Ah got my Joe Moore in my hair- A Piece of gamblers lucky hoodoo.
Ah'm standin' in my tracks and stepin' back on my abstract- I am standing my ground.
Ain't never gonna set hawses-Never going to get along. As two horses pull together.
Aunt Hagar- Negroes are in similie children of Hagar; white folks of Sarah
Big Moose done come down from de mountain -Important things are about to happen
Blue Baby-. Nicknames such as this one given from appearances or acts, i.e. "Blue Baby" was so black he looked bblue. "Tush Hawg," a rough man; ftill of fight like a wild boar.
One notes that among the animals the rabbit is the trickster hero. Lacking in size, strength and natural weapons such as teeth and claws, he continues to overcome by cunning. There are other minor characters that are heroic, but Brer Rabbit is first. In Florida, Brer Gopher, the dry?land tortoise, is also a hero and perhaps nearly equal to the rabbit.
The colored preacher, in his cooler passages, strives for grammatical correctness, but goes natural when he warms up. The "hah" is a breathing device, done rhythmically to punctuate the lines. The congregation wants to hear the preacher breathing or "straining
Blue-John - Skimmed milk.
Booger-A bogey man.
Bookity-book-Sound word meaning running.
Buckra- West African word meaning White people.
Bookooing- Loud talking, bullying, woofing. From French beaucoup
Chigger- A young flea.
Chitterlings- Hog intestines.
Commercial nal- Commercial fertilizer.
De time is done come where big britches gointer fit Li'l Willie-Things have come to a critical pass.
Don't let de 'gator beat you to de pond- Don't be out-done; or don't be too slow.
Don't pay all dese ole preachers no rabbit-foot.- Ignore these preachers.
Drift uh woods- 10,000 faces in the turpentine woods, i.e.tree trunks that have been cut on one side to make the sap fun from which the turpentine is made.
Eat acorns- I give you one point.
Eleven-card layers-Coon-can players. A two handed card game popular among southern Negroes.
Fat 'round de heart- scared.
Froe- A damaged pocket knife.
Gamblin' wid yo' stuff out de window- Risking nothing. Ready to run.
Georgia Skin -. Any number of "Pikers" can play at a time, but there are two "principals" who do the dealing. Both of them are not dealing at the same time, however. But when the first one who deals "falls" the other principal takes the deal. If he in turn falls it goes back to the first dealer. The principals draw the first two cards. The pikers draw from the third card on. Unless a player or players want to "scoop one in the rough," he can choose his own card which can be any card in the deck except the card on top of the deck and that one goes to the dealer.
The dealer charges anything he pleases for the privilege of "scooping," the money being put in sight. It is the player's bet. After the ones who wish to have scooped, then the dealer begins to "turn" the cards. That is, flipping them off the deck face upwards and the pikers choose a card each from among those turned off to bet on. Sometimes several pikers are on the same card. When all have selected their cards and have their bets down, they begin to chant "Turn 'em" to the dealer. He turns them until a player falls. That is, a card like the one he is holding falls. For instance one holds the io of hearts. When another io falls he loses. Then the players cry "hold 'em" until the player selects another clean card, one that has not fallen. The fresh side bets are down and the chant "turn 'em" and the singing "Let de deal go Down" until the deck is run out.
Gopher- Dry land tortoise.
Gospel-bird-Chicken. Preachers are supposed to be fond of them.
Got on by de hardest-With great difficulty.
Had a Kaiser baby- Have a child by the Kaiser.
He's got a cub-He has arranged the cards so he can deal winning cards to himself and losing cards to others.
High balling-Waving ahead. A railroad term.
Jenk-Have a good time.
John- Negro story-hero name.Jack or John (not John Henry) is the great human culture hero in Negro folk-lore. He is like Daniel in Jewish folk-lore, the wish-fulfillment hero of the race. The one who, nevertheless, or in spite of laughter, usually defeats Ole Massa, God and the Devil. Even when Massa seems to have him in a hopeless dilemma he wins out by a trick. Brer Rabbit, Jack (or John) and the Devil are continuations of the same thing.
