by Don Chaney

Don Chaney is the former mayor and a long-time resident of Crane.

Article #46
Taken from the Crane News, published May 14, 1999.


     There are many phrases and/or customs of long ago of which young people today have never heard.  We heard strong iced tea or coffee called "strong as acky fordis".  For years we tried to figure out the orgin of that statement.  Many years later when the old folks were gone on, I was looking in the Webster for some word.  Lo and behold, I saw the words from the Latin - aqua fortis - meaning strong water.  Very few people spoke or wrote Latin about 1900.  My guess is that the phrase was picked up from some school teacher, and, of course, was pronounced incorrectly.  One of the customs of the day was a handkerchief shower for ladies.  At a going away party for my mother when we left Illinois, she received well over one hundred beautiful little handkerchiefs.  These were mostly handmade and decorated in a delicate manner. I saw a box of those in an antique shop in Fort Davis. What happen to "fix breakfast"?  All of a sudden it wasn't heard again. It became "make breakfast".  Also, a saying was "ridd the table". We laughed at this.  Later in Webster "ridd" means "tidy up"; "smearcase" for  cottage cheese.  They used to hang it on the clothsline in sacks to dry.  Any cold drink was a "pop".  The electric bill was always "light bill".  Why not?  Lights were all there was on it.

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