Valley talk – some examples from dialects research in the Almonte area

by Sali Tagliamonte, Linguistics Professor, University of Toronto and Neil Carleton, Community Collaborator, Almonte

During the last week of May, we interviewed 15 residents in Lanark, Hopetown, Middleville, the Clayton area, Pakenham, Arnprior and Almonte.  They were nominated by community contacts because of their distinctive accents, vocabulary, and general way of speaking.  All
were born and raised here.  Some are well known across the district, and others have a more local reputation.  The recorded interviews, to document the Scottish and Irish roots in this part of the country, ranged from about an hour and half to just over two hours.  It was a
rich experience, and we’re grateful for the kind hospitality, thoughtful suggestions, and encouragement.

syrup  = sirp

cow  byre = cow barn

door  yard  = front yard

lad  = boy or a man

otherns  = others

howlin  = howling

huntin  – hunting

movin  = moving

plowin  = plowing

thrashin  = thrashing

boosh  = bush

burries  = berries

burry  = bury

cam  = calm

car-actors  = characters

carets  = carrots

coalie  = collie

dawg  = dog

fella  = fellow

Karl  = Carol

kows  = cows

mar-ied  = married

mur  = mirror

natch  = notch

potata  = potato

poot  = put

… didn’t have a button left on his shirt he was so proud.  (showed
considerable pride)

… dogs was tongue’n on the chase.  (barking, howling)

… full’a hops when they came back from town.  (had a beer too many)

… got growled at for doin that.  (was criticized or reprimanded)

… had a barl’a fun.  (had lots of fun)

… he took buck fever.  (hands shook so bad he couldn’t get a shot at the deer)

… it took down the ditch as we come along.  (ran along the ditch)

… only used one mind between them.  (they weren’t too bright)

… put on a wee smudge in the stove.  (started a small fire)

… son of a mope.  (gloomy, sulky person)

… she took the measles.  (came down with the measles)

… that puts a whistle on it.  (dampens it, or stops it)

… they weren’t hard to talk to.  (easy to talk with)

… was sure an ugly bull.  (a mean, or a cross, or a grumpy bull)

… wee bit rubbed off at school.  (learned a few things)

 

May 30 2012 CBC Ottawa Morning Interview Laurie Fagan Almonte Library

May 30, 2012 CBC Ottawa Morning interview with Laurie Fagan Almonte Library

Laurie Fagan of the CBC radio program ‘Ottawa Morning’ interviewed Sali Tagliamonte on May 30 at the Almonte library about her dialects research in the area.


  If you’d like to learn more about the Almonte and area interviews, we hope you’ll have an opportunity to hear the  archived radio interview on the website of the CBC program ‘Ottawa Morning’.  The eight minute interview, which also includes Almonte resident Myrtle Crawford, was originally broadcast Friday morning, June 1st, on 91.5 FM.

 Please let us know if there are other examples we could add to our list.

Professor Sali Tagliamonte

Department of Linguistics 

University of Toronto 

P.O. Box 1644

Sid Smith Hall, Room 4077, 4th Floor

100 St. George Street K0A 1A0 Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G3

 

 416-946-8024