Friday, February 19, 2010

Southern Word of the Week - I swannee

(inj.) Well, I swanee, I cannot believe he said that to you!
(inj.) I swannee, I didn't expect to see you here.

My dad used to say it to convey surprise.  I think he mostly did it in jest as most people don't say it anymore, but I'm sure his grandmother did use it sincerely.  It's almost disappeared except in old timers and people who talk about the Southern dialect.

The small amount of research I did suggested that swanee was short for swear, but being good Southern Christians they didn't want to say swear.  "You aren't supposed to swear," is what I was always told by little brothers and sisters of my friends because that's what their Maw Maw's had always told them.

Did you hear someone say this and get thrown a curve ball?  Do you or someone you know still use this saying?  Let us know in the comments.

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