Saturday, November 19, 2005

I'll have a goober butter sandwich

The oldest and I had breakfast with my father today. My father is 81, which means he sometimes chooses words that have faded in the popular vernacular. Other times, his words are still around in usage, but he uses them in ways that are, at least by me, unexpected.

The oldest and my father were discussing candy, a fascinating topic for a seven-year old.

They agreed that Bit O' Honeys are good.
They agreed that Tootsie Rolls are good.
They agreed that M&M's are really good.

"Which kind of M&Ms do you like best?" I asked my father.
"Goober M&Ms," came the reply.

noun, Chiefly Southern U.S.
The edible, nutlike, oily seed of the peanut plant, used for food and as a source of oil.
[Of Bantu origin; akin to Kongo or Kimbundu n-guba.]
REGIONAL NOTE Most Southerners recognize the terms goober and goober pea as other names for the peanut. Goober is related to Kongo or Kimbundu n-guba, “peanut.” The word is especially interesting as one of a small stock of African language borrowings brought over by slaves. Most of these words have to do with the food items imported from Africa for the slaves to eat.
"goober." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 20 Nov. 2005.