, PA

May 2, 1863:  i Will inform you that Aaron is rite harty And he is midlin fat But he is So mischiefious he does not let me Rest or henry Wilvert for if he is not picking at Wilvert he is at me. (Charles Spire, Spire Letters MHI) Dauphin County, PA  

 

mighty, mity, mitey intensifier  Very. [DARE  especially South, South Midland] (See Map.)

Dec. 12, 1862:  I wante to her from you mity bad. (Wilburn Thompson, Thompson Papers Duke) Milton County, GA

Dec. 19, 1862:  I can inform you that I saw a site to Day that maide me feel mity Bad  I saw a man shot for Deserting. (Thomas Warrick, Warrick Papers ADAH) Coosa County, AL

Feb. 5, 1864:  I hear that the army is forageing from strawberry plains to powels valley & if that is So it will make provisions mity Scarse up thare. (W. H. Chapman, Chapman Family Papers TSLA) Campbell County, TN

Nov. 1, 1864:  old Mrs Claburn took it mity hard the way Jim was killed. (Priscilla Hunter, Hunter-Hagler Letters WHM-R) Jasper County, MO

 

one pronoun One or the other; one placed at the end of the two alternatives without or the other. (See Map.)

Nov. 25, 1861:&I was at a weding ten days ago  an old man seventy years of age the girl twenty two when I get back I intend to marry or be a batchelor one.  (John M. Adams, CSA Miscellany Duke) Henry County, GA

Dec. 31, 1861:  you or father one wanted to no how we drew for furlows. (B. L. Mobley, Mobley Papers Emory) Burke County, GA

Oct. 29, 1862:  i wish tha wod let mee stay all winter or go home one i mutch ruther go home but i dont hav any idy of going home before Christmus. (W. R. Jones, W. R. Jones Papers ADAH) Tuscaloosa County, AL

May 13, 1863:  old Hooker Ses that he intends to brake up our army or his one. (Hardy Matthews, McLeod Letters SHC) Moore County, NC

Sept. 30, 1863:  I told him to tell lemuel to Bring a quart of Whisky or Brandy one. (W. C. Jones, Jones Letters FHS) Barren County, KY

July 25, 1864:  we air looking fo A big fight hear before long  I think that we will have it to maroow or the next day wone. (L. R. Dalton, Dalton Family Papers USC) Greenville District, SC

 

pap  noun  A father; the CACWL data indicated that this term was much more common in the Midland and South than daddy. [OED pap, noun3, U.S. colloq; DARE chiefly Midland, South Atlantic] (See Map.)

Nov. 18, 1861:  well pap I am in old Kentucky now and begin to think we will be in a battle before we get out of Ky. (W. J. Helsley, Helsley Papers FHS) Trumbull County, OH

Feb. 28, 1862:  I wrote a few lines in a letter of Bubs that I believe pap gave to him. (Eliza Payne, Black Family Letters WHM-C) Knox County, MO

June 22, 1862:  I want too See you and the children Myty Bad and tell them that ther pap is yet A live. (C. C. Carter, Carter Papers WKU) Monroe County, KY

Dec. 3, 1862:  Dear pap I take my pen in hand To in hand to in form you that I am well at presant. (Jackson Dawalt, Dawalt Papers FHS) Washington County, IN

Feb. 6, 1863:  pap i whant you to gite atrans fur com her for ihade drother be with you. (Sydney Fuller, Fuller Papers Duke) Randolph County, AL

March 3, 1863:  Tell pap an mam an all of the rest howdy for mee an to wright to mee. (T. F. Baggarly, Baggarly Papers Duke) Iredell County, NC

May 25, 1865:  tell Martha Emma Elisa and Ellie to be good Childern and be kind to Mother and pray for pap to get home. (Fleetwood Benson, Benson Letters MHI) Blair County, PA

 

right smart noun phrase A large amount or quantity, a great deal, a lot. [DARE chiefly South, South Midland] (See Map.)

