I never understood "in" Staten Island. I thought you lived "on" an island, not "in" it.
Recently, I've been reading a novel about 17th century NY, "Remember the Morning," by Thomas Fleming. Fleming, a renowned historian, fills his book with historical facts, customs and trivia of the period. One interesting passage in the book was how the English school that the main character attended, tried to "scour" the Dutch influenced NY dialect from their vocabularies. In this dialect they used words like "tree" instead of "three" and "dem" instead of "them."
Makes sense that our dialect would come from the first European settlers, doesn't it?
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