Date: Wed, 14 Jun 1995 10:43:23 -0500

From: "thomas j. creswell" creswell[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]NIIA.NET

Subject: meddle

In 1948, when I was teaching 6th grade in an all-black school on Chicago's

South Side, a common complaint I heard, but at first did not understand, was

"Teacher, Henry (or some other name) meddlin' me." Another, heard somewhat

less frequently, was "Teacher, Henry, signifyin' me." I soon learned that

"meddlin'" referred to any physical activity--hitting, pinching,

hair-pulling, or the like; and "signifyin'" referred to verbal

attack--name-calling, teasing, etc.

Note that in both cases these were transitive verbs.

Perhaps I was naive, but, as far as I remember, "meddling" did not at any

time have any sexual connotation.

Tom Creswell