Thursday, January 12, 2012

Crackers & Appalachia


Ethelyne ‘cracker’ to be built in Appalachia.

– NPR 12 JAN 12

My uncle Tom told how his wife Vi(olet)

once took him to a ‘cracker’ party: a boy

stood in the center of a room with a pail

of water & box of saltine crackers; she

said: “Be nice Floyd dance!” & so Floyd

danced around the pail with the crackers

that never got wet & no one ever ate.

No matter how intended, Southerners

take it badly at being called ‘crackers’

recalling indentured servants ‘cracking’

tars from pine trees in Georgia. What about

high-octane fuel for combustion ? Will

‘cracker’ rise in occupational status? Will

boys wear T-shirts saying CRAYKUH!

& dam’ proud of it, y’all!” (Wait & see.)

(12 JAN 12, Santa Clara CA) v2


FionnFile said...

A fruitful source of wordplay, but don't believe people who tell you that the term is derived from "whip-cracker." Originally the word was used to refer to loud talkers and boasters among the hill people of the south, which suggests that the word derives from the Irish and Scottish Gaelic word "craic" ("crack"). See Grady MacWhinney, CRACKER CULTURE, whose work supports but does not endorse this etymology.

Bill Costley said...

If MacWhinney doesn't endorse the craic origin, who does?