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saddy exclam

Also saadie, sahdie[Etym unknown, but see quots 1859, 1924]chiefly Pennsylvania

Thank you; hence n saddy a formal acknowledgement of thanks; rarely v saddy to curtsy; vbl n sadying curtsying.Note: The only evidence for the verb and vbl noun is quot 1835 Crockett and Bartlett’s interpretation of it; it is possible, however, that sadying in 1835 is to be explained otherwise, perh as an error for sashying (cfsashay v 1).

  • 1835 Bird Hawks 1.155 PA [Black], “Come now, my old boy, here’s a dollar. . . ” “Saddy, massa; God bless massa!”
  • 1835 Crockett Account 34, It would do you good to see our boys and girls dancing. None of your stradling, mincing, sadying; but a regular sifter, cut-the-buckle, chicken-flutter set-to.
  • [1848 Bartlett Americanisms 281, Sadying. A simple and unaffected mode of dancing, practised by novices in the art. [Followed by the Crockett quot given above].]
  • 1859 (1968) Bartlett Americanisms 375, To saddy. To bob up and down; to curtsy like a child. Probably a child’s corruption of Thank ye, applied to the curtsy which accompanies the phrase. [Followed by the Crockett quot given above].
  • 1870 Nation 28 July 56 PA, And what is the origin of the word “saddy,” which Bartlett guesses to be a child’s corruption of “thank ye” . . ? He would seem to do better in his definition of the word, which he makes a verb that means “to bob up and down, to courtesy like a child.” But it used to be almost always a noun in Pennsylvania, our writer says; the child was directed to “make a saddy.” Yet he admits that among Quaker children in Philadelphia “to this day the only known word for ‘thank you’ is ‘saddy.’ ” . . We should say, to help conjecture, that in pronouncing the word the first syllable (whose flatness is marked by the double d) is lengthened out to four times the length of the last syllable.
  • 1882 (1971) Gibbons PA Dutch 391, And what is the derivation of “Sahdie?” so much used by children for “Thank you.”
  • 1889 AN&Q 4.35 PA, Has an explanation ever been given of the word saadie, which was always used by children, when I was young, by way of thanks for a gift? It was a word peculiar to childhood. Does it still survive? That it is not utterly obsolete, I know. Within a year or two, a policeman, to whom, for some trifling attention, a cigar had been offered, accepted the gift, and said with a smile, “Saadie, sir.”
  • 1890 Ibid 4.211, Saadie. . . I am informed this word prevails in the South, so far even as New Orleans. Is considered of a negro origin.
  • 1890 DN 1.76, MD, seNJ, Saddie: used by children in thanking another for a gift.
  • 1892 KS Univ. Qrly. 1.98 PA, Saddy: thanks, thank you.
  • 1908 German Amer. Annals 10.41 sePA, Saddy. Thank you. (Used only by and to children.) “When he gives you anything, you must say saddy.”
  • 1916 DN 4.338 Philadelphia PA, Saddy [ˈsædɪ]. Thank you: used by negroes and children. “When he gives you anything, you must say, Saddy.”
  • [1924 Lambert PA Ger. Dict. 129, Saddi . . thank you (usually used by elders in reminding a small child to say “thank you”). Probably a corruption of “sag Dank.”]
  • 1960 Korson Black Rock 238 PA [PaGer], But to say “saddy” was to say an infantine “Thank you.” Nobody knows why, what saddy was or anything about it, except that it was something you taught to children.
  • [1991 Beam Revised PA Ger. Dict. 183, Thanks. . . cf saeddi—Thank you! (Usually used by elders in reminding a small child to say “Thank you!”)]