Date: Fri, 21 Apr 1995 11:06:49 -0700


Subject: Re: South East Missouri /IG-nert/

I'm surprised that so far no one has mentioned the usage of this word in

Black English. The first time I ever heard the word at all was from my

grandmother's maid in Oklahoma in the 1940s, and it seemed clear from the

context that it meant simply "rude". I learned the standard meaning only

when I used the word in my grandmother's presence to mean "rude" and was

hastily corrected in tones that gently but clearly conveyed to me that

there was something socially unacceptable about using it in that sense.

The next time I heard the word in the meaning "rude" was in the 1980s in

Ohio, again from an African American, leading me to believe that it had

been alive and well all that time and was geographically widespread.

Peter McGraw

Linfield College

McMinnville, OR