Alstead Historical Society

Alstead Historical Society AHS is membership organization for people interested in the history of Alstead, New Hampshire, USA. Members may join Facebook Group: Alstead Historical Society Members.


Where was the Paper Mill Village School located from 1790 to 1839?


Box 16
Alstead, NH

General information

Individual and family membership are for the calendar year. Individual membership - $15.00 per year; Family membership - $25.00. Please provide the information requested below and a check made out to the “Alstead Historical Society.” Mail to AHS, Box 16, Alstead, NH 03602. AHS MEMBERSHIP FORM Name:_________________________________________ Address:_______________________________________ Town: ___________________ Zip code:______________ Telephone: _________________ Email:__________________________________


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Dear Alstead Historical Society, My name is Stephen Howe. I am an associate professor of historical linguistics in Japan but was born in England. I am researching special words for “no” and “yes” in New Hampshire. Colonists from the East of England, where I grew up, may have brought "dow" and "jess" to New England in the seventeenth century. Four hundred years later, these special words still survive. Gerald E. Lewis gives an example of "daow" in How to Talk Yankee: Did you get your deer yet? Daow, I can’t even see one. And an informant from New Hampshire gives an example of "jearse" or "jess," stating that “I totally just thought this was a weird NH thing”: Hey, have you seen where the muffin tins went? Hmmmm, jearse, in the oven I think. In the East of England, we still use "dow" and "jearse" today. However, these words for “no” and “yes” are not recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary or the Survey of English Dialects. Nor were they recorded by the Linguistic Atlas of New England; but the Dictionary of American Regional English cites daow, daowd, dow, doh or day-oh in Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts and Rhode Island as well as New York State. There is also daow in New Hampshire. For “jearse" or "jess,” informants in my survey cited jass in Upstate New York and possibly Vermont, jearse in New Hampshire, and jyes or djess in Maine and Massachusetts. I am writing a book on "jess" and "dow" and wonder whether it might be possible to ask your members whether they know either of these words? I would be most grateful for any information you may have. I have more information about my research plus a survey that readers can complete online at Yours sincerely, Stephen Howe ============================================= Dr Stephen HOWE Associate Professor Department of English and Graduate School Fukuoka University Japan Website: =============================================