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View Full Version : Do Texans (and other gulf-coasters) really say Pure-Dee?


AskNott
07-07-2005, 02:26 AM
In a book by Larry McMurtry and maybe a book called something like Topsy Dingo Wild Dog, people used "pure-dee" as an adverb. For example, "If you think that, you're a pure-dee fool," or "...make your life a pure-dee Hell."

Is that a real-life usage? I may have used it once or twice, and I'll be embarrassed if it's only fiction. :smack:

Audrey Levins
07-07-2005, 03:57 AM
As a fifth-generation Texan (and a girl raised on the Gulf Coast, in Corpus Christi) I can honestly say I have never heard of the word "Pure-Dee." I don't honestly even know what it means. Is it a version of "pretty?" Is it....what is it?

I have also never read any Larry McMurtry. Perhaps that is my problem.

But if he's been to Texas, particularly the southern Gulf region, he was high on something if that's what he heard. Even my West and East Texas relatives (where the accents actually do live up to the stereotypes) have never, to my knowledge, said such a thing.

I suggest he do his research.

Zabali_Clawbane
07-07-2005, 04:12 AM
I believe the OP means pure D, as in wholesale or complete, not purdy as in pretty.

Audrey Levins
07-07-2005, 04:13 AM
Still never heard of it, or anything similar to it.

Zabali_Clawbane
07-07-2005, 04:13 AM
Adding, I think it's more of a "Hollywood" depiction, though I've got some older relatives who have used the term for whimsical effect, though they are old Midwest farmer types.

LouisB
07-07-2005, 04:56 AM
I've gotta say that I heard it quite often, in Texas, back in the 40s and 50s. It was usually said in a kind of self-mocking tone, as if the user knew it was a cornpone expression but was using it anyway.

pullin
07-07-2005, 06:59 AM
Ditto to LouisB's reply. I've only heard it used ironically (in a "Minnie Pearl" sorta voice).

MagicEyes
07-07-2005, 08:23 AM
Freda Black (http://vanceholmes.com/court/trial_m_peterson.html) used "pure-t" in court in North Carolina. I thought it was very unprofessional, but she won the case. I've never heard anyone else use it.

An Arky
07-07-2005, 08:31 AM
I grew up in Arkansas, and I've heard it.

Duke of Rat
07-07-2005, 09:14 AM
It's used in these here parts. Usually combined with "bullshit", as in, "My boss told me I had to be at work on Saturday. Man, that's pure D bullshit."

Mint Julep
07-07-2005, 12:49 PM
I have never heard of it.

I have heard people say purr-dee instead of pretty though.

(Makes my skin crawl.)

Doctor Jackson
07-07-2005, 02:23 PM
In Georgia it's "pure-t", but actual usage is rare.

An Arky
07-07-2005, 02:50 PM
Heh. It seems the Pure Dee is the Net's hottest 18 year old camgirl. :dubious:


Anyway, I can't find a definition, but taken in context, the D might mean "damn".

Unregistered Bull
07-07-2005, 03:26 PM
I use it while speaking sometimes. I'm New Mexican but with a Texan and Okie background. Pure-D loco; Pure-D mean; Pure-D insane.. It's kind of like using "plumb." Plumb mean; plumb loco; plumb crazy.

Duke of Rat
07-07-2005, 03:27 PM
Hamsters got this before..

I'm sort of surprised no one else has heard this. I'm in the Texas Panhandle, the Texas accent and regionalisms are very pronounced here.

For more context, I guess "bona fied" or "genuine" would come close.

"My boss made me work Saturday, he's a pure D asshole."

Something along those lines.

pinkfreud
07-07-2005, 03:54 PM
I grew up in northeastern Oklahoma, where "pure D" is often used as an intensifier. I don't hear it as much these days as I did in the '50s and '60s, but it's a genuine expression. My mother used to call things "pure D bull," meaning "total bullshit." My mom must have used this expression several times a day when I was a kid. We get a lot of bullshit in northeastern Oklahoma (both the real kind and the figurative kind).

auntie em
07-07-2005, 04:07 PM
My mom (who is from Kansas) uses it, but only when it's followed by "fit", as in, "She had a pure-d fit when I told her I'd been using her toothbrush to de-flea the dog." She does not use it as an adjective with any other word except "fit". But it has the same meaning as others here have said.

Adoptamom_II
07-07-2005, 05:04 PM
Cajun country checking in - it's used here in the same manner Duke of Rat outlined.

pravnik
07-07-2005, 06:00 PM
Yeah, "pure d" is used in the sense of "bona fide," "genuine," or "first class," as in "man, you must think I'm a Pure D, Grade A idiot if you think I'll believe that."

elelle
07-07-2005, 06:45 PM
I've heard it, too, in North Carolina and Mississippi. Always figgered the "D" was a shortening of Damn(ed), but couldn't find any internet cite for it.

pace
07-07-2005, 11:41 PM
In a book by Larry McMurtry and maybe a book called something like Topsy Dingo Wild Dog, people used "pure-dee" as an adverb. For example, "If you think that, you're a pure-dee fool," or "...make your life a pure-dee Hell."

