Only in York County

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More redd in honor of Christmas

Remember redd up?

Well, appropriately enough, I was redding up my e-mail before the end of the year (nothing like starting off 2008 with a clean slate, or at least that’s what I’m hoping) – and I came upon a response I’d overlooked to my earlier post on redding things up.

Roy writes:

I greatly enjoy your short pieces on Central Pennsylvaniaisms (sorry, but they’re not peculiar to York County), but I do feel compelled to note a common misconception by many newcomers as well as native Yorkers (like you & me): “redd up” is not peculiar to Central Pennsylvania, let alone York County. Allow me to quote The Random House Dictionary of the English Language (The Unabridged Edition): ” redd (red) v.t., redd or redded, redding. Northern and Midland U.S. 1. to put in order; tidy: to redd a room for company. 2. to clear: to redd the way. Also, red. [special use of obs. redd to free, rescue., hreddan, confused with rede, deriv. of raedan to put in order; see READY]”

If the word is an English word meaning “tidy,” I do not see why “redd up” is not a perfectly good equivalent of “tidy up” (which the same dictionary cites as a legitimate usage).

I know I’m being pedantic, Joan, but let’s keep the record straight on this one. Over the years I’ve grown weary of people pointing out to me when I use “redd” that “That’s Pennsylvania Dutch,” when it is clearly good English usage in a great porton of the USA.

Thanks for listening.

Look, he found me dictionary proof! How great is that? And he’s right… most of my Yorkisms aren’t really, as the name of my blog might suggest, phrases used only in York County. Rather, when I talk about Yorkisms, I just mean things that many of us tend to say!

“Only in York County” refers to weird Twilight Zone-ish things, like the story I keep referencing about being friends on Facebook with my ex-fiance’s other ex-fiancee. That’s one I’ll save for another time…

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