Hickory Tea

Discuss word origins and meanings.

Hickory Tea

Post by waterworks » Thu Mar 02, 2006 8:38 pm

Has any one had any of this in their life time? I had plenty when I was growing up.
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Hickory Tea

Post by Debz » Thu Mar 02, 2006 8:46 pm

yeah, me too. I know where the hickory part came from, but why is it called tea?
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Hickory Tea

Post by waterworks » Thu Mar 02, 2006 9:13 pm

(The following excerpt is from the interview of Jennie Hines of Westville. - Indian Pioneer Papers)

The medicines at that time were herbs from the woods. There were many Cherokee faith doctors at that time. Most of the common diseases were cured by herbs. For chills they used Hickory Tea, this was taken immediately after a chill. This was supposed to stop the other which usually came the next day.
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Post by Andrew Dalby » Thu Mar 02, 2006 10:05 pm

waterworks wrote: (The following excerpt is from the interview of Jennie Hines of Westville. - Indian Pioneer Papers)

The medicines at that time were herbs from the woods. There were many Cherokee faith doctors at that time. Most of the common diseases were cured by herbs. For chills they used Hickory Tea, this was taken immediately after a chill. This was supposed to stop the other which usually came the next day.
Nice to hear from Debz's mom. What's 'the other', mom?
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Hickory Tea

Post by waterworks » Thu Mar 02, 2006 10:19 pm

What "other mom"?
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Post by Debz » Thu Mar 02, 2006 11:31 pm

I'm thinking the name was somehow connected to the "remembering medicine" I used to get. In case nobody knows, it is a strong, skinny, limber limb that people whip other people with, usually, their children.
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Hickory Tea

Post by Andrew Dalby » Fri Mar 03, 2006 2:58 pm

waterworks wrote: What "other mom"?
You wrote 'This was supposed to stop the other which usually came the next day.' What did you mean by 'the other'?
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Hickory Tea

Post by waterworks » Fri Mar 03, 2006 8:44 pm

Andrew Dalby wrote:
waterworks wrote: What "other mom"?
You wrote 'This was supposed to stop the other which usually came the next day.' What did you mean by 'the other'?
Oh, I don't know, probably the diarrhea. :->
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Post by Debz » Fri Mar 03, 2006 9:14 pm

she's not my mom; she is an imposter.
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Hickory Tea

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sat Mar 04, 2006 3:58 am

Does that make you the imposter child for role playing? ;-)
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Hickory Tea

Post by Wizard of Oz » Sat Mar 04, 2006 1:57 pm

Debz wrote:

I'm thinking the name was somehow connected to the "remembering medicine" I used to get. In case nobody knows, it is a strong, skinny, limber limb that people whip other people with, usually, their children.
.. seems Debz isn't the only one who "drank" some hickory tea ..
My first memory was when I was 3 years old. One of our neighbors lived about 1/2 of a mile away. Neeley and Cassie White, everyone called her aunt cassie. We would visit from time to time, they had some plum trees in the yard, they gave us some to eat. I had never tasted anything so good. So in a few days I slip off from home to get some more plums. go my first hickory tea. My mom was very upset because I ran off. Hickory tea is a switch off of the closest tree around. It is a carefully chosen branch, very thin and all the leaves are stripped from it. With bare legs or bottom, it feels like it was made in a furnace. Well that cured me from running off for a year or two.
Source: Nevil Family - Looking Back
.. and once again from a chat conversation ..
I never heard it called that but I had a lot of them. Had to pick mine too.
Had a few of those and what's worse had to pick it.......Tried to find one that would break LOL
Yea I tried to too but it just made things worse you got it with the one you picked and the one they had to go get to.
I never heard it called Hickory Tea, but I have felt the sting of a Hickory switch a few times. I must have been pretty good because I don't remember getting it very often, or maybe my Grandmother was just real reluctant to use a switch. She might have" spared the rod and spoiled the child." In fact I am pretty sure that was the case, as I probably wasn't that good LOL
Source: A conversation on TN Scott - History
.. and one of the best references I found ..
We'uns got to the house late and Dad was setling on the porch fyming. He twern't in a good mood no how cause he'd been sipping his pot licker and perty nigh drunk. He was still hung over from the weekend. He seed some grape stain on we'uns lip from the Nehi pop. Pineing we'uns snook into his grape wine. We'uns got a big dose of hickory tea. One of the jay birds from down the road watched us take our hickory tea. Till then he pined that hickory tea was a medicine made from hicker nuts. After the whooping we'uns told Dad the grape stain was from a soda pop.
Source: Times Courier, Gilmer County, July 5 2001.
.. and from this exchange it appears that if you can't get any hickory then elm will make the same strength drink ..
"Here in western Kentucky most old timers in the rural areas still pronounce the tree name "elm" as "ellum."
They'll all tell you that what the world needs more of is a liberal application of "ellum tea," which referred to mothers using an elm branch for a switch."
"Around here it was "hickory tea."
"Most likely depended on which was growing closest to the kitchen door."
Source: Big Road Blues
.. and it seems the word has been around for a while as the following quote is from 1878 ..
"Well, I'll come 'round dis ebenin, when de ole ooman gibs you a dose ob hickory-tea."
Source: The Project Gutenberg EBook of St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Sam's Birthday , Vol. 5, May, 1878, No. 7.,
.. but that isn't the only kind of hickory tea as this journal story relates ..
I held the rope end and was throwing it up and down, up and down, round and round, just right for them to get into the act of serious rope jumping. They would jump either single or double. For a while, I would throw them what was called “hickory tea,” a real fast jumping action. And all the time I was hopping around with the end of the rope, throwing it real fast, trying to make them miss a step. They loved it.
Source: Kerosene Stops Severe Blood Loss N. Ray Maxie in Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal, 2006, Vol 7
.. but for all this Debz I was unable to find WHY it is tea .. damn !! ..

