The phrase ‘crick’, used by indigenous mountain people of Pennsylvania, never went mainstream. The word crosses tongues there more frequently than powdered funnel cakes. The only instance that residents of Huntingdon County use ‘creek’ is whey they say “You’re up shit’s creek,” otherwise, the proper word for casual conversation there is ‘crick’. That’s what flows out of mouths .
People who say ‘crick’ are often thought of as hillbillies. The truth is, most people who use such terminology know the proper word, but speak in methods handed down to them from previous generations, and spew forth such literary tragedies simply because they don’t know no better.
One must have swam in a crick at least once in their lifetime to understand why the word is used so freely there. The waters are dirty brown and tainted with cow urine. In the 1970’s, there were no chlorinated swimming pools in South Central Pennsylvania. We swam in the crick and how refreshing it was.
During the great flood of 1972, when the remnants of Hurricane Agnus dumped over two feet of rain upon the Appalachians, the crick near my grandmother’s house flooded all the way up to the second floor of their house. The family simply shoveled out crick mud and moved back in. At five years old, I helped Pap Pap clean out the mud.
“That god dammed crick,” was all that Pap Pap had to say, even though he spent lots of time fishing in it.
As soon as the river was back in its banks, we went swimming in the crick. Blown up inner-tubes from car tires were tossed on the dirty water and secured under out skinny white asses. We floated next to the cow piss and thought nothing of it.
On the other side of the crick, there was a mud bank with grapevines from which we swung thirty feet above the crick’s surface and did cannon balls into the brown water. When snakes swam by, it was best to move out of the way. Uncle Steve took a crap in the crick one day. We all laughed watching his turd float harmlessly by our tubes.
Crick leeches were an inconvenience, but never a bother. Pap Pap burned them off with his square, metal cigarette lighter.
Corn from nearby fields belonging to an old farmer that we didn’t like was gathered by the handfuls and we cooked the cobs in crick water over a fire to warm ourselves after all day swims.
Yes, the proper word for a muddy creek should be crick. There is nothing like cricked, corn on the cob.