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Dang! This is the worst doughnut I ever did eat - Bill Monroe takes his first bite of a bagel, newspaper article on the 50th anniversary of the St. Viateur bagel shop

Author Topic: What's a sand footin' woman?  (Read 2087 times)

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Offline uncle bud

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Re: What's a sand footin' woman?
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2012, 07:45:49 AM »
re: fanfoot so it's less a case of duck shaped feet than both feet opening up in a fanlike way. Like a groupie without the group perhaps ..... (runs)

Depends on whether one accepts Calt's definition, I guess. Did he ask Skip James and Gary Davis the meaning of the word fanfoot, or ask them about the McTell verse that is used as the example for the entry in Barrelhouse Words? i.e. were they responding to the lines about women drinking whisky and running around like a fanfoot clown, or specifically to the definition of fanfoot, outside the context of the McTell verse? I sometimes find Calt tries to jam a square peg into a round hole. So 18th or 19th century British slang can appear in citations, but usage in early 20th century southern culture is not necessarily traced in a convincing way. Major leaps are made sometimes, IMO.

Offline misterjones

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Re: What's a sand footin' woman?
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2012, 07:59:28 AM »
My assumption would be that it relates, as some have noted, to a woman "raisin' sand", which is frequently in blues lyrics (Lightnin' Hopkins comes to mind).  I have always assumed that "raisin' sand" was a reference to a hoofed animal (such as a bull) that as a sign of dominance, anger or the willingness to attack "raises sand" so to speak by scraping the ground with its hoof.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2012, 08:03:09 AM by misterjones »

Offline Johnm

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Re: What's a sand footin' woman?
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2012, 08:12:23 AM »
I think John D. has it right.  Bare-footed women are generally spoken of slightingly in blues lyrics, as per "Let me tell you what these barefooted strollers will do".  I don't think this has anything to do with raising sand.  I suspect it's just Booker White's personal version of the prejudice against bare-footed women.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Lyle Lofgren

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Re: What's a sand footin' woman?
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2012, 08:38:09 AM »
Alas, my copies of Hurston's books don't have indexes, so I can't check there without reading all of them again. Bartlett's late 19th century Dictionary of Americanisms has nothing, and neither does Partridge's 1940s Dictionary of American Slang.

But this thread caused me to coin a word that should exist: "implain." It's the opposite of "explain," and means to explore all kinds of possibilities without necessarily deciding which one is correct -- i.e., the understanding that these questions are often mysteries rather than puzzles.

I personally like to ponder all these possibilities. Considering that American usage has no academy to decide what's an official meaning, all the interpretations could be correct.

What about Mary Ann, who's down by the seaside sifting sand? Or is that just something Harry Bellafonte made up?

Lyle

Offline Rivers

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Re: What's a sand footin' woman?
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2012, 06:47:09 PM »
Implain, I like it, nice one.

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: What's a sand footin' woman?
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2012, 07:37:24 PM »
Sandman Sims:


I'm guessing however that a sandfootin' woman is a woman who raises sand in a manner similar to a disgusted baseball team manager kicking sand at an ump.
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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Offline robbyross

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Re: What's a sand footin' woman?
« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2012, 09:22:09 AM »
May be I have found something into the book "Talkin' that talk: The language of blues and jazz" by Jean Paul Levet.
It' s in french; it states the meaning of "sandfoot" as
"femme de mauvaise vie, de m?urs dissolues"

In "Your time to worry"  Blind Willie McTell sings:
"You drink your whiskey,
  Run around
  Get out in the street
  And act a sandfoot clown"

Hope that helps.
Roberto

Offline Lyle Lofgren

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Re: What's a sand footin' woman?
« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2012, 11:32:20 AM »
May be I have found something into the book "Talkin' that talk: The language of blues and jazz" by Jean Paul Levet.
It' s in french; it states the meaning of "sandfoot" as
"femme de mauvaise vie, de m?urs dissolues"

In "Your time to worry"  Blind Willie McTell sings:
"You drink your whiskey,
  Run around
  Get out in the street
  And act a sandfoot clown"

Hope that helps.
Roberto

You sent me to the basement to dig out my old French-English dictionary, but that definition makes sense in the contexts everyone's quoted so far. I think I can stop wondering about it. Thanks, Roberto.

Lyle

Offline ScottN

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Re: What's a sand footin' woman?
« Reply #23 on: November 24, 2012, 10:54:51 PM »
In Calt's Skip James biography at the end of chapter eight it quotes James as saying that "sandfoot" or "fanfoot" women are essentially the same thing.

The typical females who attended such clubs were floozies known as "sandfoot" or "fanfoot" women.  "That's the type of women that don't have no special man and don't care whether she see him again since she can get what she got [elsewhere]."

Thanks,
               Scott

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