WoZ of Aus 04/03/06
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Hickory Tea

Post by Shelley » Sat Mar 04, 2006 2:21 pm

WoZ of Aus, that is fantastic! When Debz mentioned "remembering medicine", it reminded me of a lyric to an old song:
School days, school days,
Dear old Golden Rule days,
. . . da da da . . . dum dee dum,
Talk to the tune of a hickory stick.
You were my gal in calico,
I was your barefoot, bashful beau
. . . da da da through the town
I loved you so
When we were a couple of kids.

Since the above didn't seem to be about TEA, I just let it go. There is a connection after all. Many thanks.
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Hickory Tea

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sat Mar 04, 2006 8:10 pm

If anyone ever offers me any elm or hickory tea, I shall tell them that it's time to switch.

To coffee, that is.
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Hickory Tea

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sat Mar 04, 2006 8:22 pm

Incidentally, Shelley, I found the complete lyrics to that song in various places on the Web, for instance:

From http://www.bigredcouch.com/journal/arch ... olden.html :

School days, school days,
Dear old golden rule days.
'Readin' and 'ritin' and 'rithmetic,
Taught to the tune of a hick'ry stick.
I was your queen in calico,
You were my bashful barefoot beau,
And I wrote on your slate,
'I love you, Joe,'
When we were a couple of kids.

From http://williams.dusd.net/~pta/school/Williams-t.htm :

School Days, School Days

School days, school days
Dear old golden rule days
Readin' and 'ritin' and 'rithmetic
Taught to the tune of the hickory stick
You were my queen in calico
I was your bashful barefoot beau
And you wrote on my slate
"I love you, so"
When we were a couple of kids

Nothing to do, Nellie Darling
Nothing to do you say
Let's take a trip on memory's ship
Back to the bygone days
Sail to the old village school house
Anchor outside the school door
Look in and see
There's you and there's me
A couple of kids once more

School days, school days
Dear old golden rule days
Readin' and 'ritin' and 'rithmetic
Taught to the tune of the hickory stick
You were my queen in calico
I was your bashful barefoot beau
And you wrote on my slate
"I love you, so"
When we were a couple of kids

'Member the hill
Nellie Darling
And the oak tree
That grew on its brow
They've built forty stories
Upon that old hill
And the oak's an old chestnut now
'Member the meadows
So green, dear
So fragrant with clover and maize
Into new city lots
And preferred business plots
They've cut them up
Since those days

School days, school days
Dear old golden rule days.
Readin' and 'ritin' and 'rithmetic
Taught to the tune of the hickory stick
You were my queen in calico
I was your bashful barefoot beau
And you wrote on my slate
"I love you, so"
When we were a couple of kids

Music by Gus Edwards
Lyrics by Will D. Cobb


-----------------------------

(Version 2 also comes with an audio clip of the tune.)

There seems to be some divergence regarding both the sex of the speaker versus that of the person being addressed and the line "I love you, so" versus "I love you, Joe". I would argue that "I love you, so" contains a superfluous comma; on the other hand, the (male) singer of the version that favours "I love you, so" (which is also the version that is attributed to a songwriter and lyricist) explicitly addresses a certain Nellie, who, in the absence of any specific evidence of ironic intent in directing his reminiscences to Nellie (a person described in one of the verses as formerly being a queen), must be presumed to be female.

So once again, which one to favour may all boil down to one's preference (or otherwise) for coffee (a.k.a. 'Joe' in the USA) over hickory.
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Hickory Tea

Post by Wizard of Oz » Sat Mar 04, 2006 9:41 pm

.. erik another quote I saw went ..
You are from North Carolina when you know that hickory tea ain't a drink.
.. hmmm so you and me both now can apply for citizenship in North Carolina ?? ..

.. shelley & erik seeing those song lyrics reminded me of the lyrics to another song that parodies them and relates to the liquorice thread elsewhere on WW ..
Readin'! writin'! 'rithamatic !
Taught to the tune of a liquorice stick
No education was ever complete
Without that boogie woogie woogie beat
Well all reet.
.. a liquorice stick being jazz muscian slang for a clarinet ..

WoZ of Aus 05/03/06
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