Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Over at Limes today, you can read all about the ferikked and ferhoodled way they talk in her neck of the woods. After your dippy ecks are all, get your hinnerdale over there and check it out!
Now, didja know Lime, that we have some of our own funny languages over here on the left coast? Yes, we do. In fact, we like totally have a few of em, but you like, already know that!
Today we're going to discuss the language of Boontling. Boontling is a folk language spoken only in Boonville in Northern California
The Anderson Valley, of which Boonville is the largest town, was an isolated farming, ranching, and logging community during the late nineteenth century. (WAS an isolated farming town?) There are several differing versions as to the origin of Boontling. Some assert that the dialect was created by the women, children, and young men in the hop fields and sheep shearing sheds as a means of recreation, and that it spread through the community as the children continued using it when they grew up. (But thats not what I have heard ladies and gentleman, NO NO....what local lore tells us is that the language was actually invented in the fields by the adults to keep the children who worked alongside of their parents from understanding their grown up talk.)
Although based on English, Boontling's unusual words are unique to Boonville. Scottish Gaelic and Irish, and some Pomo Indian and Spanish also influenced the vocabulary of the language. Boontling was invented in the late 1800s and had quite a following at the turn of the century. Now it is only spoken by aging counter-culturists and original residents. Because the town of Boonville only has a little over 700 residents, Boontling is an extremely esoteric dialect, and is quickly becoming archaic. It has over a thousand unique words and phrases.
In case youre wondering, about 15 years ago, Mr Ratburn did this crazy all out research project on the language of Boontling, so I kinda know what im tawking about here, plus I stole part of this offa wiki, and they did a pretty good job.......


If you've ever heard of The Anderson Valley Brewing Company, then youve heard of Boonville too. Also, I might add, the beer is delicious, and if you like to read while you're sipping your beer, there's a lot of boontling on the back of the bottle! And if you're ever in Anderson Valley, you can go to the brewery and sample the wares right outa the brew vats.




Here's a samplin from the Boontville dictionary in case you need ta know, but if you want more, just click the link:
applehead - a young girl; girlfriend or wife.
back-dated chuck - a person who is ignorant or behind the times
bahl - good, great
bucky walter - a pay phone. Derived from the fact that a call cost a nickel at the time.
crazeek - crazy.
eesole - an undesirable or questionable character: this is considered a disguised pronunciation or euphemism.
heelch - all; everything: A greedy person when invited to share food and drink would take the heelch: possibly from "whole cheese
kimmie - a man, more often applied to a stranger
nettied - all dressed up; wearing an abundance of lace, ribbons, and finery
shoveltooth - a medical doctor. [after a local doctor who had protruding front teeth
zeese - coffee

So there ya have it, I'b better get to work now. Perhaps next week, we'll dicuss the local old hippies aging counter culturists and what they have been and are still up to around here!
23India

10 comments:

The Boonville Project said...

You may be interested to know about http://www.boonvilleusa.com

TorAa said...

very interesting,
local languages and dialects.
Norway is plentyful of dialects - some words only to be understood by locals.
Some years ago it was even a web-site translating "normative" Norwegian" into a dialect called Odalish (From the O Valley).

But: eesole - I recognized at once - asshole. *giggles*

Seamus said...

Hmmmm...I like the zeese/coffee connection - maybe Starbucks won't find it!

LisaPizza said...

Thanks for the Boontling primer. Always happy to pick-up a new phrase or 2.

lime said...

i love it!! i never heard of boontling but the intro you gave to it was fascinating and i loved the mini dictionary! yay!!

Deepak Gopi said...

dictionary is excellent

Mona said...

Ther applehead of the kimmie wasa backdated chuck who was nettied.

& she needed to go to Susie's to learn dress sense...

Now me off for some zeese

G-Man said...

Gawd Susie!!!
A woman that uses the words esoteric AND archaic in the same sentence?...You Fucking Rock!!!...G

Fortress Guinness said...

i'll have a pint of whatever they're having...!!! (^_^) xxx

jillie said...

It's great to learn the different lingo's of the land. When my cousin comes out to visit next fall, maybe I'll take him to Boonville. After all, his nick name is Boone...lol.

India is right around the corner for you...HOW FUN!!!