March 29, 1862: Henry is not very harty but he is mending very well though we have a rite smart of sickness in our company. (Z. M. Price, Price Papers Duke) Lawrence County, MS

May 10, 1862: I thaught by the way he talk he had sent a rite smart of money home. (Charles Haynes, Lowry Hinch Papers MHI) Gallatin County, IL

July 14, 1862: the helth of our Company is onley tolerble good ther is 3 of our Company in the horsepittle ther is Severel Complaining rite Smart. (E. B. Coggin, Coggin Papers ADAH) Chambers County, AL

July 16, 1862: we draw meet flour and some peas that is what we get to eat and I would give A right Smart for somthing fresh an A peace of corn bread. (J. W. Williams, Williams Papers Duke) Onslow County, NC

Sept. 11, 1862: tha air rite Smart of Sicknes in the reagment. (Isaac Liston, Liston Letters IHS) Vigo County, IN

Feb. 7, 1863: we have a rite Smart work to do we are out pickettin about everry third nite. (M. S. Hunter, Horn Coll. MSU) Jackson Parish, LA

May 10, 1864: we have lost rite Smart of men in this fight. (John Everett, Everett Papers Emory) Houston County, GA

 

rod noun A unit of linear measure equal to five and one half yards. (See Map.)

Jan 14, 1862: i Dont fell one Bit afraid of the Rebel guns for i have had one trial of them and i Shot 4 men that i know to be a fact for i was not more than 12 rods from them. (Michael Donlan, CW Doc. Coll. MHI) Middlesex County, MA

Feb. 8, 1862: marched 2 miles and encamped in Jefferson City 20 roods west of the State hous. (James Pusard, Pusard Diary FHS) Kankakee County, IL

June 11, 1863: there wasent but one that wanted to do us any mischief he crep up to one that was close to the bushes and got within a rod and ½ of him and fired at him but missed him. (Alvin Brackett, Harrisburg CW Roundtable Coll. MHI) Cumberland County, ME

March 27, 1864: I saw the tresury department and was within fifteen rods of the white house. (W. J. Johnson, H. M. Johnson Papers Duke) Hillsdale County, MI

June 5, 1864: the brest works whare the skourmishers are thare is not over thirty roods apart. (Londus Haskell, Lewis Leigh Coll. MHI) Washington County, VT

Oct. 12, 1864: thare is two springs that we youse watter not but two or three rods apparte one is sulpur and the other is not. (Thomas LaRue, LaRue Papers MHI) Benton County, IA

 

see  verb  

1. past tense seen. [DARE  widespread] (See Map.)

Feb. 20, 1862:  we have the worst wether you ever seen for it snowse a bout twist a weak and rains the balance of the time and the roads is the worst sort. (Joseph Little, Pendley-Little Papers UGA) Webster County, GA

March 2, 1862:  I tell you I never seen as many Dead men In my life as I seen dead yankeys. (George Hunter, CW Document Coll. MHI) Union County, AR

Nov. 4, 1863:  I seen Robert Withrow yesterday he was up at our camp he looks as hearty as ever I seen him. (Gibson Hood, Hood Letters MHI) Beaver County, PA

Jan. 17, 1864:  Went to town this morning I Loped arround all over town and I seen some verry good Looking girls. (Levi Worster, Worster Diary UKY) Grant County, KY

Sept. 11, 1864:  I dreamed last night of Seeing our dear little willie bad Sick but as Soon as he Seen me he Said I believe that is pa. (Samuel Reeves, Reeves Letters Notre Dame) Knox County, IN

2. past tense seed. [DARE  chiefly South, South Midland] (See Map.)

May 29, 1862:  5 men dide her yisterd day  tha found a botle of mederson and tha drunk hit and hit poisend them  i never Sead the lik be for. (William Poe, Poe Family Papers ADAH) Fayette County, AL

Oct. 5, 1862: I thought I seed hard times when I wase at home but I did not see any thing to Whate I see here. (Isaac Copeland, Copeland Letters NCSA) Surry County, NC

Jan. 15, 1863:  I seed in the casualitys of the nineteenth Regment and I am sorow to say that I seed the name of J. T. Boyd in the list. (Fenton Hall, Boyd Papers Duke) Abbeville District, SC

3. past tense see. [DARE  scattered, but chiefly Atlantic, especially Northeast]. (See Map.)

Oct. 28, 1862:  you said you see Hat Grover and she wanted to know if I had forgoten how to string Apples. (Alvin Brackett, Harrisburg CW Roundtable Coll. MHI) Cumberland County, ME

April 19, 1863:  Corcoran is is here with his division  i see him yesterday. (James Beard, Beard Papers MHI) St. Lawrence County, NY 

May 10, 1863:  The aple trees are in full bloom I see aman ploughing out potatoes last week. (Henry Catlin, Henry Catlin Papers Duke) Litchfield County, CT

July 16, 1863:  you Never see me So Poor As I am Now  I shall stay Back till I git stronger. (James Pratt, Pratt Papers MHI) Norfolk County, MA

