End of ADS-L Digest - 8 Aug 1995 to 9 Aug 1995 ********************************************** There are 2 messages totalling 99 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. snake doctors and such 2. Counting e-mails ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 10 Aug 1995 19:17:34 EDT From: Terry Lynn Irons Subject: snake doctors and such I have been working with some of the field records from the LANCS archives (via the wonderfully preserved microfilms) and have come across a few variant responses for dragon fly (short sheets, page 46, item 8) in Kentucky records that I need some help with. They maybe attested in DARE, but I am at home and dont have those volumes to hand. SO. First of all Kentucky is a snake doctor/feeder state (which I knew existed but never heard until I moved here) and is generally found in the LANCS records. These usages have by and large died out among contemporary speakers, but preliminary pilot work suggests that the forms are preserved in eastern ky, with a sharp boundary between doctor and feeder head nouns. The forms I encounter in the field records that are novel to me and that I have not seen attested elswehere (but I am by no means to be considered widely read) include the following: snake fly Mercer cty also knows snake doctor witch doctor Scott Cty also knows snake doctor snake bug Johnson Cty also knows snake charmer snake master Calloway Cty also knows mosquito hawk devils horse this is a secondary response from informants in Hickman Cty, field work by Raven. I am interpreting his notes as the second word being horse. This may not be accurate. The response is clearly not devils darning needle, which is attested three other times in KY. snake fisher Bell Cty snake eater Leslie Cty flying grampa secondary response Whitely Cty. Also from Leslie Cty I have a secondary response that I cannot decipher from Ravin's notes. The primary response is devils darning needle (lot of legs) Written above in the commments section is w^ ? l krI^kIt I dont know if this this is some lexical variant for dragon fly or for a variety of earthworm/nightcrawler (46.7A &B). This item is particularly interesting because it is one of the distinctive features of Midland dialects listed by Kurath in his Word Geography. Actually, he says snake feeder is Midland, snake doctor is Southern. I have not yet plotted the distribution of these features across KY (data to which Kurath did not have access in 1949), but it is clear that doctors outnumber feeders, which suggests that the south midland boundary (if such a thing ever existed) may be further north than the projections in early maps. Who knows? (But there was a distinct Midland dialect--or at least an Ohio Valley accent; I hear it in my relatives, and they aint Northerners or SOutherners.) My query at this time is, does anyone know of other attestations of the above cited forms in other areas? Does anyone know what the cryptic form noted by Ravin might be? If so, is it attested elsewhere? Terry -- (*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*) Terry Lynn Irons t.irons[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]msuacad.morehead-st.edu Voice Mail: (606) 783-5164 Snail Mail: UPO 604 Morehead, KY 40351 (*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)