Originally Posted by Bolas De Fraile
bugger another myth blown apart. We were told that all the spittoons had been made into bullets. This resulted in southern people swallowing the chawing tobacco juice rather than spitting it out.Hence their rather extended bowels or vowels or both at the same time?
That didn't do it. The mid-19th century Southern planter had no hesitation about spitting baccy juice on the carpet.
And accounts of Southern speech written before the American Civil War reflect that the planter class and their rural contemporaries, a fairly roughish bunch, even for the times, spoke with something of a drawl. More loud and harsh speech than exaggerated intonation. And when you got more rural, you have to remember that much of the South was extremely remote and primitive prior to the Civil War. Shockingly primitive by more modern standards, with education largely non-existent in many regions. (See F. Law Olmsted's account of traveling through the area.)
Rough speech is something that was not often remarked on in the Southern Atlantic coastal areas where speech was presumably under multiple outside influences as coastal trade involved New England seamen running various triangular trades. The Southern ladies in the film version of Gone With the Wind were modeled more on the fading Southern aristocracy of the early 20th century when the film was made than the mid-19th century it depicted.
The pecan thing is interesting, because the word was borrowed from a native group that probably never saw a pecan. The word meant any nut so hard that you had to crack it with a rock, meaning, for them, hickory.