   4. past participle seed. [DARE  chiefly South, South Midland]

Oct. 9, 1863:  I was offerd one thousand dollars for the mare I have heare. I Have seed one sell day before yesterday for two thousand dollars. (E. D. Fennell, Fennell Papers Duke) McIntosh County, GA

Jan. 10, 1864:  I have Seede more troble sence youe was at hom than I ever saw before in all the worl. (Susan Setzer, Setzer Papers Duke) Catawba County, NC

Feb. 27, 1864:  times is still hard hear thay say thay havent seed but one Little mess of meat Sens I left. (A. H. Lister, Lister Papers USC) Greenville District, SC

   5. past participle saw. [DARE  widespread, but less frequent  Northeast, Great Lakes, CA] 

Feb. 12, 1862:  Soproney you wanted to know whether I had Saw any prety girls here or not  I have Saw Some but not as prety as the georgia girls. (W. C. Simmons, Simmons Letter Emory) Madison County, GA

June 16, 1862:  Some of our boys has come in that was captured at Elkhorn  Tom Wells of our company and Jasper Holcomb of Capt Boons  John and Wash Roberts come in with them I have not

saw them. (Thomas Cardwell, Cardwell Papers UAR) Washington County, AR

June 25, 1862:  I tell you I hav hird a meniou ball Whistle round my head I hav saw a heep the groning of the dead and wounded some with there heads shot all to peases. (Samuel Jefcoat, Jefcoat Papers Duke) Orangeburg District, SC

 

shall auxiliary verb [According to CACWL data, first-person shall instead of will to indicate the future was still common in American English in the mid 19th century]

1. shall used to indicate the future with first-person subjects. (See Map.)

Sept. 16, 1861: we have got our uniform all except our gunes I dont know when we shall get them. (David Baker, Baker Papers FHS) Lake County, IL

Dec. 20, 1861: give my best respects to Father Mother Brothers & Sisters tell them I shall neve[r] forgit them. (Larkin Kendrick, Kendrick Papers NCSA) Cleveland County, NC

Aug. 30, 1862: Salt is worth 6 dollars a Bushell here I think I shall buy sum and Send it home. (A. J. White, A. J. White Papers Duke) Campbell County, GA

Nov. 30, 1862: I am pretty well now and hope that I shall not have the jandauce there is quite a number of our company that have got them. (Henry Catlin, Henry Catlin Papers Duke) Litchfield County, CT

April 7, 1863: I dont now whether I Shal ever see you any more or not. (Daniel Revis, Revis Letters NCSA) Henderson County, NC

July 18, 1864: our Captain says if we obey our comand rite well we shall stay untill next spring we are building up breast works and he says if we finish it we shall have a rite to fight. (Samuel Cauler, Cauler Letters MHI) Lancaster County, PA

Aug. 26, 1864: i Shall be as saving as i can & if i live through the campaign then i will have a little more to Send. (William Pedrick, Pedrick Papers Duke) Fulton County, NY

2. contracted with the negative particle not. (See Map.)

Nov. 24, 1862: I Shant right much this time. (William Culbertson, Culbertson Papers Duke) Williams County, OH

Feb. 27, 1863: i think i shall be at home to the 4 of July and i shant give it up yet. (Benjamin Hawkins, CW Doc. Coll. MHI) Belknap County, NH

April 5, 1863: our scouts was drove in and we expected to be attacked that night but we was sent and I hope we shant be. (Edwin Lane, CW Document Coll. MHI) Bristol County, MA

June 10, 1863: Father You can do Just as You Please a bout that money I shant say a word. (William Tesh, Tesh Papers Duke) Yadkin County, NC

Jan. 8, 1864: as for me to reinlist again yo need not be a fraid for I shant inlist again. (Walter Myers, H. M. Johnson Papers Duke) Hillsdale County, MI

Dec. 1, 1864: three months of our time is gone ownly nine months to serve yet unless we Reenlist and I guess we shant do that. (Harrison Nesbitt, CW Document Coll. MHI) Luzerne County, PA

Feb. 26, 1865: we have not bin in aney fight yet and I hope I shant. (Henry Bowen, Bowen Papers NCSA) Washington County, NC

3. should with first-person subjects indicating a wish, desire, or other senses in which present-day English use would.

