Date: Mon, 9 Mar 1998 08:55:40 -0500
From: "Dennis R. Preston" preston[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]PILOT.MSU.EDU
Subject: Re: Distnc. btw. "crick"&"creek", GREASY/GREAZY

Of course the noun is always 'grease' and the verb 'greaze' (no matter how
'greazy/greasy' the 'greazed' object turns out.

I am sympathetic, however, to the likelihood that the 'greasy/greazy'
distinction in my own speech is late-learned, and, I thought, perhaps even
idiosyncratic, but now I have heard it from others, so I am inclined to
believe its origins might have been in some more general form of
associative hypercorrection ('things in the North are "fancier" or some
such crap').

dInIs (who would be nonplussed to find that he had been trapped by the
overtly prestigious)

My graduate student from SW Virginia (Covington) would have to agree with
Ron: she says really oily hands (from car grease, for ex.) are 'greazy,'
while messy food plates, french fries, etc. are just 'greasy.' She adds,
though, that the distinction may be based in type of grease (car vs. food)
rather than degree. One would also 'greaze' the car, but with 'grease'--a
distinction no So/SoMid speaker disputes, am I right?

At 07:52 PM 3/5/98 -0500, you wrote:
Ron of Iowa wrote:

One thing that surprises me here is that folks say that GREASY and GREAZY
semantically distinct to the extent that GREAZY things are GREASY, but
intensely so, Is this true elsewhere in the South?

Nonsense! (Unless, of course, one is talking about the amount of snake oil
one has lubricated one's words with.)

Bethany of SE Texas

Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
Office: (517)353-0740
Fax: (517)432-2736