Sunday, October 13, 2013

37882. Hon. Charles A. Ross

I often wonder how long the Boston accent has been in place. I'm guessing that back during the Depression it was in full swing. I think that cadences, word choices and other speech patterns have changed enough over the years that we might have problems fully understanding everything that came out of the mouths of our forbears in a time travel incident. "Ten thousand thundering typhoons! I met this killer-diller of a B-girl at the speako, but she turned out to be a chizz." If you ever want to read a fun list of automat-related food terms from the 1930s, check out Mark Kurlansky's The Food of a Younger Land.

The Honorable Charles Ross, two-time Mayor of Quincy, probably got the lingo, even with the Boston accent, which turns "killer-diller" into "killah-dillah" and "mayor" into "may-ah." Scottish by birth and a piano tuner by trade, he steered the growing Quincy metropolis though the Depression before being chased from office under a financial scandal. He then came back for a second go-round during World War II, so it couldn't have been all that bad: "Mayor of the City of Quincy Nine Years: 1933 to 1935 and 1943 to 1950."

At one point, the hepsters thought he was a schlepper, but he was really a macher. I read it in a blat at a clip-joint.

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