Twain (I think) passage warning someone of the inns in the next town
May 28, 2021 9:04 PM   Subscribe

This is driving me crazy. I originally came across the passage when I was looking for places where the excellent American word “cattywampus” (many spelling variations) was used. I think it was Twain, maybe not, but a wonderful speech written in the very rich and rough vernacular of the American West — in the 1800s I’m thinking?

The speaker is advising the listener what to be wary
of if renting a bed in any of the local inns, and cites an escalating array of dangers, beginning with fleas, progressing to snakes, and culminating in Jaguars or something. Grateful if you can point me in the right direction!
posted by Turtles all the way down to Grab Bag (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Response by poster: Found it:

https://uselessetymology.com/2017/12/02/the-etymology-of-cattywampus/
posted by Turtles all the way down at 9:30 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: ‘Am I rightly informed,’ he says; not exactly though his nose, but as if he’d got a stoppage in it, very high up: ‘that you’re a-going to the Walley of Eden?’ ‘I heard some talk on it,’ I told him. ‘Oh!’ says he, ‘if you should ever happen to go to bed there—you may you know,’ he says, ‘in course of time as civilization progresses—don’t forget to take a axe with you.’ I looks at him tolerable hard. ‘Fleas?’ says I. ‘And more,’ says he. ‘Wampires?’ says I. ‘And more,’ says he. ‘Musquitoes, perhaps,’ says I. ‘And more,’ says he. ‘What more?’ says I. “Snakes more,’ says he; ‘rattlesnakes. You’re right to a certain extent stranger. There air some catawampous chawers in the small way too, as graze upon a human pretty strong; but don’t mind them, they’re company. It’s snakes,’ he says, ‘as you’ll object to: and whenever you wake and see one in a upright poster on your bed,’ he says, ‘like a corkscrew with the handle off a-sittin’ on s bottom ring, cut him down, for he means wenom.’
posted by Turtles all the way down at 9:34 PM on May 28 [8 favorites]


You had me at useless etymology.
posted by jcworth at 8:35 AM on May 29 [4 favorites]


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