Thursday, April 24, 2008

Say What?

Daddy had a saying, I always thought he made up. He’d say, “that’s down right larrapin!” Larrapin, what’s that? I wasn’t exactly sure but I knew it meant something good, really really good. Is it possible that larrapin is a regional term? Had anyone else ever heard of it? What language might it have derived from? Over the years I’ve discovered that there are actually other instances of the use of such a term. Like the billboard in Illinois proudly proclaiming Larrapin good food. Yes, finally proof of Larrapin’s existence in the real world. But, where did it come from, what was it’s origin. I had to know.
First, I had to get all the different spellings and start looking. So here’s what I found: larrapin, larruping, larapin, laraping,larruping, larrupin, larrup, and larpen.
The verb larrup, as it's usually spelled, is a fairly common regionalism. The meaning of the base form is 'to strike; thrash', and is in use across the country. While this sense is found primarily in rural language, it can't be placed in any specific part of the country.
The verbal adjective larruping 'extremely; exceptionally', is usually found in the construction larruping good. This is usually used in reference to food, so "larruping" by itself often means 'delicious'. The form tad-larruping is also seen. According to the records of the Dictionary of American Regional English, this culinary sense of "larruping" is found chiefly in the West Midlands (which includes Akansas and and most of Illinois), Texas, and Oklahoma. Daddy did have a grandmother from Arkansas.
Larrup is first found in the United States in the early nineteenth century. Should be also be noted that larrapin is a Mid Western & Southern term commonly used to describe tasty po' folk foods, not drink.
Its etymology is uncertain, although it may come from a Dutch word larpen, which means 'to thresh'.
(Adjective) Larapin is an Adjective, describing a noun...peach cobbler, ribs, gravey & biscuits. Over the top in delectable flavor, seasoning, and texture., Superior taste in the food, sauce, drink, or dessert.. A Memorable meal. Usage: That sausage gravey made those biscuts larrapin. The vanilla icecream was larrapin on the peach cobbler.
Not a verb, a verb shows action.Well, unless by my difinition and you use it like this “Pass me some more of 'dat larapin gravey n' biscuits.” There would definitely be some action verbage in that! tee hee!