Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Colorful Island Expression

On Tuesday afternoon I saw Dale. Several months ago he accepted the job as postmaster in a small, remote indigenous village in Alaska, and he is back home for a few days. As usual, he was full of stories...stories of his present village, Unalakleet, and stories of Ocracoke.

Dale and Lisa (she works at the Ocracoke School) have been enjoying remembering and sharing island stories, including a unique island expression that they remember hearing as children: "This is the greatest [greatest just means noteworthy; not necessarily good] time since Puck Ballance was struck by lightning and swallered his tongue!"

Ocracokers certainly do employ colorful language. This expression will probably never make into the Oxford English Dictionary, but feel free to use it as the occasion warrants. Ulysses S. (Puck) Ballance was born January 15, 1882, and died March 17, 1946.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the Wreck of the Banana Boat. You can read it here:

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