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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
Beth's Weekly Moultrie Observer Column - Week 48
(This appears here courtesy of The Moultrie Observer)

We were talking the other week about old timey words and phrases that our grandparents used. Several of our readers have called or written with other conversational antiques.

One reader wrote and said that when he was a child, hearing his parents and uncles and aunts talk, he heard them say what he thought was "I, Yi!" This phrase was used to signify that the speaker agreed with whatever was being discussed. It turns out that this phrase came from our own Navy...and was a Southern version of "Aye, aye!"

Teddy Roosevelt used "bully" often. He meant that whatever he was talking about was really good. In TR's day, "bully" became a commonly used expression.

"Now mind ye," meant to pay attention, pay heed, and to listen to what I'm going to tell you.

Sometimes our words just change meaning. "Fine" and "Coarse" used to mean things completely different from the way we use those words today. "Fine" was used in music to indicate a treble or high note. "Coarse" was used to describe a bass or very low note. "Fine" also meant something small and "coarse" to describe something big.

Another reader wrote and said he remembered his grandmother talking about the "kwiled" up snake! That was, he said, a mispronunciation for a coiled or coiled up snake.

"Skwush" was another way of saying squash, as in smashing something!

Another reader said she remembered her grandmother saying, after a trip to Albany from Moultrie, "If the world is as big the other way as it is this way, it is sure to be a big place."

I remember, "Don't mean maybe." When my Grannie said that, I knew that I was to do whatever she had commanded with no questions asked.

Did you ever hear "You kids stop a-messin' and a-gaumin'?" Amazingly to me, it's in one of Mark Twain's books and means to smear with a sticky substance.

Speaking of old fashioned phrases, I ran across something that really made me think. It seems that the rest of the world thinks that Southerners use "Y'all" singularly. I don't ever recall using (and I do use this often) this when speaking to one person...and don't ever remember hearing anyone do this. Do you?

Did you ever hear, "He was so lazy he carried a cat under his arm to breathe for him!" I don't remember hearing that one, but I will use it for sure!

I read that when repeating rifles first came out, the hunters said, "Load it on Sunday and shoot it all week!"

I remember, when asked how she was doing, my sweet mother-in-law used to say, "Why, Dear One, I'm fine as frog hair!"

If you are a fan of auto harp and traditional mountain music, here's a treat if any are left: Madonna Short has produced 1,000 copies of a recording of mountain, nostalgic and gospel songs. Short has written and performed the music accompanied by auto harp and the real, traditional music of the mountains.
The price is $10 plus $2 s/h from Kentucky Craft, PO Box 670, Olive Hill, KY 41164. Email

Speaking of old fashioned music, you can get a recording sung with mandolin, guitar and harmonica called Sacred Songs of Long Ago. It's a one-hour cassette and songbook for $14.94 postpaid. Write Brett Young, Box KSA-3491, Knoxville, TN 37927.

When the new crop of corn comes in this year, here's a very old recipe for "Corn Roast."

You take one cup of corn, one-fourth cup of cream, three-fourths cup of milk, one and a fourth cup of toasted bread crumbs, one tablespoon of grated onion, two eggs and one teaspoon salt.

Beat the eggs slightly and add the milk, cream, corn, salt and bread crumbs. Let stand for 15 or 20 minutes. Turn into a buttered pan and bake in a "moderate" oven for about 30-40 minutes. Serve with cream sauce or white sauce.

For the White Sauce: You will need four tablespoons of butter, four tablespoons of flour, two cups of milk and one teaspoon of salt. Heat the milk in a double boiler, but don't let it reach the scalding point. Rub the butter, flour and salt together until smooth, then slowly pour over them the heated milk. Stir until smooth and thickened.

This recipe came long before calories were invented.

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