End of ADS-L Digest - 14 Jun 1998 to 15 Jun 1998
There are 15 messages totalling 664 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. "the man" in WSVE (2)
2. NEW YORK magazine's invented words
3. Rock and Roll (1907 songs & 1920s-1930s lullabies)
4. gazillion (3)
6. letters on paper
7. RE>Re: gazillion
8. non-email notes? (Re: 9guzillion9)
10. Digital Dialect Archives
11. ADS Site Search Resumes
12. henna?


Date: Tue, 16 Jun 1998 01:27:49 -0400
From: Bob Haas
Subject: Re: "the man" in WSVE

In keeping with Ron's ideas, I seem to remember a line from the old song, "The
Midnight Special" that mentions working "for the man," or something to that
effect. I know the song from CCR's cover, but it's been around a long time. I'm
pretty certain Jimmy Rogers did it a long while back, as well as many R&B
artists. In any case, it's certainly would point to southern origins for the
term. That is, of course, if I'm remembering correctly. Any help?

Ron Butters wrote:

> I am familiar with the term THE MAN from working-class white (and black)
> speakers in the South (particularly in Wilmington, NC), who in the early 1970s
> (and probably earlier) used the phrase to indicate what I would have indicated
> by THE BOSS. For example, if someone came to a job site looking for work, he
> might ask, "Who is the man?"
> I'm not questioning the fact that the spread of THE MAN as a recent vogue
> term stems from AAVE, but I think it most likely that it originated in the
> South in relationship to the general phrase BOSS MAN, rather than (as an
> earlier writer suggested) specifically in AAVE as a term women used for their
> husbands and bouyfriends.


Bob Haas
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
rahaas[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]hamlet.uncg.edu

"No matter where you go, there you are."