Is that a real-life usage? I may have used it once or twice, and I'll be embarrassed if it's only fiction. :smack:

THAT's exactly how they pronounce it... it's true... i hear it to this very day... as well as the infamous, "hey y'all!" ohhhh Lordy!

elucidator
07-08-2005, 12:01 AM
Say it! Hell, I've posted it! Shameless recovering Texan.

Runs With Scissors
07-08-2005, 12:28 AM
In Christopher Paul Curtis' book The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963, a thirteen year old character says to his little brother, "That was pure D welfare food."

Author grew up in Flint Michigan; the novel takes place there, too.

Great young adult book, btw.

pinkfreud
07-08-2005, 12:32 AM
It should be noted that "pure-D" is almost always used in a negative way. You'll hear "that's pure-D bullcrap," but you aren't likely to hear "this is pure-D orange juice." Although it means "genuine" or "bona fide," it's generally used to emphasize an entirely bad or undesirable thing.

pace
07-08-2005, 12:40 AM
It should be noted that "pure-D" is almost always used in a negative way. You'll hear "that's pure-D bullcrap,"

Well this hasn't been my experience.... every single time I heard it, it was in the context of beauty:

"thaa-atz sUHch a PUR-Dee dress yure wear-rin!"
"ohhhh she's soooooo PUR-dee!!!"

pullin
07-08-2005, 07:46 AM
Anyone notice that the "region of use" for this phrase seems centered near the Texas panhandle? (At least based on the locations above... NE Okla, Amarillo, Abilene, etc.) For some reason, this stuff fascinates me (regional dialects, I mean).

audiobottle
07-08-2005, 08:55 AM
Ah, but Pace, you're using the word purty, as in pretty, and they're talking about some bizarre expression, pure-D.
Even if it stood for damned, how does that make any more sense?

Duke of Rat
07-08-2005, 11:28 AM
It almost makes sense, "That's just pure damned nonsense" or "That's just pure-D nonsense".

AskNott
07-08-2005, 12:16 PM
Thanks, all. Real people really say it. I learned something here.

dropzone
07-08-2005, 12:47 PM
Looking around the net I found several people who claim it is a mispronounciation of purdy. If you substitute purdy for pure-D in any of the phrases people have mentioned, like "pure dee fool" and "pure-D bull" you get nonsense phrases, indicating those people made the connection between purdy for pure-D solely by a similarity in the spelling. The technical, etymological name for this is "pulling it out of your ass."

tomndebb
07-08-2005, 01:08 PM
The OED identifies "D" or "dee" as a euphemism for "damn(ed)" and dates it to the late 19th century.

dropzone
07-08-2005, 02:35 PM
Well lah-dee-effing-dah, Mr "I don't have to go to the library because I have my own copy of the OED!" ;)



That could be read as "Thanks, it was nice to be validated," spoken in Male-Bonding Trashtalk, but I think you knew that.

PurpleRose
09-27-2016, 03:45 AM
Ive heard this said since I was a child (living in New Orleans). I never knew what the d stood for. My boyfriend asked and your post was the only place I found where people were using it correctly. Folks are right here too...It typically has a negative connotation, but I have heard it paired with words like fun (when the fun wasn't exactly wholesome.) Thanks for posting! :D

Chefguy
09-27-2016, 11:03 AM
As a fifth-generation Texan (and a girl raised on the Gulf Coast, in Corpus Christi) I can honestly say I have never heard of the word "Pure-Dee." I don't honestly even know what it means. Is it a version of "pretty?" Is it....what is it?

I have also never read any Larry McMurtry. Perhaps that is my problem.

But if he's been to Texas, particularly the southern Gulf region, he was high on something if that's what he heard. Even my West and East Texas relatives (where the accents actually do live up to the stereotypes) have never, to my knowledge, said such a thing.

I suggest he do his research.

I know this is a zombie thread, and you may not even still be a board member, but I want to point out that McMurtry was born and raised in Archer City, Texas, spent some of his formative years living on his grandfather's ranch, is deeply steeped in the history and culture, and at one time was a rare book dealer in both Houston and Archer City. I would suggest that his research is very thorough.

ftg
09-27-2016, 12:56 PM
To me, I associate it with Appalachia. And then only thru TV/movies so no doubt unlikely even in the hollers.

hogarth
09-27-2016, 07:08 PM
I'm sure I've heard the phrase "pure dee wrong" in a song lyric (or a spoken section in a song), but I can't remember which song for the life of me. I thought it was Ray Stevens, but Google isn't helping me.

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