Dialects 「方言」- To Kill a Mockingbird

The author, Harper Lee, writes many of the words the way the characters speak them.
For example, she leaves the final "G" off words, as in
nothin' and tellin'.

 

What is the standard English for the following expressions:



EXAMPLE













 

Dialect

Standard English

ain't
is not, has not
hey [as a greeting]
 
wanta (p. 18) [p. 24]
 
hafta (p. 18) [p. 24]
 
yeb'm (p. 19) [p. 25]
 
ever' (p. 24) [p. 32]
 
an' (p. 24) [p. 32]
 
'em (p. 24) [p. 32]
 
yo' (p. 24) [pp. 32-33]
 
yawl (p. 36) [p. 48]
you all
'Smatter (p. 39) [p. 51]
What's the matter?
caughtcha (p. 47) [p. 63]
 
yessum (p. 65) [p. 87]
 
nome (p. 84) [p. 111]
 
gimme (p. 93) [p. 123]
 
'd (p. 97) [p. 129]
 
chillun (p. 119) [p. 158]
 
agin (p. 180) [p. 241]
 
suh (p. 192) [p. 255]
 
 
 
 
 

Some of the characters, particularly those who are less educated, speak with a strong dialect. You may have to translate some of the English into English! The following are examples.

(p. 25) [p. 31]

Walter

Reckon I have. Almost died first year I come to school and et them pecans — folks say he pizened 'em and put 'em over on the school side of the fence.

Translation

I guess I have. I almost died the first year I came to school and ate those pecans. People say he [Mr. Radley] poisoned them and put them over on the school side of the fence.

(p. 119) [p. 158]

Lula

I wants to know why you bringing' white chillun to nigger church.

Translation

I want to know why you are bringing white children to a church for Negroes.

p.

Translation

p.

Translation

p.

Translation

p.

Translation

Regional expressions that are probably not in your dictionary.
 

"hush your fussing" (p. 25)
 

"my stars" (p. 14)
 

"raveling a thread" (p. 46)
 

"sit a spell" (p. 47)
 

"What in the sam holy hill . . .?" (p.51)
 

"Beautiful my hind foot!" (p. 65)
 

"jim-dandy" (p. 67)
 

"He's right stove up." (p. 73)
 

"fess"
 

Created by CA Edington, Spring, 2005; revised Spring, 2012
Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan