Surprise at word

Surprise at word

Surprise at word

First published in Letters
Last updated
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I WAS surprised at M Wilson being shocked at the use of the word “gotten” (Letters, April 26).

In the 1930s and 1940s, I lived in a North Yorkshire village where my father was the village blacksmith.

‘Gotten’ was in common use amongst farmers. They would come to the blacksmith’s shop and ask, “Aster gotten it fettled yet?” meaning had some piece of equipment been repaired.

On one occasion I will not forget our next door farmer neighbour came and asked, “Did ta know thi pig as gotten out and is in our pond covered in mud?”

I never heard the American servicemen use this word during the war, but it is defined in the Oxford dictionary.

J Boddy, Upper Poppleton, York.

Comments (4)

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10:42am Fri 2 May 14

Firedrake says...

Quite right. This is a very old usage which some Yorkshire dialects have managed to preserve.
Quite right. This is a very old usage which some Yorkshire dialects have managed to preserve. Firedrake
  • Score: 1

2:46pm Fri 2 May 14

Jonothon says...

It has survived in American English which really annoys some people. Curiosity made me google it, and it looks like Shakespeare used it in his play Richard lll

"With much ado at length have gotten leave,
To look upon my sometimes royal master's face."

Variationsof it are still in use. "ill-gotten gains" etc
It has survived in American English which really annoys some people. Curiosity made me google it, and it looks like Shakespeare used it in his play Richard lll "With much ado at length have gotten leave, To look upon my sometimes royal master's face." Variationsof it are still in use. "ill-gotten gains" etc Jonothon
  • Score: 2

4:17pm Fri 2 May 14

Firedrake says...

Indeed. American English preserves all sorts of ancient usages and pronunciations; "dove" for example, a past form of the verb to "dive". Also, most speakers of American English are still rhotic, pronouncing the post vocalic /r/ in words like "farmer" etc, something which started dropping out of "polite" English around 1700. (We know this because people used to write to newspapers to complain about it!)
Indeed. American English preserves all sorts of ancient usages and pronunciations; "dove" for example, a past form of the verb to "dive". Also, most speakers of American English are still rhotic, pronouncing the post vocalic /r/ in words like "farmer" etc, something which started dropping out of "polite" English around 1700. (We know this because people used to write to newspapers to complain about it!) Firedrake
  • Score: 0

6:31pm Fri 2 May 14

Tug job says...

Yes, the Americans still use "fall" while we have moved on to autumn.

Still can't work out why they call taps "faucets", though!
Yes, the Americans still use "fall" while we have moved on to autumn. Still can't work out why they call taps "faucets", though! Tug job
  • Score: 0

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