Dec. 8, 1861: I should like to have the privalege of coming home to see you all. (Daniel J. Hileman, Hileman Letters, Lewis Leigh Coll. MHI) Rockbridge County, VA

March 19, 1862: I Should be glad if it was so we could be to gether. (Henry Jefcoat, Jefcoat Papers Duke) Orangeburg District, SC

Aug. 12, 1862: I should like to get home and see you all but that is out of the question. (Samuel Fisher, Lewis Leigh Coll. MHI) Camden County, NJ

Sept. 28, 1862: I Should be glad to see you and Andrew but I Shall not be allowed to if you come the General will not allow of it. (Josephus Jackson, Josephus Jackson Papers Duke) Rutland County, VT

Oct. 4, 1862: we are going to charlston i should as live go there as eny whare. (James Lovering, CW Document Coll. MHI) Middlesex County, MA

Feb. 24, 1863: I should like to be at home a while to see how things look in general. (John Boucher, CW Document Coll. MHI) Washington County, IL

April 12, 1863: I should like to be at home when that weding comes off but it is an imposibilety. (Andrew Rose, Rose Papers Duke) Cuyahoga County, OH

 

slips noun plural A pair of men’s underpants; the term appears to have been particularly common in western North Carolina.  Although long used in reference to women’s and children’s clothing, especially underclothing, its use for men’s drawers is obscure, perhaps related to OED slip, noun3, 4. f., bathing slips, “bathing-drawers. (no longer in use).” (See Map.)

July 28, 1862:  i want you to make me tow pair of pan[t]s and tow pair of slips and keap them and i will rite when i neade them. (Larkin Kendrick, Kendrick Papers NCSA) Cleveland County, NC

Sept. 25, 1862:  I hav got you a lincy shirt an apar of Slips an a par of Socks an i want you to come home an git them for i cant do with out Seein you much longer. (Clarissa Lockmiller, Lockmiller Papers Emory) Meigs County, TN

May 24, 1863:  I can tell you I drawed my cloths yesterday  I got 1 cap 1 coat  2 Shirts  2 pair of slips 1 pair of pants  2 pair of cotton socks  1 pair of shoes. (Daniel Murph, Murph Papers Duke) Catawba County, NC

Jan. 4, 1864:  one of my Sherts is waring out the other one Sound yet my Socks is good yet my slips is nearly wore out. (A. H. Lister, Lister Papers USC) Greenville District, SC

 

smart adjective

1. a. Of children: good, well-behaved, helpful, obedient. (See Map.)

June 12, 1862: Mary kiss William Sarah John Jackson for me, tell them to be smart and I will bring them some candy as ther is a pleanty in Wilmington. (J. W. Whitfield, Whitfield Papers Duke) Nash County, NC

Dec. 14, 1862: Rosettar I waunt you to Bee agood and Smart girl and help your ma all you Can. (E. B. Coggin, Coggin Papers ADAH) Chambers County, AL

March 1863: you must bee smart and good all of you and minde your mo[t]her and that will pleas me as well as eanny thing you can dew. (Levi Rice, Levi Rice Letters SRNB) Kankakee County, IL

March 25, 1863: tell Floyd and Ellen to be smart children & we will make things count when I get back home. (W. H. Tucker, Tucker Papers Duke) Newton County, GA

April 16, 1864: tell sue to be a smarte gearl and to healpe you all She Can and to kepe Clean and nise. (John McCorkle, McCorkle Corr. GHS) Taliaferro County, GA

1. b. Of adults: Industrious, productive in working. [DARE chiefly South, South Midland]

July 28, 1864: she is a good girl but she is not smart nor she wont work if she can help it and that wont do for you if you ever com home you you will need some one to help you work. (Hannah Smithwick, Smithwick Papers Duke) Martin County, NC

Sept. 21, 1864: Papa I was about the best hand there was in the Fodder field So you may know I am a smart girl. (Eliza Hubbard, Hubbard Papers Duke) Anson County, NC

2. Well, in good health, recovered from an illness or injury (as predicate adjective). [DARE especially New England.] (See Map.)

