LOWER-DELMARVA-ROOTS-L ArchivesArchiver > LOWER-DELMARVA-ROOTS > 2009-07 > 1247075417
From: "Miller's Choice" <>
Subject: Re: [LDR] Origin of Given Name
Date: Wed, 8 Jul 2009 10:50:17 -0700 (PDT)
<an enunciation and spelling problem.>
I tend to agree with Jon. As an eastern shoreman who still recalls the old way of speaking, I can see where this may be true. My second greatgrandmother's name was Ursula (1835-1919) and my spouse's greatgrandmother was also named Ursula (b. 1879). Both names were pronounced Are Sue Lah. The latter Ursula was known as Miss Sulie. My mother (b. 1913) was originally named Ursula but baptized by another name and was so glad she didn't have that "awful name". Much later, when teaching in Baltimore, hearing the name pronounced correctly, she thought it was a lovely name and wished her parents had remained with the original selection.
My maternal grandmother's speech was peppered with mispronunciations and quaint expressions such as "crick" for creek, "dreen" for drain (referring to what we now call a gut which is an offshoot of a river or crick and, my favorite, "it's a fur [far] piece", meaning a long way to travel. Notwithstanding this uneducated (she could read and write) manner of speaking, grandmother knew all the weather signs, every tree and plant and their uses, could milk a cow, pluck fowl, skin animals, utilize all the pig except for the oink, make soap, churn butter, make dresses from flour sacks, dye plain flour sacks from plant juices, weave baskets, etc. I still recall all the trees by their leaves, bark and fruit plus many plants but unfortunately do not remember the medicinal uses nor can I now distinguish a mushroom from a toadstool. I wish I had been reared to be as self-sufficient as she, thinking her survival skills were much better than mine will
Despite my regret concerning lack of survival skills, I must confess I am too soft-hearted/citified to want to be on a first name basis with my food. My mother would not eat chicken because one time when she was home from the city, just after eating an enjoyable Sunday dinner, mother mentioned she hadn't seen Henny in the yard. Grandmother quite matter of factly replied that Henny had been their dinner. Henny had stopped laying eggs so grandmother stewed her up in a wine mixture (homemade from farm-grown grapes). In today's cuisine parlance, Henny became coq au vin. I think I would feel the same way as mother.