Twanglish Lesson: Carry

How much can you carry? That seems like a pretty straightforward question on the surface. Sure, you could load up your answer with complex physics computations factoring in localized gravitational pull, astronomical alignments, sun spots and up-to-the-minute influences of the Nikkei index.

Or in the South, you could answer with a question like, “Do y’all mind sitting in the truck bed with the dogs?” Because here, carrying is not as much about arm reach and upper body strength, as it is about the capacity of your car.

Carryverb 1. to drive or transport someone, typically in an automobile:

Can you carry me to the Walmarts?

This is one of those Southern idioms that absolutely baffles folks from elsewhere. We’d love to be able to offer you some kind of etymology, but frankly, we just don’t know one. Perhaps we could look it up together. Could you carry us to the nearest state university? We don’t bite … much.

2 Responses to “Twanglish Lesson: Carry”

  1. Since people used to ride in carriages, this doesn’t seem like much of a stretch. Of course, I’ve always been told that Southern English is closest to the King’s English.

    • Excellent point! Honestly, we haven’t taken much time to look into it. However, I wouldn’t at all be surprised if it, like many Southernisms, harkens from an older usage. Far be it for Southerners to let go of the past for the sake of fashion.

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