Seth Gordon (sethg_prime) wrote in linguaphiles,
Seth Gordon
sethg_prime
linguaphiles

Use of “help” to mean “servant”

Do any English dialects outside the US use the word “help” to mean “servant” (as in, well, the novel and movie The Help)?

The Online Etymology Dictionary says this is an American usage, and according to the source it quotes, in the 19th century the word specifically referred to white servants.

We Americans do have our hangups about domestic service in our allegedly-classless society. (Well, I sure do.)
Tags: english dialects, euphemisms, sociolinguistics
Subscribe

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 5 comments