Monday, July 16, 2012

Das Picknick: A Recitation in Denglish

Here we take a peek at Lustige Sachen für Mädchen zum Lachen. Vorträge für Jungfrauen [Humorous things/recitations to make young girls laugh], compiled by R. Karpinsky and published by the Antigo (Wisconsin) Publishing Company. We haven't been able to determine a date of publication, but it was most likely in the early 1900s. A number of the pieces in this collection, all of which are meant to be read aloud, are in German dialects, and are attributed to German/Swiss Americans, such as Louis C. Marolf of Iowa and Emil G. Brill of Chicago, or have a German-American flavor, such as "Beefsteak-Lied," "Buttermachen auf der Farm" and "Das Picknick."

This last one, reproduced below, is heavily Denglish, a combination of English and German (and that rather a dialect itself), rife with amusing phonetic spellings such as "Tschortsch" for George, "strenhnsche" for strange, "Seihn" for sign, and "hongri" for hungry; and outrageous phrases like "Er lugget e Bäsket mit Lunch an sei Arm," "stickig un warm," "ich schtends bald net mehr, "hurry op," and "Jetzt schtopp das Geholler un Dei Yellerei / Sonscht kriegscht Du e Licking instett e Schtick Pie."

Internet research shows there was a Rev. Rudolph Albert Karpinsky, born 1871 in Augusta, Eau Claire County, Wisconsin, his parents having come to America from Germany in 1868. In 1900 Rudolph received theological training and graduated from Concordia College in Springfield, Illinois, and in this year he also married Amanda Zank of Augusta, Wisconsin. He served as Lutheran minister at Bern, in Nemaha County, Kansas, until 1903, when he was transferred to Belle Plaine, in Shawano County, Wisconsin. In 1911 he was installed as pastor at the Lutheran Church in Manawa, Waupaca County, Wisconsin, serving there until 1946. He died in 1947 and is buried in Green Bay, Brown County, Wisconsin.

Our copy of Lustige Sachen für Mädchen zum Lachen is stamped and inscribed "A. R. Dierks" of West Bloomfield, Wisconsin. Online information suggests A. R. Dierks was a school teacher from 1921 to 1943 at the Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church and School in Weyauwega (West Bloomfield), Waupaca County, Wisconsin.


1 comment:

The Digital Immigrant said...

Prof. Mark Louden points out that Concordia College in Springfield, Illinois, where R. A. Karpinsky received theological training, is the same one attended by Alfred Grimm (aka Albert Ira), the owner of the Antigo Publishing Company, and a prolific author in his own right.