Monday, August 18, 2008


Last night I watched Walt Wolfram's latest DVD from the North Carolina Language and Life Project. It is a beautifully produced documentary on the unique dialects of Coastal North Carolina. A number of Ocracokers are featured, including several who have died since the recording was made. It was sad to be reminded of those colorful characters who have made such an impact on this island. Hats off to Walt who has celebrated and documented this distinctive brogue, and who has become good friends with many islanders in the process.

Many local words are featured in the DVD, including "drime," a word more common in the mainland coastal communities, but sometimes heard on Ocracoke. As one user posted on Urban Dictionary, drime (pronounced "droime") means "An expression of absolute dismay. Similar in usage to "damn" with no redeeming qualities." As an example, one might say, "Drime! Those digbatters are walkin' right down the center of Highway 12 again."

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is "One Reason to NOT Move to Ocracoke." You can read it here.


  1. Anonymous6:12 PM

    Or, "Drime, I'm in Denver babysitting and not on my pizer rocking!"

  2. Anonymous11:31 AM

    Philip, do you know Bill Bryson's book about the history of the American language (among other things) called "Made In America." I picked it up at "Books to be Red' last week and it's a good read, thought you might enjoy it. It was good seeing you and your fellow musicians/storytellers on OK Island but I stand corrected - it was a speckled trout, not a spanish mackeral. Devin corrected me on our ride back to NJ.

  3. Ron, I have read two of Bryson's books (both very good reads), but was not aware of "Made in America." Will look for it. The speckled trout was delicious. I enjoyed it, along with some fresh crab meat, with some of my family. It was good to see you and your family.