Friday, April 2, 2021

My corner of the world

 I live in the deep South of the United States. I was born in Georgia and my ancestors were some of the original white settlers in Georgia. Whether I have wanted it or not; I am what a native Georgian is. I say this in that I have never bought into the Southern mystique. I don't believe in the moonlight and magnolia legacy. Most of what I know about the South I learned from the Atlanta Journal and Constitution.

But language has always been my love. There is a word that I have always wanted to know the root of and that word is Asscelling. It is used like, Quit asscelling around and get a move on it. Or as my dad would say "step lively". And in sheer frustration, Quit asscelling around and get in the dang car. It's funny how you can hear your parent's voice long after they are gone. The voice is not there, but the words linger. 

Asscelling has always been a mystery to me. Other words I heard and could not place eventually came home to me.

One time I said ornery to my students and they thought I said I was horny. The Southern pronunciation was ornry. I was lucky enough that one of my students of the midwestern persuasion correctly pronounced the word. I suspect she had heard my pronunciation in Ohio or somewhere in the midwest. It saved me some embarassment.

Another word is Cairn. Something smells like cairn or rotten meat. It is pronounced with a hard K sound.  I read another writer on Facebook explaining what Karne was. I wanted to correct her. But you know, I had always heard the word like she was explaining. It wasn't the Spanish word transposed into English.

Spanish makes me think of another word that I heard as a young woman which was Vamoose which is Spanish to get the heck out of here. 

So if you know what the word Asscelling really is; enlighten me.

Cheerio to all you A to Zers. This year I just plan to kick back and read. This is the google webpage with a listing of all the A to Z fun. 

Update: I found the word on this webpage,


  1. Asscelling is a complete mystery to me - and I hope you will tell the rest of us if you do find out.
    Cairn in that context is too.
    Ornery and vamoose I grew up with - here on the other side of the world.

    1. I only know Cairn as a pile of stones, but that doesn’t seem to be what it means here.

      I live in the same part of the world as you, EC!

    2. Vamoose is too good a word to not get around. We used to have a popular car in the States called a Nova. They changed the name in Mexico. Nova meant no go in Spanish.

  2. How fascinating! I love words too, though I’ve never heard that one. It must be Southern. Perhaps a Google search would give some idea where that came from?

    I’m a fellow teacher, by the way.

    1. It turns out I found the word in a google search. I used another probable spelling. I was led to another spelling and it is a regional American word. I have searched the word in the past to no avail.

      There is an American version of the Oxford dictionary which was a surprise. Two sources is good.

      It is nice to meet another teacher. I've been retired long enough to be worthless back in the classroom.

  3. I also know Cairn as a pile of stones! Have a good weekend, Diane

  4. This was a fascinating discussion about some cute words that I've read and heard in films. I don't know what asscelling is for sure but I do hope you find out.

  5. Might Cairn be a shortening of Carrion?
    Never heard Asscelling.

    Thanks for visiting and commenting on my Art A-Z!
    A-Z Art work:
    A-Z Shoes:

    1. Cairn is from Carne which is Spanish for meat. I'll be back to your blog. It is a good one.

  6. I've never come across the word asscelling. It's not a word used in the UK. All I could find from Google was a reference to the Ascelling family in France.

    And like the others, I only know cairn as a pile of stones, or as a type of terrier.

  7. Can't recall ever hearing the word "Asscelling" before and have no idea about it. When I moved to East Tennessee when I was in high school in the sixties I was mystified by some of the terms people used. Now it sounds pretty normal to me.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


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