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The speaker is a 67-year-old White man with a high school education from Honesdale, Pennsylvania; he was recorded in 1968.





County: Wayne
State: PA

Commentary:
Honesdale, the county seat of Wayne County, has a present-day population just under 4,500. The northeastern Pennsylvania town is known for coal mining and as the home of the Stourbridge Lion, the first commercial steam locomotive to run on the American railroad. The combination of rail transport and coal mining made the town an important shipping point in the nineteenth century. In this segment the speaker discusses the regional term skimmelton or skimmington (for variants and definition, see Volume IV of DARE).
FW: Do you know what a skimmelton is?

Inf: Yes.

FW: Tell me about them.

Inf: It???s actually skimmington.

FW: It???s a skimmington.

Inf: Names, uh it???s called skill-, uh wait a minute. In Skimmington, England, the way they serenaded a young couple when they came back for their honeymoon, was by making all manner of noises, on horns and uh, a saw they???d beat, and bring out the dishpans. And they???d keep on until they treated. It was either was some beer or some ale or a, uh sandwiches and cigars. And that was a skimmington, but it was never called, the word was corrupted to skimmelton.

And uh, the Westerners have called it a shivaree [FW: Uh-huh]. But it was a little different because a shivaree really was good music [FW: Uh-huh]. Now??? FW: Instead of just the noise.

Inf: Oh, yes, it was, no cacophony there.

FW: Have you ever heard, heard it called a horning?

Inf: Yes.

FW: That???s just a different word for it, isn???t it?

Inf: Yeah. That???s right. That???s ???cause they blow the horn, made a noise. There???s another one too, a shivaree, a horning, those things are out now.

FW: Yeah, I believe they are.

Inf: Yeah. Oh, it was fine. Everybody, many a lad smoked his first cigar. And wouldn???t forget it because it made him sick. But since one doesn???t look a gift horse in the mouth, eh nothing was said about it.

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