June 15, 1861: I do not feel very smart now, I have got a sore throat, and lip, I feel as cross as a Bear. (Joseph Barlow, Barlow Papers MHI) Essex County, MA

Sept. 14, 1862: the boys caught hold the telegraph wire and pulled down the poles then the wires got tangled with the men on top of the cars and pulled off one man named Hopkins his head struck on the track I thought he was Dead but he is Smart this morning. (Emor Young, Emor Young Letters FHS) Providence County, RI

Oct. 30, 1862: I am quite smart and hope you and the rest of the folks ar the same. (Gersham Libby, Elisha Turner Papers MHI) Cumberland County, ME

Nov. 4, 1862: He was pretty smart this morning they sayed but he eat little to much so he did not feel quite so smart at noon. (Spencer Sober, Sober Letters SRNB) Geauga County, OH

Nov. 30, 1862: he was very sick for a few days but he has over come it and will soon be smart as before. (James Beard, Beard Papers MHI) St. Lawrence County, NY

March 18, 1865: he had bin gaining and appeared quite smart but his Fever come on and took him off. (Frank Hurd, Hurd Letters MHI) Trumbell County, OH

 

soft bread noun A loaf of bread leavened with yeast, in contrast with hard bread (hardtack); see light bread. (See Map.)

Jan. 7, 1862: our hard bread is full of worms altho we have soft bread Every other day. (Carroll Kingsley, CW Doc. Coll. MHI) Middlesex County, CT

July 28, 1862: we get fresh vegetables Beef & Soft Bread ThankYou. But my mouth is to Sore [from scurvy] to Enjoy it. (Harvey Miller, H. H. Miller Letters IHS) Cass County, IN

Sept. 24, 1862: Our liveing is better than I expected we have Beef stake 2 a week and soft Bread, and Beans, and Tea and Coffee and hard Bread. (Edwin Lane, CW Document Coll. MHI) Bristol County, MA

Dec. 28, 1863: Since we come here we have had to live on hard tack a little coffee a little pork & Salt horse but i think we will draw Soft bread the first of next month. (William Pedrick, Pedrick Papers Duke) Fulton County, NY

Sept. 15, 1864: We still have hard bread but we are puting up an out oven to day and will have soft bread soon. (Thomas LaRue, LaRue Papers MHI) Benton County, IA

 

sorry adjective

A. variant form sorrow. [OED sorrow, B. adjective, “Now arch. and U.S. regional”] (See Map.)

Nov. 20, 1861: I was sorrow to here that you dont have a nogh wood but it hant more then I expected. (Henry Huffer, Huffer Letters MHI) Bartholomew County, IN

Dec. 24, 1861: irecieve your leter December the 22 1861 and was glad to hear from you but was Sorow to hear that you was sick. (Juniper Watters, Watters-Curtis Papers FHS) Estill County, KY

Jan. 23, 1862: I was proud to here from you all But was sorrow to here your cusin was dead. (W. J. Honnoll, Honnoll Papers Emory) Tishamingo County, MS

Sept. 21, 1862: I was Sorow to hur that yeu was a having the agu[e] yet. (Isaac Liston, Liston Letters IHS) Vigo County, IN

Dec. 22, 1863: i am Sorrow to hear that John and Richard have inlisted. (John Fifer, Fifer Papers Duke) Delaware County, IN

July 25, 1864: well par I was sorrow to hear that you fell off of the wagon and like to got kill. (L. R. Dalton, Dalton Family Papers USC) Greenville District, SC

Aug. 7, 1864: I receved your kind letter dated july the 27 and was sorrow to hear you was wounded. (Caroline Walker, Walker Family Papers TSLA) Knox County, TN

A2. variant form sorra.

Nov. 24, 1861:I am very sorra to her that Miss Meg C was gon for I wrote to her the other weak and some body els will see the leter. (L. W. Griffin, Griffin Letters NCSA) Rutherford County, NC

April 23, 1862: I was Sora to hear that you had bin loosing your Salt and Soda and meal hoo do you think it was and how tha broke in. (William Box, Box Family Papers USC) Laurens District, SC

B. Senses

1. Of land, crops: unproductive, ruined; below average.

June 16, 1861: if we get rain in a few days we will make a heavy corn crop our cotton is very spoted the lise and grasshopers are very bad some potions is very good but some others are very sorry. (J. W. Ramey, Tayloe Papers VHS) Perry County, AL

July 7, 1862: the rust kild my oats tha never heded attall and my may wheat was very sorry. (J. M. Culbertson, Culbertson Papers Duke) Laurens District, SC

July 9, 1862: Corn crops is good here, wheate verry sory. (J. F. Alexander, Alexander Letters GDAH) Chattooga County, GA

2. Of food, clothing: poor quality.

Aug. 23, 1861: [I] bought some peaches but they were sorry. (Walker Camp, Camp-Reynolds Papers GDAH) Coweta County, GA

Jan. 6, 1864: our rations are sorry we get enough cours meal but beef hardly comes at all. (Martin Davis, Davis Letters MHI) Heard County, GA

 

stout adjective Healthy, strong, in good health. [OED stout, A. adjective, II Physical senses, 6.a. “Strong in body; of powerful build. Now only U.S. dial” and 6.b., “In robust health, ‘strong’, esp. with reference to recovery from illness. Obs. exc. Sc”] (See Map.)