John Henry-This is a song of the railroad camps and is suited to the spiking rhythm, though it is, like all the other work songs, sung in the jooks and other social places. It is not a very old song, being younger by far than Casey Jones and like that song being the celebration of an incidence of bravery. John Henry is not as widely distributed as "Mule on dc Mount," "Uncle Bud" or several of the older songs, though it has a better air than most of the work songs. John Henry has no place in Negro folk?lore except in this one circumstance. The story told in the ballad is of John Henry, who is a great steeldriver, growing jealous when the company installs a steam drill. He boasts that he can beat the steam drill hammering home spikes, and asks his boss for a 9-pound hammer saying that if he has a good hammer he can beat the steam drill driving. The hammer is provided and he attempts to beat the drill. He does so for nearly an hour, then his heart fails him and he drops dead from exhaustion. It is told in direct dialogue for the greater part. The last three verses show internal evidence of being interpolated from English ballads. Judge the comparative newness of the song by the fact that he is competing with something as recent as a steam drill. For music for "John Henry" see Music Appendix.
Jook- a fun house. Where they sing, dance,gamble, love and compose "blues" songs incidentally.
Jook it-Play the piano in the manner of the jook or "blues."
Li'dard knot- Lightwood, fat pine. So called because it is frequently used as a torch.
Log-rolling-When people used to get out logs to build a house they would get the neighbors to help. Plenty of food and drink served. Very gay time.
Long-house-. Another name for jook. Sometimes means a mere bawdy house. A long low building cut into rooms that all open on a common porch. A woman lives in each of the rooms.
Mockin' bird- Some say it is a jay bird.
Old Hannah- The Sun.
Pickin' de box- playin the guitar. Rayfield and gab'ull
Raw Head- He was a conjure doctor. They are always referred to as "two-headed doctors" i.e. twice as much sense.
Shake-baby- A dress very tight across the hips but with a full short skirt; very popular on the "jobs."
Shug- short for sugar
Signify- To show off.
Skillet blonde- Very black person.
So yo' egg bag kin rest easy- So that you can be at ease. A hen is supposed to suffer when she has a fully developed egg in her.
Spuddin- playing for small change
Squinch Owl-Screech owl, sometimes known as a shivering owl.
Straw-boss-The low paid poor white section boss on a railroad; similar to the swamp boss who works the gang that gets the timber to the sawmill.
Testimony- There is a meeting called a "love?feast" in the Methodist Church and an "experience meeting" with the Baptists. It is held once a month, either on a week?night or a Sunday morning preceding the Communion service. It is a Protestant confessional. No one is supposed to take communion unless he is on good terms with all of the other church members and is free from sin otherwise. The love?feast gives opportunity for public expression of good?will to the world. There are three set forms with variations. (i) The person who expects to testify raises a hymn. After a verse or two he or she speaks expressing (a) love for everybody, (b) joy at being present, (c) tells of the determination to stay in the field to the end. (2) Singing of a "hot" spiritual, giving the right hand of fellowship to the entire church, a shouting, tearful finish. (3) (a) Expresses joy at being present, (b) recites incident of conversion, telling in detail the visions seen and voices heard, (c) expresses determination to hold out to the end.
It is singular that God never finds fault, never censures the Negro. He sees faults but expects nothing different. He is lacking in bitterness as is the Negro story?teller himself in circumstances that ordinarily would call for pity.
The devil is not the terror that he is in European folk-lore. He is a powerful trickster who often competes successfully with God. There is a strong suspicion that the devil is an extension of the story?makers while God is the supposedly: impregnable white masters, who are nevertheless defeated by, the Negroes.
To choose my ruthers- Make a choice.
Throw it in de alley- Get low down.
Playin' wid yo' stuff out de winder -Risking nothing, i.e. hat coat and shoes out the window so that the owner can run if he loses.
White mouf-A very hungry person is supposed to look ashy-gray around the mouth.
Woofing- Aimless talking. A man half seriously flirts with a girl, half seriously threatens to fight or brags of his prowess in love, bottle or in financial matters. The term comes from the purposelessness of barking dogs at night.