Lamb, Ah’s perishin’ fer real vittles.

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Lee Jongho

Senior Member
Korean
What does “Lamb, Ah’s perishin’ fer real vittles.” mean?
Maybe does it mean "I'm dying for real food"?

The complete paragraph follows:
The others grumbled, too:
“Miss Scarlett, ‘ness I gits mo’ to eat, I kain nuss neither of these chillun.”
“Miss Scarlett, ef Ah doan have mo’ in mah stummick, Ah kain split no wood.”
“Lamb, Ah’s perishin’ fer real vittles.”
“Daughter, must we always have yams?”

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

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    vittles: an obsolete or dialect spelling of victual
    vittles - WordReference.com Dictionary of English
    I would call it a phonetic spelling. Many (and perhaps even most...) people today do not know that "victuals" is not pronounced as it is spelled, but is instead correctly pronounced as if it were spelled "vittles." On the other hand, there are many people who are thoroughly familiar with the correct pronunciation. The problem is making the correction between the spoken word, and the correctly written word.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I would call it a phonetic spelling. Many (and perhaps even most...) people today do not know that "victuals" is not pronounced as it is spelled, but is instead correctly pronounced as if it were spelled "vittles." On the other hand, there are many people who are thoroughly familiar with the correct pronunciation. The problem is making the correction between the spoken word, and the correctly written word.
    I'm not sure if this is what you're saying, but many people who know the word "vittles" don't know there is such a word "victuals" as people who don't say "vittles" don't say "victuals" - no one says "victuals" ;). It's hardly fair to accuse them of mispronouncing a word they're not trying to pronounce.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    I'm not sure if this is what you're saying, but many people who know the word "vittles" don't know there is such a word "victuals" as people who don't say "vittles" don't say "victuals" - no one says "victuals" ;). It's hardly fair to accuse them of mispronouncing a word they're not trying to pronounce.
    What I am saying is that nearly everyone has heard a word that sounds like "vittles", and knows that it means "food". In addition, there are people who have seen the written word "victuals", and who know the meaning of it. As it so happens, that meaning is identical to the meaning of the word that sounds like "vittles", for the simple reason that "victuals" is the correct spelling of the word that is pronounced as if it were spelled "vittles." However, if you ask many people who recognize the written word "victuals" to pronounce that word, what you will hear is probably something like VIKT-yu-als, or VIK-chu-als, instead of "vittles", because they do not realize that the word that is written as "victuals" is (like "debt" or "gunwale") not pronounced as it is spelled, but is in fact the same word that is pronounced as if it were written "vittles" -- they are one and the same word, and not two different words with two different pronunciations.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    If anyone's interested in the reason for the mismatch between the spelling and the pronunciation, it is all to do with revisionist spelling.

    The word was actually borrowed from French vitaille in the 14th century, and the English spelling adapted from French. A lot of educated people in the 16th century knew Latin, and it was supposed that the word came from Latin victualia, and so the word was respelt victuals with the pronunciation unaltered.

    A similar thing happened with debt as well. It was borrowed from French dette. People decided that it was from Latin debitum and changed the spelling to debt.
     
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