Saturday, June 19, 2010

Radio: Harping the Boontling

Down in California's Anderson Valley hops country (or Alsatian wine, if that's your thing), there's a homespun dialect—spoken primarily by menfolk to mask filth talk—called Boontling.
Although based on English, Boontling's unusual words are unique to Boonville, California. Scottish Gaelic and Irish, and some Pomoan and Spanish, also influenced the vocabulary of the language. Boontling was invented in the late 1800s and had quite a following at the turn of the century. It is now mostly spoken only by aging counter-culturists and native Anderson Valley residents. Because the town of Boonville only has a little over 700 residents, Boontling is an extremely esoteric dialect, and is quickly becoming archaic. It has over a thousand unique words and phrases. [thanks, wiki]
Ginna Allison produced a piece on Boontling a handful of years back. It's cool to hear a regional dialect that time and modernity is ripping to shreds. Thank god we have radio as an aural time capsule.

Listen to Harping Boontling (starts at about 5:47)

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