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They lans/they lands

Posted by ESC on January 03, 2000

In Reply to: Searching for a meaning posted by J. Brooks on January 03, 2000

: I've often heard a phrase used by the older generation in the Southeastern United States.
: It is used most commonly as a reaction upon hearing shocking or startling news. I'm not even
: certain about how it is spelled, but I'll make an attempt nevertheless.
: "THAY LANS !!!" or
: "THEY LANDS !!!" or something along those lines.
: To cite an example:
: A lady at work whispered news about a possible affair between two other co-workers into the ear
: of a lady friend, to which the lady friend responded with a gasp and widened eyes,,, "Thay Lans !!!"
: I desperately hope that someone will be able to help me with this matter.
: Thank You.

I couldn't find this expression anywhere. But for the purpose of discussion, do you think it's related to: Land('s) sake, 1834; Land('s) sake('s) alive,1840; Land!,1850; Land o' goshen! 1855; Land alive!, 1865; Landy! 1877; Good land a mercy!, 1886; My lands!, 1927. ("I Hear America Talking" by Stuart Berg Flexner)"Goshen," by the way, refers to a Biblical land.