Out and About

Or “Oot and aboot” as the natives once said in the Tidewater area of Virginia.

Almost 55 years ago when I moved to VA, I read about a professor of linguistics who had written a book about dialects in Virginia and West Virginia.  Seems the settlers who migrated here from wherever in England or other places in the UK brought their accents with them. And just as the accent in Cornwall differs from that in Norfolk England, the accent in Norfolk VA once differed from that in Roanoke.

I say “once differed” because with millions of migrants from New York, and modern technology such as TV, most of the edge in speech patterns has disappeared, at least to my ear.

Thus, as residents of NOVA we will be “out in about” in two weeks to visit my daughter at her farm further south in VA. Like many of our friends we have stuck closer to home during the winter months.

However, the sun shines again here in our part of the world and the roads are clear.  I can tell my daughter has come out from under her cloud too, because she finally wrote a new post.


Connie writes this morning that her youngest daughter has landed an internship with a company that created a famous advertisement, although I am not allowed to reveal which one. Lets just say it has something to do with cows.  Time to celebrate.  IMG_0308



27 thoughts on “Out and About

  1. I’ve been accused of intoning Oot, Aboot, or both while speaking to groups. We lived fairly close to Canada, and my mother said that sort of accent probably came from Scots by way of Canada. Often after listening to one of my talks, folks would approach me and ask what part of Canada I was from.


    • I think it must be a Scots dialect. VA is full of Scots. Jim Webb, former VA Senator wrote ‘Born Fighting’ about the Scots in VA who fought in past wars. Around here they populated western VA, WVA, and KY and TN (Appalachia)

      Descended from endentured servants who came during the Colonial era, as well as people who were transported following the land clearances in Scotland in the seventeenth century, their children became the ‘rebels’ of the Civil War. My kids are descended from them.

      My FIL told me once that their family business was making a very fine whiskey. They hated the Feds, but fought valiantly for the U.S. In the Twentieth Century world wars. Grandpa Herman was at Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and elsewhere in 1944. Great grandma christened the USS Papago in Charleston Harbor. She was honored because she had nine sons in service, three like Jim Webb were Marines.


  2. Yes, cute kid and cow. Nice the two of you can get out of town for a couple of weeks. I like the thought of that. Write when you have time….your envious friend, Mage


  3. Congratulations! When Art was stationed in Boston he ended up picking up some of the accents which he brought back with him to Hawaii. I thought it was odd when I first met him. Then we moved to Chicago and I acquired the Chicago accent. There is definitely a Chicago accent. And now I’m in Hawaii and the kids laugh sometimes when I’m talking to them on the phone.


  4. Sounds like there may have been a few scots in that neighbourhood:)
    Your reasoning is also the reason the much frowned on word ‘gotten’ is still used in your country – and The G’Day used in Australia is a remnant of Good Day which was the greeting used here by early settlers.
    I’m sure there will fun when the goats come out to play !


    • ‘Got’ is a perfectly good word in the US according to my daughter the linguist. We don’t speak British English here, deliberately.
      Many many Scots, Irish, Welch, and Brits from all over England and Germans migrated to VA over the colonial period. Quite a diverse group of others came here since, more so in recent years.

      Love the G’Day. Also love Aussie actors.


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