September 19, 2013

Ben Russell

See RUBONICS by Ben Russell (scroll down).

Rubonics began a few years ago as a casual effort to log some of the most exemplary expressions and terms of Southern American English.  Examples quoted in RUBONICS, along with other noteworthy assaults upon the Kings English, have evolved throughout the History of the Deep South.  Being the outspoken, storytelling and, of course, humorous type, l so often find myself interjecting some of these oldies for emphasis and in communicating with those blessed of similar fluencies.

Most of my seventy-five years have been spent in the same area of central Alabama with a liberal exposure to the local vernacular.  For reasons unknown I have apparently filed this material away, likely in company with the boundless collection of other humorous terms, expressions, situations, and outright lies.  All of which seem to have acquired an undue presence in my repertoire.

Of late, however, an effort has been made to organize, scrutinize and further examine this material and its somewhat logical and predictable system of modifying standard speech sounds.

RUBONICS is, thus, a collection of real life, colloquial Southern American English as experienced from the late forties until today.  Very little of this lingo will be encountered today in the South; and, for better or worse, it is rapidly falling into oblivion.  It is, however, a significant artifact from the past and should be preserved for history.

It would appear that the root cause of this corruption of the language is the natural tendency of humans to communicate in a manner requiring the least amount of time and effort.  The result has been the development of a monosyllabic, or lazy, system of speech.

The system involves several major factors, however, the greatest of these is the seemingly miniscule effort required for the rearranging the mouth and tongue during transition from one speech sound to another.

This results in several similar procedures.  The most prevalent, are the attempts to substitute more convenient speech sounds for those requiring this slight added effort.  An example is found in the word:  AFTER. Here, the T sound does not conveniently follow AF.  Following the AF sound the tongue and the mouth must be rearranged to produce the T sound.  At first it may seem most trivial but this factor in most languages encourages the inevitable shortcuts and omissions.

In other cases of a difficult transition, the beginning or ending letter of one of the syllables or sound is repeated to replace the offender.  This appears in print as somewhat nonsensical but phonetically speaking, it flows rather well.

Some examples of the use of repeated letters to produce easily connected sounds are:  AUD DER for Ought to.  DIS SHRE for This here.  LEM ME for Let me.  HIT TUL for It will.  [and a double mod.] HALF FUV VEM for Half of them.  Some entirely different words are also used for this purpose:  DAT for That, E for He, or EM for Them.  DIS as in DIS HERE or DIS SHERE for This here.

There are exceptions such as the word BET TER, which appears to flows rather well, but phonetically BED DER requires slightly less effort.  Notice, however, that the T/T transition in HIT TUL is favored.

Enjoy RUBONICS, you might find some benefit here; but do not attempt to employ these premises for matters such as assimilating data required for speech recognition..........algorithms.



The Phonetics of

Southern American English

  by Ben Russell

  Draft 09/15/15


 pt. Past tense, pos. Possessive, rel. Related, ( ) Added, ie. For example:

 A coming, A going
   rel. Uh coming
Adder: After: ie. Adder while
A for, Uh for: On fire or Afire
A ginst or Again: Again a rock….
Aair one:  either one
Al benmy: Albany, Georgia
Amer i gun:  American
  Uh mur i gun:  American
  Un (an) amur i gun
  Is zee un amur i gun
A mong st:  Among
A rab, Alabama
Awful est
A tall, uh tall:  at all
At, Ad:
At air:  That (one), there
At un:  That one
Ad dun: That one
Adds zit:  That is it
Ad dul do:   That will do
Airt:  is not
Air:  Their
Air one: Either one
Airn: re. Nairn
   Nair one: Neither one
Air ey one: ie. Not A single one
Ad der while: After a while
Ad duh while
Adder all
Aud der: Aught to  ie.
    You aud der:  You aught to
    Had den aud der 
Aze: They is
Azer:  They are

Bad to: (He is) bad to (take a drink.)
Bait: A huge amount, Too much
Bass ackards
Bed der: Better
Bed der not
Bo fus: Both of us
Bust opens:  Packaged snacks

Chunk:  Throw
Chester drawers
Crunk: pt. Crank
Cum mer: Come here
Cum mone  nover
Clair, Klear, Klare: Clear
   ie. Can you see your way clear
Clair urn ner:  clearer than
Clear: Completely, ie. Clear
  through. The hole is clear, all of  
  the way through       
  rel. Thoroughly,
  fr. Top dead center- tech. term
  rel. Dead, dead right, etc.
  rel. Plum, slap, slam
Clent: Pt. Clean
Co cola
Com men st tu:
Coker kola
Could ner:  Could not (have)
Croager sack: A toe sack,
  A croaker sack, a burlap bag
Crunk:  pt. crank

