My mother hasn’t been able to find Dad’s watch since his last hospital stay, and had asked me to look for it at my house. After sorting through my purse several times to see if it had been placed there for safe keeping, I reported that I couldn’t find it. Yesterday afternoon I found an unfamiliar paper bag in the back of my truck which contained a few items that had belonged to Dad; at the bottom of the bag was a black watch.
I called Mom immediately to say that I had found a watch but I didn’t know if it was Dad’s watch. I asked her to describe it. “Well,” she said, thoughtfully, “it’s antigoglin.”
“Antigoglin? No, this is a Nike watch. What’s antigoglin anyway?” I asked.
“You know—set at an angle. The straps are askew—they’re antigoglin,” Mom replied.
I studied the watch. “Oh, I see what you mean! Yes, they are definitely antigoglin. What’s the story behind this watch?”
Mom went on to say that Dad admired Dr. Irwin’s watch one day when Dr. Irwin was eating lunch at the Busy Bee. Dr. Irwin said that it was his favorite watch because the straps were placed so that he didn’t have to bend his arm hardly at all to see the time; he liked it better than a Rolex. So, Mom bought one for Dad, and gave it to him last June as combination present for their wedding anniversay, his 78th birthday, and Father’s Day.
Now that we had found the watch, I wanted to talk about “antigoglin.”
“Oh, that’s a Ninnekah [Oklahoma] word, I suppose, for something that’s out of line,” Mom said.
I did a little on-line research, and found that the The Dictionary of American Regional English, Harvard University Press, defines “antigoglin” as lopsided, askew, or aslant, and that the word is used in the southern, South Midland, and western United States.
Today as we walked across the parking lot after church, we observed a woman whose skirt hung below her knees in front, but was much shorter in back. “Oh, my,” Hannah murmured, “I do believe that her skirt is antigoglin.”