Wednesday, February 3, 2010

You make the call

Dean tells me that "skedaddle" and "hootenanny" have been officially dropped from the dictionary. He feels that "skedaddle" is a loss but feels no pain over "hootenanny." I think both cases are tragic; such colorful, uniquely American words being lost. I'll just have to try to work both in to as much of my conversation as possible. (You have been warned.)

Meanwhile, if you haven't seen this yet, please watch it. For me, for yourself. It is a TED video of Stuart Brown, talking about the importance of play. Better, even, than the Ken Robinson one (but do watch if you haven't seen it).

Then tell me when you're going to start playing.

[edited to add: I should have said up front -- to 'skedaddle' is to leave quickly; a 'hootenanny' is both a party with music and dancing -- usually folk/square dancing, and it also means the word that you can't think of at the moment -- as in, "hand me that hootenanny over there!" People now more commonly use "thingamajig" or "whatsit" or "thingamabob." Also, my further research has shown that while some references put 'skedaddle' as a term coined during the American Civil War, other sources put it as having derived from earlier Scottish/Irish/English terminology.]

6 comments:

Natalie said...

Better than Ken Robinson?
That is intriguing... I'll get back to you.

KristenMary said...

What a tragedy! My mother still tells me to Skeddaddle, so it must still be in common use. It seems like there must be more ancient words that could be taken out in it's place. I will join your mission to use them as much as I can. I Better go skedaddle and watch the hootenanny that is the Ted clip you mention. :-D

Garnered Stitches said...

I always thought "skeddaddle" was a Lancashire dialect word. My Dad would always use it if he was busy when, as a small child, I was in his way.
Doesn't really matter if it's not in the book, Dean, so long as it is still in use. A word isn't dead 'til the last person has spoken it!
best wishes to you and Dean

Jennifer said...

Aha -- while some sources say the word 'skedaddle' originated in the 1860s (a Civil War term for hasty retreat from battle), I do see that other sources give it Irish, English, and Scottish beginnings. I so entirely love language....

Helen Conway said...

Skedaddle is a perfectly good word - what are they thinking about? Although I confess although I have heard the word hootenany I don't actually know what it means.

Anonymous said...

It may just be my little corner of the world, but I see a big revival in old time music, the kind one would hear at a hootenanny. Actually, I occasionally attend hootenannies, though there is more music than dancing. I think the dictionary people are going to regret cutting these words.