Daire:  There
Dair sum: fr. Dare
Dale:  They will
Did ge: Did you
Did ge ged dit
Did ge do: Did you do
Did ju
Did de: Did he
De: Did he
Denomites:  pt.
Du maders: Tomatoes
Dat, Dad: That
Dads, Ads: That is
Dad ju: Is that you?
Dads hit, Dads zit (it)
Dads zun nuf: That’s enough
  Ads zun nuff
Dads zun nuff fuv em
Dats dat:  That is that
Da: They
Daze:  They is
  Aze: They is
Daze zuh wonze: They are the
Daze zov vair: They are over
Daint: There ain’t
Daint no mo
Dese:  These
Dese here or shere
Don-she:  Does she not
Drank:  ie. Hank, why do you drank?
Dis, diz, dizz
Dis here:  This here
Dis  shere    “
Dish shere  ,
Diz zear       “
Dis sun/zun: This one
Du, Duh, Tuh: To
Du dun nit:  does it not
Du morrow:
Du reckley: To reckly:
  A corruption of:
  ie. Go directly there.
  inferring here the opposite:
  Later or in a while
Dun: Done, pt. of Do, Complete,
  Finished, Often only to
  emphasize a verb etc.
  ie. I dun told you, It’s dun over
Dun:  ie. He has dun went
Dun gone and: ie. He has Dun  
  gone and …
Dun nover: Dun Over

E: He
  He ze: He is
  His un: pos. of He
E tol em
  Eze:  He is
  Is ze: Is he
Eze  Finner: He is fixing to
Eze uh go ner:  He is going to
Eze ov vair: He is over there
Ease zuh won: He is the one
Ear: Here,
  ie. Cum Mere
En em: …and them
Em: Them
Em aire: Them air: Those-there
En em:  And them
Ever which er way
Ever whootch uh way
Ever zeen: Ever seen

Fat:  if that….
Fact tuh duh business: fr.
   Fact of the matter
Fim er:  If I
Fixing to:  Preparing to
Fi ner         “
Fin ner       “
Fit ner        “   
Fid ner       “
Figger head
Fig ger: Figure: I (figgered) that..
Fit ten: fr. Fit ie. Fit, to eat
Frum munder:  From under
Frum:  in (there)
Up punder: up under
Out frum munder
Fur, Fer: Far ie. A far piece: A long way
Fi: If I
Fi der: ie. If I had er
Fide dever
Fies: If I was
Fize em:  If I was him
Fize zem: If I was them

Geat: Did you eat
Genelly:  generally
Georg ge:  Georgia
Git, Gid: Get
Git gone: Leave
Go gid dit:  Go get it
Gon be
Gon ner: ie. I am goinh to 
Got ten:  pt. Got

Haden’t aughter
Haf fuv vem: Half of them
Harder: ie Than a woodpeckers
Hawg: Hog
His un: fr. His one
Hick er nut: ie. Hickory nut
Ho made
Hope: Help
Hun dud: Hundred
Who whood dever:  Who would
  have ever?
Whoo ze: Who’s  pos. of
Whos ze: Who is
Heep: Large quantity
  A heep of em
  Uh heep puv vum
He: E
He gen:  He can
   *E gen
Heze: He is
  Eze: He is,  ie. Eze zen air
Hit: It
Hids: It is
Hits dis sun
Hits dun nover
Hids zall over
Hit tul: It will
Hit tel
Hit ters zem:  It was them
Hi:  How
Hi come: How come: fr. How
  (did it) come (to pass)
Hise: How is
Hize: How is
Hise ze
Hize yo mom mer en em
Hiz zun: His,
Hi ken: How can

I ---------------------------------
I mone: I am going (to)
If vat: if that
Iff vat:  If that
I’ll le zay
  (what) will he say
Im a:  ie. I am (a) going to
Im ma
Imm: I am
Ive:  I have
In among
Is ze: Is he
Is zee un amur i gun

Jake:  Jurk
Ju:  (Did) you.
Ju zee em

Kig gis zass: Kick his…
Kang gid no bedder:
  (It) can’t get no better

Lay ed eyes on
Learnt:  pt. Learn, He learnt me
Led: Let
Lem me:  Let me
Lem me zee
Lem me no: Lem me know
Lent: pt. Lean, pt. lend
Lick: ie. Not a lick of.  fr. He
   diddent even hit a lick at it
Lil lo biddy,
Lil lo biddy
Luf ter:  Love to
Lugg gear: Look here
Luck kur hear: fr. Look a here
Lug ger hear
Lug ger ear

Maw nin:  (good) morning
Meere:   (Come) here
Member:  Remember
Mo:  More
Mo est: Morest
Monstermental:    Monumental
Mon I ster
Mom mer en em:  Mother and
Mone nover: Come on over
Mone nover ear
Mouf:  ie. Shut your mouf
Mus ter: Musthave
Motor cy cle
My nase: Mayonaise

Nair: fr.  Neither
Nair one
Nair ey a one
Nairn:  None
  See:  air, airey
Ne mo:  (any) more, ie. Got ne mo
Naw: no
Nawd ju:  No, did you
No count, fr: Do not count ie.
Need mo:  Need  more
Need ne mo uvv em:
 Need any more of them
Nod du nuf fuv em:
  Not enough of them
Nod nun nuv em: Not none of
Nod jet:  Not yet
Nod ne mo
Nome:  abb-no mam
Natchel: Natural  ie. A natchel fact
Nise, ie. White Dice
Num mer:  Number
Nun nuv vit: None of it

