ain't <axed> any pardon

gil12345

Senior Member
chinese
Hi there,

"Conscious of no crime, these former Confederates continued to believe that their view of secession
was correct and that the “lost cause” was still a just war. One popular anti-Union song ran,
I’m glad I fought agin her, I only wish we’d won,
And I ain’t axed any pardon for anything I’ve done."


by David M. Kennedy and Lizabeth Cohen

Does "axed" here means "terminated"? Or "reduced"? My interpretation: Even pardoned, I don't think I am guilty and will fight again. If so, should it be followed by "by"?

Thanks

Gil
 
  • Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    It's such a common mispronunciation in the USA, especially in African-American, that it could be called dialect. It's rarely heard in the UK.
    'Axed' is much easier to say, unless you are used to saying 'asked', when it's nearly impossible to change.
     

    gil12345

    Senior Member
    chinese
    It's such a common mispronunciation in the USA, especially in African-American, that it could be called dialect. It's rarely heard in the UK.
    'Axed' is much easier to say.
    Yet from the very context, it was the white plantationers who led the secession and, for which, took the hit. And reasonably, they would say so. Given that they were usually well-educated, relatively speaking, how could they use such a word?
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Given that they were usually well-educated, relatively speaking, how could they use such a word?
    I haven't studied American history so I'm commenting from my general knowledge. I doubt that it's any more possible to make generalisations about American landowners and farmers than about English ones.
    I would expect that among even the wealthiest planters, some would be highly educated and others less so. Being wealthy, privileged and influential doesn't always go along with intellect and educational achievement, as the British royal family demonstrates.
    The only generalisation we can make, I suppose, is that most Confederates were southerners and they'd speak with southern accents and use dialect forms. I have no idea to what extent the speech of an educated wealthy confederate might differ from an uneducated poor one.

    But the quote is from a popular song so it's written the way most people spoke. 'Popular' means 'of the people', like a folk song.
    Can you spot the two other deviations from standard English?
     
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    gil12345

    Senior Member
    chinese
    But the quote is from a popular song so it's written the way most people spoke. 'Popular' means 'of the people', like a folk song.
    Can you spot the two other deviations from standard English?
    It could be that the words were first invented by some wealthy planters,who, more often than not, were well-educated, but then as a song, these words evolved with distinct southern dialect. I find "agin" stands for "against" and "ain't" "didn't." Anyway, I appreciate your kind help.
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    The word for this phenomenenon is metathesis, moving letters or sounds around in a word.

    The Civil War was started by the wealthy but the common foot soldier was anybody who could carry a rifle. As Hermione points out, and as you've discovered, there are some pointers that indicate it is dialect. It isn't isn't very likely at the time that it was African American, though.

    As I recall, there were certain songs shared by the Southern soldiers (e.g. "Goober Peas") and songs shared by the Northern.

    edit: Also, more often than not, wealthy landowners in the South were recent descendants of poor farmers, or they themselves were born poor. Some, of course, were from old landowning families that had been established many generations prior to the war.
     
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    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    The two forms ask- and aks- have both been common throughout the history of English, from the earliest times, and across the English-speaking world.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    That's interesting, etb. I've never heard it here, but I don't watch the sort of TV where it might be heard or go to the right places to hear it. I do watch American court TV shows from time to time and that's where I've heard it most.
     
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