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Slang and Capital Letters

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891988.  Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:04 am Reply with quote

My beautiful girlfriend just tweeted something about 'hillbilliys' and used a capital H for 'hillbilly'. When I asked her why she said something along the lines of 'they are a group of people, like Jews or Australians'. I thought that was an interesting point, probably more so because I'm drunk than the fact that it's interesting but I digress.

While I disagree with her, do you think it will start happening with all slang? Or has it already happened and it has passed me by? Are there any examples from history where that has happened and finally, could someone make sense of what I'm trying to ask and maybe reword the question so it makes sense or direct me to a thread where this is already being discussed...

...and I know they prefer 'hillwilliam'.

891994.  Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:26 am Reply with quote

I don't think it's seen as a slang any more and is recognised as a real term for certain people which has been around for a century or so, so I'd say Hillbillies certainly deserves a capital H.

891995.  Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:32 am Reply with quote

Yeah - wot he sed.

892006.  Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:08 am Reply with quote

I'm so tempted to go back and edit my previous post now :)

892019.  Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:08 am Reply with quote

Rather than discussing capital letters for hillbillies & chavs, wouldn't it be more appropriate to discuss capital punishment instead? : D

Personally, I don't think they deserve a capital letter, so go edit that post of yours. ; )

892027.  Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:28 am Reply with quote

I think that they deserve two Capital letters; thus - HillBillies;
because the Billy referred to is King Billy, AKA William IV, or William of Orange, the only British Monarch to have two heads.
In case you think that I'm making this up as I go along, the original hillbillies were Ulster Protestants who emigrated to the USA, bringing their devotion to King Billy and moonshine with them, and settled in the hills.

892045.  Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:59 am Reply with quote

The term "hillbilly" didn't arise until around 1900 so the above etymology is almost certainly false.

892064.  Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:44 am Reply with quote

It's partially correct actually, as in a whole bunch of them were traditionally called William going back to the original Ulster Protestant Immigration. Or so said Liam Clancy, who usually was quite knowledgeable about such things.



892102.  Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:44 am Reply with quote

Thank you, AFB (did we ever meet, by the way?)

892105.  Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:03 am Reply with quote

mckeonj wrote:
Thank you, AFB (did we ever meet, by the way?)

Not to my knowledge we didn't. That can, however, be remedied at any time...



892106.  Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:06 am Reply with quote

I have a copy of Michael Mongomery's book at home, but as I'm not there just now I shall link instead to Wikipedia which references it and other works in the 'History' section. I'm afraid that nice as the William theory is it's both fanciful and outdated. Sorry.


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