Only est un: (The) only one
On lest un:
Only est
On lest
Oran dale, Iron Dale, Alabama
Ough to
Ought ner ie. Ought not
Ov air:  Over there
Ov vair:  Over there
Over yonder: fr. Yond, ie. Over yond (hill)

Pan ne maw City:  Panama City
Pecker Wood:  ie A pecker wood
  saw mill, a contraption
Plumb, fr. Level by a plum bob
  rel. Completely or exactly
  ie. He is plum (outer du-maders)
Plum full
Plum nearly or nelly: Plum is only
  to emphasize nearly 
Pif ful: Pityful
Po ech:  Porch, Porsche
Po lo: Poor little old
Poken beans
Pre vert:  Pervert
Punk en: Pumpkin
Purt near
Purty: Faitely: Pretty  fr. It is
  pretty and round?  or It’s purty
Purty round: Fairly round
Purt en near
Puz zer fud ing

Ránch:  Rinse
Reg on: I reckon, I believe that..
   rel. fig ger
Re dick Kuh lus  Ridiculous

Scan nel: Scoundrel
See adder:  To see after or be
  responsible for
Seen:  pt. saw
Shed of: ie. Get shed of
  fr. Shed ie. To cast off
Sho nuf:  Sure enough
Sim mons:  Persimmons
Sim u lar:  Similar
Spose or Sposed:  Supposed
  ie. I am sposed to
Sto bought:  Not hand made-new
Sum or Zum:  Some
Sum mu nuther:  fr:  Some
   thing or the other
Sum miss: Some of this
Sum mese: Sum of these
Sum muv vit: Sum of it
Skerce: Scarce
Squoze: pt. Squeeze

Ten gen cy: Tendency
Thairn: Thairs
Thays: They is, They are
Thank guun ness
Time:  ie. Bye the time
Toint:  pt. turn
Tow up: Torn up
[See Do]
Tuh: To
Tuh ale wid dit
  Duh hale wid em
Tale wid um
Tu  reck ly: See [Directly]

U -----------------------------
Um ber rella
Un: (One) Suffix Infering                
  ownership, ie His Un
Up pair:  Up there
Up pun der:  Up under
  rel. Frum munder
Uster: pt. Used to. ie. He uster
 fr. He was used to doing…
Un nuff: Enough

Varmint: Pesky small animal.
   fr. Vermin, A derogatory term  
   for a person.

W ------------------------------
Wal ler mellon
Wad dun:  Was not.
Waud den: 
Wan nese: One of these
Wau der: Water
Whood: Who would (have)
Wer nt: Were not
Whos ze:  Who is he
   Hoos:  Pos. of who
Whooze ziz it: Whose is it
Wid: With
Wid dus: With us
Which er way
Whooch er way:
Win ner: Winter
Won’t: Will not. ie. He won’t
Wuz: Was
Was zunt: Was not
Wus tu: Were to or Was to
Whaud: What did
Whaud da zay
Whaud ju zay
Whaud er dese: What are these?
Whaud er:
Whaud der:
Whauts zem: What is them?
Whad din ale
Whine: Why in…
Wine: Why in
Whine nale
Whur: Where 
Whur en ale
Whured: Where did
Whoore, whur: Where
Whur bout / Whure abouts
Whur es e at: Where is he at
Whur es zay: ie.Where is they
Whures zid at:  Where is it
Whur mur: Where (are) my
Won: One
Wone nuv em: One of them
Wood ent:  would not
Would ner:  pt. would
Would ner ie: Would not have
Won nese:  One of these
Won nem aire
Wus: Was
Wud den:  Wasn’t
Waud dent: Pt was not
Wheel bar
Whoze zat:  Who is that
Worsh: Wash
Wor ser: Worser
Wuf fer: Worth a
Wus ter: Were or was to

Yo: Your
You all
Ye ever: (Did)you ever
You aud der:  You ought to
Yaw der:  You ought to
Y’all war chiss
Youon ner: (Do) you want to
You won-ner:  (Do) you want to
Yuont : (Do) you want
You ont:  (Do) you want
Yount ney mo: ..any more
Yuont wan nese: …one of these
Youon er ged ne mo: You want
  to get any more?
Yourn: Yours
Yea yuh: Yes
Yeaa er:  Yes
Year: Near
Year ley bout: Nearly about
Young un

Z:  is he
Za: They, or is there?
  Daze: They is
Zays ov air: fr. They is…
Zat, Dat, At: That or is that
Zat you: ( Is) that you
Zad ju  
Zover:  ie. (It is) over
  (Hits) zov air
Zese zu wones: Are these the ones?




copyright 2013 by Ben Russell

2544 Willow Point Road

Alexander City, Alabama  35010


revised 09-24-13