“I suwannee,” pronounced SWANee, is an oldie - but a goodie. I heard this many a time out on my Grandmother, Mama Barnes’, front porch. It’s Southern slang for “Well, what a surprise!” or “I’ve never heard any such as that!”
Mama Barnes wore dresses every day of her life. Nary a pair of pants in all her 83 years … It just wasn’t lady-like. But, my other grandmother, Maybelle, (aka Granny) worked hard in the cotton fields and the mill all her life, had 8 children, and took care of her widowed mother and grandmother. She didn’t have the time or the energy to fuss with anything that wasn’t practical. Granny just plain succombed to convenience and ease, I guess. She began wearing pants in her fifties and never looked back. She never again had to bother with taking hold of the hem of her dress as she bent over, sat down or climbed the stairs.
Well, I can just imagine, when Mama Barnes heard about this … her response was “Well, I suwannee!”
I bet she clutched her pearls, too.