Twanglish Lesson: Give

One would be forgiven if they looked at the title of today’s Twanglish Lesson and thought we were talking about that seemingly unending Southern capacity for generosity. We give to our neighbors in need. We give our time to any cause that we feel is worthy of it and some that we don’t. (I’m looking at you, shameless elementary school door-to-door chocolate sales.) We give our spare change to the members of the volunteer fire department even though, in wanton disregard of their exhortations about safety, stand in the middle of traffic protected only by a polo and red bucket with the words “please give” scrawled hastily on it with a Sharpie. (You can’t tell me somebody didn’t see this fundraiser coming in enough time to buy some stencils.) Heck, we even give to Lottie Moon every year at Christmas.

Alas, that’s not the kind of giving we’re studying today. Today we’re talking about the kind of giving that happens when we’ve been giving too much for too long. When we’ve given all our energy, all our strength all our passion, focus and effort to life, there’s only one thing left to give: out.

Give (Out)verb 1. To tire or grow weary 2. To exhaust completely:

Unlike you, some folks’ young’uns will sell that chocolate door-to-door ’til they give slap out.

adjective 1. Describing a condition of being completely exhausted:

I was near ’bout give out after walking the whole length of the Walmarts.

Synonyms: Tar, Tucker (Out)

I’m feeling a little give out myself after this post … or perhaps it’s from dredging up the painful memories of my abject failure as a child chocolate salesman. If you need me, I’ll be rared back on the porch swing with a glass of sweet tea.

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