Nov. 9, 1861: he is nearly well now he talks like going back into camps as soon as he gets stout enough. (Louisa Rector, Rector Papers UTA) Rhea County, TN

Jan. 21, 1862: I Expect to Remain here untill I think John has got Stout anough to gow home. (T. G. Clark, Clark Family Papers UMiss) Calhoun County, MS

Nov. 24, 1863: I Feel a heap stouter and Look better than I did but my Legs is a little stiff Yet. (William Tesh, Tesh Papers Duke) Yadkin County, NC

March 27, 1864: i ant got very stout yet but i am gainin daley. (Daniel Carey, Tanner Papers FHS) Wayne County, OH

Sept. 8, 1864: i am some stouter than i was. (Timothy Rardin, Rardin Letters IHS) Clay County, IN

Sept. 14, 1864: this leaves Me in tolorable health I do hope that I am going to get Stout again. (Samuel Reeves, Reeves Letters Notre Dame) Knox County, IN

June 7, 1865: I hope you will take good care of your self until you an Stout a gain. (Hiram Finton, Finton Letters IHS) Kosciusko County, IN

 

they (also thay, tha, the) existential subject There.

1. they + is.

Dec. 25, 1861: they is over 1200 union troops within 4 miles of us they is 3 or 4 Regiments in sight of us. (George Jarrett, Garrett [sic] Letters MHI) Randolph County, IN

Jan. 5, 1862: thay is a great many sick in the neighbourhood with the yellow jaunders. (Louisa Haney, J. B. Click Papers Duke) Greene County, VA

Feb. 15, 1862: We ar here at lebanon yet but thay is aprospect of us leving. (Juniper Watters, Watters-Curtis Papers FHS) Estill County, KY

April 10, 1862: it is Surposed that they is ten thousand killed and wounded. (Charles Haynes, Lowry Hinch Papers MHI) Gallatin County, IL

Sept. 16, 1862: i thought i wood come By and see them all maby for the last time But i hope it wont Be But they is no telling. (W. W. Bomer, A. J. White Papers Duke) Campbell County, GA

Oct. 3, 1862: they is all kind of things there a person could think of. (Miles Beaty, Beaty Letters UIA) Clarion County, PA

May 15, 1863: it is reported here that tha is two hundred Thousan yankeys advansen on this A way. (W. H. H. Lee, W. H. H. Lee Papers USC) Greenville District, SC

March 30, 1864: we have got the best captin and Lieutenant that the is in the ridgement. (W. H. Chapman, Chapman Family Papers TSLA) Campbell County, TN

Nov. 30, 1864: I hope and trust to god that they is a day a coming when poor privats will be as free as big ritch officers. (W. H. Horton, Councill Papers Duke) Watauga County, NC

2. they + was.

Jan. 18, 1862: we went up in rite smart of a hurry and they was a talk of us abeing attacted. (Alexander Black, Black Family Letters WHM-C) Knox County, MO

Feb. 1, 1862: tha was six yankes in a row boat come upt towards wite pinte this week. (Benjamin Jefcoat, Jefcoat Papers Duke) Orangeburg District, SC

March 22, 1862: thay was a party at Gorge Gilekrist a thursday Night thay saye thay was a heape there I think thay had better stay a way from partys. (Effie Jane Graham, Jackson Correspondence Notre Dame) Moore County, NC

June 25, 1862: let me know you are a geting with yore crop and let me know whethr they was any wheat made. (Wilburn Thompson, Thompson Papers Duke) Milton County, GA

Aug. 19, 1862: I herde not five minets ago that tha was one hundred and Eighty thousand a coming rite on us. (Hillory Shifflet, Shifflet Letters GLC) Madison County, KY

May 11, 1863: tha never was such distruction of life before sense this earth was peopled. (Christine Diltz, Diltz Papers Duke) Champaign County, OH

April 12, 1864: they was a girl stayed with us last nite from the pine montain a hunting bredd stuf. (John Evans, Chapman Family Papers TSLA) Campbell County, TN

Sept. 24, 1864: this day was wet and nothing going on there they was hevy canonnadind going on in petersburgh. (Abraham Bowman, Bowman Diary MHI) Jefferson County, PA

3. they + are.

