The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports Columns

February 4, 2012

Ken Maurer's Outdoors column: Da goot olt daze

DANVILLE — I ran into a guy the other day who said something I haven’t heard in a long time. I forget what he was even talking about, but he said, “By gums.”

I had to smile a little, by gums.

I got to thinking about a lot of other little sayings that have sort of fallen by the wayside, and of course, a lot of them have something to do with hunting or fishing. Around here, we all know about “buck fever.” But in other parts of the state and country, hunters get “buck eggy.”

The first time I heard that, in Huntingdon County, I really didn’t know what he was talking about. I could say I didn’t know what in the tarnation he was talking about. I suppose that means I don’t know what in the entire nation he was talking about, but I’m not sure.

My late Pappy Porter was fond of the country of Jabip (pronounced ja-BIP). I don’t know where in the tarnation Jabip is, but when he wanted to put emphasis on something, Jabip was involved: “They might as well go to Jabip for all I care.”

Old Bench Coleman used a unique term for the river being muddy, especially if it was muddy from one side to the other. In that case it was “clear mudt.” Made perfect sense to me.

Being a 100 percent Pennsylvania Dutchman, I love to hear it, but I’m not very good at speaking or understanding it. Most of my generation can’t communicate in Dutch, but I dearly love the way some of us “Dutch” eviscerate the English language. Some of us Dutch hunters shoot at deer. Some of us “shoot after” the deer: Vas dat you dat shot after da deer? Yup, but chumpin chupiter I shot after him four times ‘n missed ‘im.

In the proper Dutchification of English, a “j” is pronounced as “ch.” We had a beagle named Chack. I love to hear it, but my generation and our kids are losing it. “Chack chased dat rappit clear dawn da holla ant back up sroo da woots.”

Most of the Amish I know speak far better English than some of us old Dutchmen. And then there’s guys who have no excuse for getting things tangled up. I have a friend who was thinking about getting a Jack Daniels terrier. A what? Oh yeah, a Jack Russell terrier. Better lay off the hard cider for a while, by gums.

There was a time when the “Dutch” accent was looked down upon. I for one miss it, and in this time of political correctness, multi-culturalism and all that sort of poobah, it’s actually refreshing to hear it.

One thing you won’t hear though is, “For English, press one. For Dutch, press 2.”

My forefathers learned English, and nobody bent over backwards for them, either.

n Ken Maurer, Herndon, is a licensed fishing guide and a regular contributor to the outdoors page. Email comments to kenrose@tds.net.

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