In February islander Kathy Ballance came down with a severe wintertime bug that had been circulating throughout the village. Fever, sore throat, coughing, and fatigue laid folks low for weeks at a time…and lingered for months.
Kathy called the Health Clinic and described her condition using an old-time island expression. “Jamie,” she told the receptionist, “I need to make an appointment. I’ve got the Distemper.”
Jamie is from the mainland of Hyde County and had never heard anyone refer to a bad cold as “the Distemper.” Curious, Jamie did some research to see if humans could really get distemper. When Kathy heard about Jamie searching the Internet re. the Distemper she thought it was hilarious. Kathy found it doubly funny that the doctor prescribed the same antibiotics that her son's dog was getting!
Just one more example of Ocracoke Islanders’ unique and quirky vocabulary!
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a history of the Ocracoke Preservation Society. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042111.htm.