Thursday, August 29, 2013

Vs and Ws

Many years ago John McWilliams came to Ocracoke to teach school. McWilliams was a Scotsman who had been living in Washington, North Carolina. His speech was distinctive. In particular, he pronounced his "Vs" as if they were "Ws." Island children soon took to imitating him.

A half century ago it was not unusual to still hear teenagers talking about "willages in Wirginia." You might even hear remnants of this permutation occasionally today.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the recent skirmishes islanders have had with North Carolina legislatures over the issue of ferry tolls...and a 1955 newspaper editorial advocating free, state-operated ferries across Hatteras Inlet. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous11:54 AM

    Were the McWilliams distant kin to the Williams of OI?

    1. I don't think so. I believe they were originally two separate families, although there has been intermariage over the years.

  2. Anonymous6:18 PM

    Thanks for the response.
    As always enjoying the journal.