folks dat did dey be wuth shootin’ dey’d have niggers ter wait on dem.

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Lee Jongho

Senior Member
Korean
What does "folks dat did dey be wuth shootin’ dey’d have niggers ter wait on dem" mean?


The complete sentences follow:
“Ah has said time an’ again, it doan do no good doin’ nuthin’ fer w’ite trash. Dey is de shiflesses, mos’ ungrateful passel of no- counts livin’. An’ Miss Ellen got no bizness weahin’ herseff out waitin’ on folks dat did dey be wuth shootin’ dey’d have niggers ter wait on dem. An’ Ah has said–”

The source is from Gone with the Wind by Magaret Mitchell.
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    From The Bandit of Hell’s Bend by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1924):
    “You better beat it, Gum. You ain’t wuth shootin’, with cartridges the price they be,” he continued.
    From Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (1936):
    An’ Miss Ellen got no bizness weahin’ herseff out waitin’ on folks dat did dey be wuth shootin’ dey'd have niggers ter wait on dem.
    The derogatory phrase “not worth shooting” is also mentioned in this article in relation to 19th-century duels (Deloping - Wikipedia).
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    It seems to be a variant of "the game's not worth a candle."
    Not at all. While the language is dissimilar, the idea is one that has often been met in British literature: the disdain that the servants of the upper class may have for some members of the working class. Miss Ellen is the mistress of the plantation called Tara, and while considered a great lady, has just assisted the poor and unmarried Emmie Slattery in childbirth. Mammy thinks that Slattery is undeserving of Ellen's help.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Specifically, if she was important enough to warrant help, she would already have help.
     
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