From: danjmi
Message: 15957
Date: 2002-10-05

I've been waiting for an excuse to post something I ran
across and find remarkable. No one's provided an excuse, so I'll
go ahead anyway:
Chincoteague Talk
Chincoteague is 7 miles long and 2 miles wide. In 1930 we
had population of about 3,000. There were at least 6 different
dialects - I could tell which part of the Island they came from by
their speech. In general there were (1) "Up-the-Neckers" (2)
"Deep Holers" (3) "Tick-towners" (4) "East Siders" (5) "Birch-
towners" and (6) "Snotty-Ridgers."
Chincoteague is one of the barrier islands on the Atlantic
coast of Virginia. It was settled by whites about 1700 (and fewer
blacks -- if the writer was reminded of them, he'd probably say
"Oh yeah. They just talked like colored people"), and was quite
isolated until a causeway and bridges were built from the
mainland in the 1920's. Some of the islands in Chesapeake
Bay on the other side of the peninsula are well known for
characteristic speech (popularly but almost certainly wrongly
said to be "pure Elizabethan"), but I've never heard of such
diversity within a small island.
It's too bad no linguist investigated before Chincoteague
became just about like any other place in the USA.
Dan Milton