Date: Sat, 12 Nov 1994 08:55:00 EDT


Subject: swan/swanny (and Suwanee)

# Old Stevie Foster misused the name of the Suwanee River in his

# "Old Folks at Home," calling it Swanee. Of course, he never even

# saw the river, which originally was called the "river of reeds"

# by the natives (Guasaca Esqui [source: Britannica]). The same

# source says that the present name was probably a slave version of

# a Spanish name: San Juanee (Little St. John). I'm sure our

# Waycross correspondant can add more, I swanny.

Is that me?

One question: Just north of the Florida border the Suwanee joins the

Suwanoochee. What's the pidgin Spanish etymology for THAT?

Back to "swan/swanny": I haven't heard that around here (I'll have to

ask around), but when I first moved to Florida, I noticed that a lot

of folks seemed to use "promise" where I'd use "swear", as in "I never

touched your skate board, I promise!" I assume this extension of

"promise" is another result of the taboo on "swear".

David Johns

Waycross College

Waycross, GA