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The speaker is a 66-year-old White woman with a college education from Moscow, Idaho; she was recorded in 1967.



County: Latah
State: ID

Commentary:
The area around Moscow was not settled until after the American Civil War, when miners and farmers began arriving in northern Idaho. There are conflicting stories as to whether the city was named after Moscow, Russia, or Moscow, Pennsylvania; some accounts suggest the name derives from the Native American word mosco, the meaning of which is no longer known. Moscow lies near the Palouse Mountain Range, in an area where rich volcanic soil still produces heavy yields of grains and legumes. In addition to being an agricultural hub, the city is home to the main campus of the University of Idaho. In this segment the speaker recounts a bit of personal history and discusses some of the changes that have occurred in local agriculture.
FW: Well, where, where exactly was your father???s homestead, then? Was it???

Inf: Well, it was about six miles, it was at the foot of Paradise Mountain.

FW: Which is Paradise Mountain?

Inf: This mountain right up here beside us, only he lived on the other side of Paradise Mountain from us.

FW: So you lived right on the other side of the mountain from your future husband, right?

Inf: That???s right. They say, uh, we, they say most girls find their husbands within six miles of where they live, and that???s just the way it was with me. Hmm.

FW: [Laughter] Uh, well, could you describe some of the routine on the farm in the earlier days (like that)?

Inf: Well, in the early days it was pretty rugged. We had no electricity. We had to bring water from a spring, an??? we did lots of canning of our own fruit and milking cows an??? hunted eggs an???, and uh raised most of our own food [FW: Mm-hmm]. And it was lots harder than it is nowadays. I always say the coming of the electricity brought a great change in the way of life to farmers. They used to say the farmers, uh, the city people got their ice in the summer, and the farmers got all their ice in the wintertime. But after we got electricity, you couldn???t tell the children in the Moscow schools, you couldn???t tell the country children from the city children. They were all so clean and washed and scrubbed. [FW: Laughter]

FW: Well, uh, they were raising wheat right from the start in the [Inf: Yes] summer, isn???t that right?

Inf: Yes. Wheat. And in the real early days they used to raise flax. But it was kind of hard to do, so they quit raising flax. And, in the old days, they had to, they had to, the first crop raised here, they cut it with a scythe. And a cradle, and uh, flailed it out. But uh, it wasn???t long until they had the old horsepower threshing machines, and that gave way to larger, uh, threshing machines and, finally followed by the horse-drawn combines, then by the tractor-drawn combines, and now by the self-propelled combines [FW: Mm-hmm].

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