Monday, March 11, 2013

What a Gaum!


"Aye, law, what a gaum those renters have made of Lulie's house. I wonder she don't rise up outen her grave and come make them clean up that nasty front porch. You remember how nice she kept her place -- flowers in pots all in a line, the rocking chairs painted yaller, and the floor just as clean . . .  Hit make me wonder what we're coming to. . ."

"Now you likely know more about it than me, but I wouldn't try to drive through that gaum -- you'll likely git stuck."

"I never heard that word 'gaum,' Miss Birdie.  I guess it means a big mess, right?"

My neighbor pondered,  frowning slightly. "Well, maybe so. But when I told you to go pick you a mess of beans from the garden, what I meant was for you to git enough for your dinner. Gaum is something that's all tore up."

I cringed. Where I come from, 'mess' can also mean 'a whole lot' -- as in 'You're in a mess of trouble."

So I had picked a whole lot of beans -- several times what Miss Birdie considered a mess, no doubt.

Ay, law, what a gaum!

  
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15 comments:

Martin said...

Gaum has just entered my dictionary, Vicki. Thank you.

Brian Miller said...

ok...the mission today is to try and use this....ha...a new one on me...

Kath Marsh said...

fascinating. We have quite a guam in our kitchen as we wait for the contractor to finish ...

A Place for Artists said...

I had a painting student that would tell me she was making a big gaum of her painting! Guess where she was from!

Vicki Lane said...

I'll bet that was Retha -- or Margaret! I was in that class!

B. Rogers, Living in Black Mountain said...

That porch is definitely a "show and tell" for gaum. Somewhere I got the feeling it was sticky too. Maybe because it sounds like gum a bit.

Frances said...

Vicki, before now I'd never heard gaum. Or maybe I did hear it and didn't have any idea what it meant? You've definitely given me a new word, letting me clearly know what it does mean.

Thank you and Miss B, too. xo

NCmountainwoman said...

My mother used to warn my brother and me not to go "messin' and gaumin'" I don't recall anyone else using the term but I'm sure they did.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Nice capture of the local dialect. Also the photos accompanying it fit nicely. -- barbara

Thérèse said...

"What a gaum!"
An easy expression to remember and easy to use in certain places.

jennyfreckles said...

Wonderful words, gaum might find itself more widely used now!

Victoria said...

Now there's a word I've never heard before! That porch photo illustrates what 'gaum' means really well.

I miss Miss Birdie. I was wondering just yesterday what she's been up to. Any chance of any more books about her?

Vicki Lane said...

Victoria -- maybe someday. . . but probably more in the line of short stories about her -- I have one in the works...

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Victoria said...

Well, short stories are way better than no stories! :) I can't wait to read them.