As I tried to defend the old word, I began to wonder myself where the expression came from and told them all that I'd Google it when I got home. I did Google it and it is indeed an obscure regional phrase that it seems only New Englanders, and mostly folks from Massachusetts use. Some people used the term "I high hosey it", but most of my friends just used the word by itself. Although I couldn't find the origin of the term, I did find the following:
|120. What do you say when you want to lay claim to the front seat of a car?|
a. dibs (20.99%)
b. shotgun (69.04%)
c. hosey (0.33%)
d. high hosey (0.11%)
e. I have no term for this (6.57%)
f. other (2.96%)
Choice a: dibs
Choice b: shotgun
Choice c: hosey
Choice d: high hosey
Choice e: I have no term for this
Choice f: other
Our language is full of extinct phrases and words. Some deserve to be preserved and others, perhaps don't. But if we want the future generations to understand what we meant when they find an old letter we wrote or maybe even a blog post, we probably should teach them these things. Think of all the songs and old rhymes we learned as children that our grandchildren might never have the pleasure of singing or the advantage of the wisdom these things contain.
Do you remember poems to help us choose things? The common one was of course was Eeny Meeny Miney Mo or One Potato, Two Potato. I remember one weird one that my friend Sue taught me. She's the only one I ever knew who did this one and I always thought she knew it because her mother was from Framingham. That was a town that bordered my hometown of Sudbury and I guess I thought of it as a foreign country when we were little. The poem went like this (why I still remember it I don't know.)
Inty Minty Dibbity Fig
Celia Nomma Nomma Nig.
I chie pichie domin ichie
On Bon Task
Ala kaballa ka boo
I'll take you.
Then there was this one:
My mother and your mother were hanging out the clothes
My mother punched your mother right in the nose.
What color blood came out?
R-E-D and you are not it.
Along with endangered words or phrases, I worry about the loss of the love of poetry that really rhymes like I Never Saw a Purple Cow
But certainly there are other words and songs and poems and phrases that I must remember to teach my little ones. I am going to make a list and I hosey that job!
Have a great day!
**Birdie, Birdie in the sky
Dropped some white stuff in my eye.
Boy, I'm glad that cows can't fly.