Virginia, Virginny

Lusus Naturae

Senior Member
Cantonese
I can't find Virginny in the dictionary. What dialectal form is it? Does the gemination (Virginny) indicate certain dialects?
Is it Virginny (paroxytone) or Virginny (proparoxytone like Germany, Albany)?
 
  • Penyafort

    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    Singers of Carry Me Back to Old Virginny clearly stress the gin, so I'd say it's paroxytone.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    US English
    Emphasis: the correct name is Virginia, so this is Virginny.

    I'm not sure exactly which dialects say it this way, but I think it is:

    - more rural (not near cities) than urban (in cities) or suburban (near cities)
    - more in the south and west than in the north-east
    - more lower-class than upper-class
    - more casual than formal
    - more common in the past (before 1950) than today

    My mother's name was "Virginia", but her nickname (used by family, friends and co-workers) was Ginny.
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    Emphasis: the correct name is Virginia, so this is Virginny.

    I'm not sure exactly which dialects say it this way, but I think it is:

    - more rural (not near cities) than urban (in cities) or suburban (near cities)
    - more in the south and west than in the north-east
    - more lower-class than upper-class
    - more casual than formal
    - more common in the past (before 1950) than today

    My mother's name was "Virginia", but her nickname (used by family, friends and co-workers) was Ginny.
    I'm sure there is no gemination here. The "nn" keeps the i "short".

    I agree with Dojibear's comment
    For some reason the oldest generation of Americans confuses final -a and -y. So you hear(d) Virginny for Virginia, Pennsylvany for Pennsylvania, Alabamy for Alabama but also Missoura for Missouri, Cincinnata for Cincinnati, Mississippa for Mississippi, Miama for Miami. Ioway for Iowa. Ohia for Ohio. There are a lot more names that swing back and forth with whichever of the two pronunciations.
    I also agree the more south and west you go the more you hear it.

    I emphasize no one under 70 would do this though! But I'm sure someone will say there is a young person in some town who does it :)
     
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    pollohispanizado

    Senior Member
    Inglés canadiense
    Virginny for Virginia, Pennsylvany for Pennsylvania
    This is baseless speculation, but I wonder if the French pronounciation had anything to do with this phenomenon due to he French presence in the South East (in French those two states are Virginie and Pennsylvanie)(it's common for the stress in French loans to be changed from the last to the penultimate syllable; cf. filet, Fr. /fi'le/, En. /'fɪlɪt/)
     

    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    American English (New England and NYC)
    I don't know anything about French presence in the southeastern US. Could you explain?
     

    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    American English (New England and NYC)
    I do know about Louisiana, but I don't think of Louisiana and the Mississippi valley as southeast. I think of the southeast as South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Alabama.
    And I agree, Pennsylvania and Virginia are definitely not southeast.
     
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