Wondering about wild grapes

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wondering about Brer Rabbit.

How many of you are old enough to have had Uncle Remus read to you when you were small?  And then it may have been one of the first books you learned how to read?  Well, maybe not the full blown version but a simplified book for kids.  That was the origin of "don't throw me in the brier patch".  Yep, ole Brer Rabbit begged to have any thing done to him after he was caught except "don't throw me into the brier patch".  Of course the brier patch was his home and he was safe and sound in there.

Now be honest, don't study on it, just come out and tell me if you know what the word "brer" means.  You know, like brer rabbit.  I never knew.  Yeah, I know, I ain't the brightest light bulb in the house, but I just thought it had something to do with the brier patch only spelled in German or Hungarian or Rabbit or . . .  OK, I was a little boy but that impression stuck until today when I found out it meant "brother".  So ole Remus was telling about brother rabbit.  OK, go ahead and laugh at me, but I learned something today and all you who knew that didn't.  So there!!  Now maybe I ought to go back and read some more kid's books.  I am going through my second childhood, right?  Well maybe not yet, so far, I don't need diapers. . . Now you all have a great day and stay out of the brier patch, you hear?


  1. Well brother Dizzy, sure brought back my childhood.

    How about all the Mother West Wind Stories? Remember those?

    1. I guess I am just way older than you cause I never heard of them. I searched the internet and fount them. They look like fun books.

  2. I may just have to include that word in my next "new words I learned" blog post. Does brer come from the German or what?

  3. Wasn't there a book called, All I needed to know, I learned in kindergarden. Bet ole Brer rabbit couldn't out run those Hoop snakes.

  4. I, too, always thought his name was a corruption of Brier. In the late 1940's our next door neighbor gave us (brother, sister, me) a phonograph album... The Song of the South (Walt Disney... 1946). We played it over and over and over... (I can still hear ole Br'er Rabbit asking not to be thrown in the brier patch) until my mother accidentally stepped on it when using the bench as a stepping stool. Wonder if I can get that record album today?

  5. Yeah I thought Brer was a misspelling of brier to. Don't remember a book with that in it, but remember the story so I guess I read it somewhere?

  6. Maybe in Cincinnati the nuns taught that Brer Rabbit was Brother Rabbit, because I always knew.

  7. Jill, no it is not German. It is from the Southern US and from Black slang. Ye-all know, like Br'er Jones, etc.

    Jimkabob, Don't know. I didn't go to kindergarden, maybe that is why I ain't no millionaire.

    The Odd Essay, I remember The Song of the South. Dang, was it that long ago?

    David, I don't know if I read it or if I had it read to me. Probably the later. I didn't learn to read till the early 50's.

  8. butterbean carpenterJuly 17, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    Howdy DD,
    Weeel let me tell ya, Jethro, it were a SOUTHern corruption/shortnin' of the word Brother, which ALL SOUTHern folks called male figures... We always spelled it Br'er, leavin' out the 'oth'; like Br'er Fox, Br'er Possum, Br'er Coon and Br'er Bear..
    Or Br'er Nelson, Br'er Woods, Br'er Draper and Br'er Carpenter... Out in the sticks we were all 'brothers' and took 'care' of each other, anytime anyone needed help; just try and get one of the 'neighbors' to help today, without having to PAY'EM !!! Today even blood-kin ain't Bre'er, anymore !!!

    About the snake-vaccine, I think most of the American snakes have an anti-venin FOR SNAKE-BITE,..Don't know of vaccines, though for anything but RATTLERS; THE BEST PROTECTION FOR DOGS IS CALLED SNAKE-AWARENESS.. It's a training program using LIVE RATTLERS and a shock-collar.. It only takes ONE LESSON and the dog will BACK-OFF, of a snake..
    We have a lot of 'bird-hunters' out here and they swear by it...The combo of vaccine and avoidance training has saved a lot of expen$$$ive bird-dogs...

  9. butterbean carpenterJuly 17, 2013 at 5:16 PM





  10. I knew about anti-venom but didn't know about the vaccine. I like snakes, but you have to respect the poisonous ones.

    I didn't know that Uncle Remus wasn't on the politicaly correct list, so, why is Li'l Black Sambo on it?