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Re: African-American phrase

Posted by R. Berg on December 04, 2001 at

In Reply to: Africa-America phrase posted by Kim Soon on December 04, 2001

: I am still learn English. This phrase is from a book. It is something sayed by Africa-America man. The phrase is on page "he is jes' woofin', dat's all". Three of these words are not in dictionery. What is phrase mean? Thank you for help.

The three words are not in the dictionary because, in the book you have, they are spelled wrong on purpose. The writer used those spellings to imitate the way he or she thought the person's speech would sound. Doing this is called writing in dialect.

jes' = just
woofin' = woofing
dat's = that's

"He is just woofing, that's all." "Woofing" means barking like a dog. If the man in the book is talking about a person, he means that the person is bragging or making empty threats, or in some other way the person doesn't know what he is talking about and shouldn't be believed.