There’s probably nothing that irritates a Southerner more than bad Southern accents in movies. (Well, maybe the meddling of federal interlopers in state affairs, but that’s a whole other mess of stuff that we’ll unpack some other time.) Most annoying of all is the assumption that there is only one Southern accent. As anyone who’s ever lived in the South knows, there are as many variations of Twanglish as there are ears of corn in a bushel. That is to say, there are a lot.
Old money or well-bred folks from Mobile or the Mississippi Delta speak with an entirely different pronunciation and lexicon than the hill folk of Eastern Tennessee. Compare the accents of an Appalachian coal miner with that of a New Orleans blues singer, and you might wonder if they are even from the same country, let alone the same region.
That brings us to today’s Twanglish Lesson. It’s entirely possible that this particular Southernism starts and ends with one family. Heck, it may start and end with a single individual. But it’s so uniquely Southern that we felt it deserved documentation and preservation as much as any folk song or haint story. Without further ado, let the weirdness begin:
Quinny –noun (Likely used only by a single member of RSM Wayne Franklin’s family) 1. a cardinal number, two sets of ten 2. a written symbol, representing this value, as “20” 3. a set of things or persons totaling this number:
Yestidy I writ quinny queets on the Qwitter and near ’bout as many on the Facebooks.
We warned you. We’re not sure why or how one comes to substitute a “q” for the diphthong “tw,” but it happens. And it makes us chuckle every time we hear it. So do a little quirl, read you some Mark Quain and find the real Quanglish that lies bequixt and bequeen.