Date: Thu, 6 Jun 1996 23:40:47 -0400


Subject: Packy revisited

A few weeks ago, there was some discussion on the list about the term "packy"

for a liquor store. As per recollections by Lynn Murphy, this seems to be a

Massachusetts term, especially Western Massachusetts (which starts, as far as

I can tell, at Worcester, in other words, comprising the western 3/4 of the

state, but that's another thread). Based on some other folks' unfamiliarity

with the term, Lynn had speculated that this might be a more "college-y" term.

At that time, I had volunteered to commission my sister to investigate among

her colleagues. This evening I received her report (along with a request for

other instances of regional variation in preposition usage along side "wait on

line" vs "wait in line", to which I could only add "sick to/at/in one's

stomach"). Her colleagues, from Enfield and Windsor, CT (essentially, just

south of the Mass/CT border) can't imagine calling a liquor store anything

other than a "packy"; my sister, as a non-drinker, had never encountered the

term before I commissioned her. These colleagues are 20-something to

30-something, not all college educated...

Alice Faber