Date: Fri, 1 Aug 1997 16:37:40 -0600


Subject: Fw: circe, sirsee

This is a message I passed on the the person who queried this a couple of

weeks ago:

The Dictionary of American Regional English files have anecdotal evidence

for the term "sirsee" (variously spelled "circe," "circi," "surcy") from NC,

SC, GA, and PA, as well as two reports from Buffalo, NY and Oklahoma, where

the speakers were said to come from "someplace else." All evidence is oral,

so the spellings are speakers' attempts to represent the pronunciation. The

etymology is uncertain, but one plausible source is the Scots verb "sussie,"

meaning 'to take trouble, to care, to bother oneself.' This probably came

to Scotland from the French "souci," meaning 'care, trouble.'

The term seems to be especially well known in Columbia, SC, where it is

strongly associated with a women's college. Michael Montgomery of the

English Department of the University of SC has reported its use there.

We at DARE would be interested in whatever documentation or anecdotal

evidence you have for the use of the word (time, place, examples).

Best wishes,

Joan Hall, Associate Editor, DARE