“Hurry!” How many times have you used; or heard, this word used to denote the importance of expedient reaction to a request? “Will you come in here, please, and HURRY?” There is little doubt that the response is of extreme urgency. It has not been all that long since another term was used which basically meant the same thing; that being the words “Make Haste.”
“Take this cake pan over to Miss Mamie’s and ‘make haste’.” You were ordered not to dawdle or loiter, but to immediately return the borrowed pan. This term was widely used during the years of my childhood, and we all knew that when the chore was complete, another awaited us.
As time went by, this term was changed to “hurry-up,” possibly by the influx of different people within the community. Different words; but the meaning was the same. Special emphasis was also noted by adding the words, “and don’t mess around.”
Even though many knew correct usage of words and terms; they still applied the words which had been taught and used around them by, in many cases, uneducated parents and relatives. What difference did it make? Everyone knew exactly what they were talking about. Communication was no less effective.
Instead of parting with visitors with the words, “All of you come to see us again.” It was usually, “Y’all come back now: HEAR?” Not only did this apply to the individual guest but included all of his/her family, and it was a sincere request.
Everyone welcomed visitors; if for no other reason than to hear news of other friends, as well as, National and World news. “Y’all hear about Mavis and Jimmy Joe breaking up?” “Boys’ll be home from the war any day now.” Few radios; no television and limited newspapers, made this news from neighbors and friends a valued source of information.
Hold-over words from a colorful vocabulary are still in use today, not only in the South; but in other parts of our country. Basically, the meaning is the same, although accents differ. People simply find the easiest way to converse with others, regardless of whether the words are phonically correct or not.
“Bobby Ray, you run down to Addie’s and Them’s and borrow her food chopper. Make haste ‘fore it’s time for your Daddy. Ask Addie, has she heard ’bout Junney Lou and Billy? Go on now, and “make haste.’”