Hungry enough to eat the north end of a south-bound skunk

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Hungry enough to eat the north end of a south-bound skunk

Post by Archived Topic » Wed Oct 13, 2004 2:10 am

I am curious about the spread of this expression--I know it was used in the pre-television era in New England, most specifically New Hampshire. Has anyone any knowledge of it being native to any other area?
El'n M

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Hungry enough to eat the north end of a south-bound skunk

Post by Archived Reply » Wed Oct 13, 2004 2:25 am

El’n, Couldn’t find your expression specifically but found some interesting info which does bear on your question. First, here are a few other hunger-related pieces of folk wisdom:

From Rawlings’ Yearling: Young Jody Baxter comes out with this well-known Florida line which he picked up from his earthy neighbors, the Foresters: “I’m so hungry, my belly thinks my throat is cut.”

From a little west of Florida we have: I was so hungry “I could wipe my mouth with my belly.”

Another southern ditty: “He doesn’t care what you call him as long as you call him to supper.”
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Here is the expression which appears to be the southern version of yours, but since no dates were given it is impossible to tell, even approximately, when it was coined and which came first – whether the migration was north or south:

“I could eat the south end of a northbound nanny goat.”

The interesting point about this quote, in addition to being the southern version of yours, is that it was said to be ‘discriminatory’– containing a dig against northerners. Thus, I guess, the hunger was said to be of such intensity that a good southerner could we driven to such a level of desperation that he/she would consider eating something that was headed to the odious ‘north.’ I don’t think that your expression carries the counterpart of this meaning since I don’t believe that there was the rancor (certainly not the numbers) related to defections to the south. It would seem that the southern expression is from the Civil War era or thereabouts, but one can never tell about such matters (e.g. the flying of the Confederate flag furor, etc.).

(‘Handy as the Hip Pockets on a Hog’ by Black)
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Ken G – November 16, 2003




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Hungry enough to eat the north end of a south-bound skunk

Post by Archived Reply » Wed Oct 13, 2004 2:39 am

Ken, in regard to >> "Another southern ditty: “He doesn’t care what you call him as long as you call him to supper.”"
.. my grandfather, from Scottish heritage, would often say >>> "You can call me anything but late for supper."
.. another favourite of his was >> "I'm hungry enough to eat a horse and chase the rider." .. a cruder version, in the same vein that is used Downunder, suggests that one could "eat the crutch out of a camel driver's jockstrap" .. (NO offence meant Ahmed) ..
Wizard of Oz, Australia, 17/11/03
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Hungry enough to eat the north end of a south-bound skunk

Post by Archived Reply » Wed Oct 13, 2004 2:53 am

Wiz and others, For those who love these colorful folk expressions, and I do, ‘Down in the Holler–A Gallery of Ozark Folk Speech’ by Randolph is a gold mine. My stepmother is from Arkansas and speaks Ozarkese and as far back as I can remember she has always had some perfect folksy expression to fit almost every occasion – and I have found many of them in this book. It’s a 300 page paperback, very well researched and contains such interesting topics as ‘backwoods grammar,’ ‘survival of early English,’ ‘taboos and euphemisms,’ ‘sayings and wisecracks,’ etc. ‘Handy as Hip Pockets on a Hog,’ which I mention above, is a short paperback of 130 pages on the colorful language of the American Southwest. For those interested in this sort of thing, we had a discussion some time ago on Ozark-type expressions which you can find under ‘suck egg mule’ – posting #2804. And Wiz, I imagine you have some real beauties from down your way. Is there any particularly good book you might recommend on colorful Aussie expressions?
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Ken G – November 16, 2003

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Hungry enough to eat the north end of a south-bound skunk

Post by Archived Reply » Wed Oct 13, 2004 3:08 am

OZ:
The expression you stated;
"I'm hungry enough to eat a horse and chase the rider," I believe is incorrect, but I'm not all that sure. Over the years I've heard it as; "I'm so hungry I could eat a horse; then chase the rider." The pause after horse is what makes it funny ... I think.

Al

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Hungry enough to eat the north end of a south-bound skunk

Post by Archived Reply » Wed Oct 13, 2004 3:22 am

My message went up front????????????

Al

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Hungry enough to eat the north end of a south-bound skunk

Post by Archived Reply » Wed Oct 13, 2004 3:37 am

Please reserve this kind of elegant hyperbole for the trailer trash.
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Hungry enough to eat the north end of a south-bound skunk

Post by Archived Reply » Wed Oct 13, 2004 3:51 am

Hello, I'm working on a Civil War novel set in the Ozarks and am looking for a euphemism from that era/area for "pregnant". The scene I'm working on is too serious for more light hearted terms. I used "indisposed", but it feels too general. "With child" seems a little to frank and, perhaps, too biblical. I'm doing an internet search and found this site. Thought perhaps someone might know a more suitable term?

Thanks,

elsie40@earthlink.net

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