English Dialects | German Dialects | Links | Searchable Database | Home

The speaker is a 65-year-old White woman with a high school education from Chewelah, Washington; she was recorded in 1966

County: Stevens
State: WA

The area of northeastern Washington surrounding Chewelah was once home to the Kalispel Native American people, and the city???s name comes from a Kalispel word meaning ???water snake.??? Founded in 1873, Chewelah was one of the first pioneer settlements in Stevens County. It prospered as a mining center for lead and silver in the late 1800s and was a leading producer of magnesite (a mineral used to make heat-resistant bricks and furnace linings) from the early 1900s until the late 1960s. The town???s present-day population is just over 2,600. In this segment the speaker shares some interesting details about what it was like to be a young person during the period known as the Roaring Twenties.
FW: You said you were a flapper.

Inf: [Laughter] Well, of course I was a girl in the 1920s. Uh, I was raised in the Reformed Presbyterian Church, or the Old Calvinator [pronc: Calvinetter]. My father was an elder in that church for fifty years. Bill???s mother was a Christian Scientist. Uh, the two religions, uh, just didn???t get along in those days.

Uh, we were also talking about the flapper stage. Uh, I went through what the young people are, are going through now. Uh, we had our box-coaters and our puff haircuts. Uh, today we???

FW: What were the box-coaters again?

Inf: Well, that was the, uh, the fellow that wore a big, broad coat. Uh, it formed a complete box in back. It was square. Uh, very severely pressed. And the p-, the pants were peg-top. The bottoms were very wide. Uh, he combed his hair straight back and he had a, a straight cut in the back of his hair which made his hair puff out. And he was called a box-coater. And of course he had the appropriate hat to go with that costume [FW: Mm-hmm]. Uh, they weren???t quite in the same class as the Beatles, but, uh, they were pretty slick dancers.

FW: [Laughter] What other kinds of [cough] rages like that have you seen?

Inf: Well, of course we went through the Black Bottom and the Charleston and the fox-trot and the one-step. Uh, s-, I learned to dance by dancing the three-step, the schottische, and square dances.

Back to US English Map
back to American Languages home