Jan. 4, 1862: we made very good shots although they are Some very awkward persons in the company although there is Some very good marksman in this company. (Luther Granger, CW Doc. Coll. MHI) Susquehanna County, PA

Feb. 19, 1862: they are sevrel more of the boys complaining, the most of them has the mumps. (John Booker, Booker Coll. UVA) Pittsylvania County, VA

April 5, 1862: I under stand that tha are five reg ment orderd to vagina from this place. (Jonas Bradshaw, Bradshaw Papers Duke) Alexander County, NC

July 17, 1862: i will send you som stamps in the next letter i wood send you som now but tha aint aney hear now. (Wilburn Thompson, Thompson Papers Duke) Milton County, GA

Sept. 10, 1862: thay are a good many prisoners in town But i have not seen them yet. (William Murray, T. Murray Corr. WHM-R) Scott County, IA

Oct. 30, 1862: some ses they are forty thousan yankey south of the blue ridge. (Thomas Woodham, Woodham Papers UGA) Stewart County, GA

Oct. 10, 1863: I can step out a one hundred yards on a sand bank and se the yankey vesels plain thay ar a meney a one. (A. H. Lister, Lister Papers USC) Greenville District, SC

Nov. 13, 1863: they are so many false reports going. (Rachel Jefcoat, Jefcoat Papers Duke) SC

4. they + aint.

July 17, 1862: i will send you som stamps in the next letter i wood send you som now but tha aint aney hear now. (Wilburn Thompson, Thompson Papers Duke) Milton County, GA

May 10, 1865: it is the generel apinion of the pepl that we will Sune git oute of the Serves tho they ant nothing Serten aboute it. (W. S. Carson, Carson Family Papers GDAH) Bradley County, TN

5. they + have, has, haven’t.

Dec. 25, 1861: this is Chrismast knight But they havent bin any Chrismast hear. (W. T. Martin, W. T. Martin Papers Emory) Pickens District, SC

June 3, 1862: tha have come a splendid rain sience I have bin righting. (John Jefcoat, Jefcoat Papers Duke) Orangeburg District, SC

June 25, 1862: often they hav been several caps poped at me while onn my Post at knight and it raning all the time to. (Samuel Jefcoat, Jefcoat Papers Duke) Orangeburg District, SC

Aug. 26, 1863: they hav bin a good many of the rebels that has tuck the oath And has goind [= joined] our army. (John Moore, J. E. Moore Letters IHS) Parke County, IN

June 22, 1864: tha has Ben so much Rane here we hante ploude over Much yet tho we begun to la[y] by this morning. (Francis Watkins, Watkins Papers Emory) Franklin County, GA

6. they + will, won’t.

May 14, 1861: tha ar going to Be another Call For volanteers this weak But i dont think tha will bee aman volentere in our Campna. (Robert P. Boyd, Boyd Papers Duke) Abbeville District, SC

Oct. 21, 1861: they was another Company came to this place this week & go into Regt Ment it was from Abevile they will be three others campanig hear in about two or three weeks. (W. T. Martin, W.T. Martin Papers Emory) Pickens District, SC

Sept. 10, 1862: wee drod our arms at indnaples it looks like tha will be a batel hur befur long. (Isaac Liston, Liston Letters IHS) Vigo County, IN

Jan. 28, 1863: the expectation is that they will Be a force in here in a short time. (Thomas Crowl, CW Document Coll. MHI) York County, PA

June 1, 1863: we are advansen one the yankeys it is thout tha will be A larg battle when we get up with them. (W. H. H. Lee, W. H. H. Lee Papers USC) Greenville District, SC

Aug. 20, 1863: our noble old army is becoming verey tierd of the war and Deserting like hel one hundred Left Gen Danwels [= Daniel’s] Brigade Last nite I fear they will so many leave that we will have to go up the spout. (John Rogers, Confederate Miscellany Emory) DeKalb County, AL

Feb. 1, 1864: I am afraid that Jack will leave chattanooga and they wont be another chance soon but I am in hops they will be some way provid[ed] to hear from you. (Elvira Carson, Carson Family Papers GDAH) Bradley County, TN

 

till, tell preposition  and conjunction Before, by, by the time. This feature is a calque of Pennsylvania German bis and was carried westward and southward out of southeastern Pennsylvania. (See Map.)

