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"Welcome to Baltimore, Hon": The Urban Folklore of Local Speech
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9/26/2018 at 7:24:05 PM GMT
Posts: 115
"Welcome to Baltimore, Hon": The Urban Folklore of Local Speech


This feature on folklorist David Puglia's new book on urban folklore in Baltimore provides a wonderful preview of the location of next year's AFS Annual Meeting! 

By Bronx Community College

“Accents and dialects not only delineate but in many ways bolster regional identities in the U.S., but words play an equally important role as well. For Baltimore natives, the moniker 'hon' carries one such storied tradition, which Bronx Community College Professor David J. Puglia investigates in his new book Tradition, Urban Identity, and the Baltimore ‘Hon’. Puglia examines the word’s rich history, concentrating on the role it played in establishing and perpetuating Baltimoreans’ sense of identity.

Drawing on a case study in which a local man added ‘hon’ to the Baltimore-Washington Parkway’s sign 'Welcome to Baltimore,' Puglia reveals how that act shifted folk speech into a more consequential context. The graffiti ‘transformed [‘hon’] from a stigmatized word associated with working-class Baltimoreans to an esteemed word tied to local roots and native city identity,’ Puglia writes.


To continue reading, visit the full article on SUM’s website.

Bronx Community College. “’Welcome to Baltimore, Hon’: The Urban Folklore of Local Speech.” SUM (September 2018). <>

Last edited Wednesday, September 26, 2018

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