Recently I entered a post into my blog (since removed) that created a hypothesis that turned out to be wrong. Many years ago, the use of the word, “Walk-ER” in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens puzzled me. At the time I did extensive internet research and came up blank. In my blog, I hypothesized the origin of the word based upon something I read in another book.
One of my friends and readers, Nancy Brown, turned me on to the real explanation, my hypothesis was wrong as proven by a single fact. She found the explanation in the Oxford English Dictionary XII published in 2011. I realize my mistake was not doing a final literature search before speculating.
From the source provided, I learned the word “Walk-ER” the young lad casts at Scrooge when asked the boy is asked to buy the prized turkey is a truncated version of “Hookey Walker” a phrase commonly used in Dickens’ time indicating disbelief.
As an inveterate educator, once the facts were known, I needed to either do an extensive rewrite of the blog or trash it. I do not want misinformation floating out their anywhere. How I wish others in this world were willing to accept the facts that impact their beliefs.
The best part of this whole exercise is finally having an answer for a question that puzzled my every time I read of saw A Christmas Carol. Thanks Nancy!