Aug. 24, 1863: Dear Mother I hope till this letter comes to your hand it will find you well again. (Daniel Faust, Faust Letters MHI) Schuylkill County, PA

Dec. 5, 1863: Tell bet and Fanny They must bake me a sweet cake and send it to me Till Christmas. (William Tesh, Tesh Papers Duke) Yadkin County, NC

April 21, 1864: I want you to have plenty of good eating tell I come Such as eggs and ham and crout and milk and butter and Sallet & Sweat potatoes and So on. (Alexander Keever, Keever Papers Duke) Lincoln County, NC

May 28, 1865: we have orders to Start for harisburg next monday but I dont expect to get home  they will discharge all the men whose time is up till the first of october. (Peter Boyer, Boyer Papers MHI) Lancaster County, PA

 

to preposition At (a place) especially in the phrase to home. [DARE to, B preposition, 1a. scattered, but especially frequent North] (See Map.)

June 20, 1861: how is Charles Trip now is he down to oldtown now. (Joseph Barlow, Barlow Papers MHI) Essex County, MA

Dec. 22, 1861: we expect to leave here before long thare is about a dosen transports down to the navy yard. (Alfred Holcomb, CW Document Coll. MHI) Hampden County, MA

Feb. 15, 1862: i had a letter from the north and Uncle Gariet Kenny is to Uncle Israles Conklins this winter. (Anson Hutchinson, CW Doc. Coll. MHI) Fulton County, NY

Jan. 25, 1863: there was a report this evening that our canon was down to colesburgh. (Andrew Rose, Rose Papers Duke) Cuyahoga County, OH

March 11, 1863: i was Down to the doctors this morning And got excused from duty on Account of my eye. (William Pedrick, Pedrick Papers Duke) Fulton County, NY

April 12, 1863: Whiskey is not so plenty here as it was to the Falls. (James Beard, Beard Papers MHI) St. Lawrence County, NY

Aug. 18, 1863: we was on patrol last night we heard some good music we stoped to a house where there was two girls singing and playing on the Piano. (Norman Markham, Markham Papers FHS) Hillsdale County, MI

Oct. 19, 1863: I want you to stay to home and not go to war a gain.(Emma Tanner, Tanner Papers FHS) Wayne County, OH

Nov. 27, 1863: he may be to Alexandria or Washington. (Nathan Middlebrook, Northwest Corner CW Round Table MHI) Fairfield County, CT

May 27, 1864: we got some tobacco to a Rebs house. (Jared Potter, Potter Diary, Gregory Coco Coll. MHI) Washington County, RI

 

tolerable adverb Rather, somewhat, fairly. This shortened form of tolerably is scattered through the North Midland but most common in the South and South Midland. (See Map.)

Sept. 22, 1861: I walked over to Fairfax court House yesterday for some Molasses that is between a ½ a mile and a mile I felt tolerable weak when I got back Daniel stands the Camp life tolerable well. (John J. Hileman, Hileman Letters, Lewis Leigh Coll. MHI) Rockbridge County, VA

Oct. 21, 1862: I went up town an had my forshon told she told me you wod bee well in a fue days an she told me tha was a talabul old woman a living with you I want to now who it is. (E. D. T. Hawkins, Hawkins Letters Duke) Talbot County, GA

April 1, 1864:  I always like to see a long Letter and I. will send you a tolerable Long one. (W. H. Chapman, Chapman Family Papers TSLA) Campbell County, TN

 

want verb In the phrase want (that) someone should: to desire that a person should do something. [OED want, verb, 11. b. and c.] (See Map.)

March 30, 1862: you wrote to me that you was going to make some sugar if you do I want you should send me thirty lbs in a box. (Henry Campbell, Anna Campbell Papers Duke) Windham County, VT

July 5, 1862: I went out last night for milk for Supper & they wanted I should come out in the morning & get breakfast. (Thomas Covert, Covert Papers MHI) Ashtabula County, OH

Feb. 22, 1863: i want you should tell him to have a barrel of Cider all readdy so that you can draw and drink and not forget to nock the head out of one barrel of apples. (W. H. Monroe, Cutler Papers Duke) Essex County, MA

Feb. 28, 1863: I want you should dry those tears on acount of my hard lot it is nothing but what I can bear without a murmer. (Emor Young, Emor Young Letters FHS) Providence County, RI

June 8, 1863: if father writes or sends any thing I want you should follow his directions and see if you can not be better in future. (Oren Farr, Farr Corr. Duke) Sullivan County, NH

July 24, 1864: I want that you should write to me and tell me how you are and what the prospect is about your Being Discharged. (Elisha Benton, CW Doc. Coll. MHI) Monroe County, MI

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