Midwest US "Grandparents" Dialect
I have never heard "davenport" before.
If someone had said this to me prior to reading this post, I would have satten on the back-porch. <<
Wow, that's so weird. I wonder if it's a regional thing or an idiolectal thing. Here we have both "davenport" and "couch", as well as "sofa", although I didn't know what a sofa was until recently, but the word certainly exists here.
Is a couch the same thing as a sofa? I've never heard of it referred t as "couch" or davenport. Here where I live it's called either a sofa or a hurdie gurdie. We also have rocking chairs and end tables and recliners. Recliners are like regular chairs but they have a lever on the side that allows a footrest to come out in front and the back of the chair reclines at the same time. On the front porch we have porch swings.
>> Here where I live it's called either a sofa or a hurdie gurdie. >>
Hurdie gurdies? Aren't those musical instruments?
I grew up directly on the isogloss of Appalachian English and Southern Inland English. Ergo, I heard both dialects on a regular basis, spoken side by side, when I was growing up.
I used to hear older speakers of Appalachian English, in particular, use "feesh","worsh", et. al., all the time; the word for a sofa was (and still is) "couch". The dialect was associated with speakers from the lower rungs of the socioeconomic ladder.
I have no idea where this usage originates, but it seems reasonable to suppose that it came from somewhere in Continental Europe.
<<I used to hear older speakers of Appalachian English, in particular, use "feesh","worsh", et. al., all the time; the word for a sofa was (and still is) "couch". The dialect was associated with speakers from the lower rungs of the socioeconomic ladder.>>
Exactly! It's interesting to see that the terminology and pronunciation I heard back in those days is known to other people. It's been so long since I've heard any of those things I had almost forgotten about Davenports and feesh.
Can you tell me where the SIE/Appalachian English isogloss is?
Cumberland Plateau, with an oasis around Oak Ridge and Knoxville, TN.
I don't know where it is in other states.
An afterthought: There were some other linguistic oddities, too. To wit:
gas was pronounced gAEs
springs was pronounced sprAEngs (this one used to drive me nuts)
divorce was pronounced dee-vorce (both syllables accented)
In older speakers, non-rhoticism in a few words such as "dollar" (dollah)
The first and fourth one are direct descendants of British English; I don't know where the other ones originated.