Fonds P269 - Lewis J. Poteet fonds

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Lewis J. Poteet fonds

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  • Textual record
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Fonds

Reference code

P269

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Date(s)

  • 1948-2017 (Creation)
    Creator
    Poteet, Lewis J.

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Physical description

0.9 m of textual records
a few photographs : b&w and col. prints

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Name of creator

(1940-)

Biographical history

Lewis Jarrette Poteet was born in Watonga, OK, on June 21, 1940. His father, Henry T. Poteet (1911-2003) was a Nazarene pastor, his mother’s maiden name was Ruby Frances Dallas. The Poteet family moved to South Africa, for missionary work, between 1946 and 1952, in Bremersdorp Nazarene Mission Station, in Swaziland. In 1949, the Nazarenes sent the family to Kliptown, a suburb of Johannesburg, to build a church. The Poteet returned to the United States in 1952. Lewis was the oldest of a family of three boys. His brother Stephen (Steve) who died in a motorcycle accident on June 7, 1967 and Jim, the youngest, who was born in South Africa. He married in 1963 and had two sons, Morgan and Aaron.

Lewis J. Poteet attended the Bethany Nazarene College (now Southern Nazarene University), Bethany, Oklahoma, from 1957 to 1961 (BA). He then attended University of Oklahoma, in 1961-1962 (MA in English) where he was also a teaching assistant. He then joined the University of Minnesota where he taught in 1962-1964. He became Assistant Director, Freshman English, in 1964-1966.

He came to Montreal in 1967 and was appointed assistant professor at Sir George Williams University (one of the two founding institutions of Concordia University in 1974), Department of English. He was promoted associate professor in 1972. He retired in 1998. He was an adjunct instructor in Austin (TX) Community College, for a winter 8-week session in 2000 and a fall 8-week session in 2001.

Poteet’s passion for language has brought him to study slang expressions as they usually reflect the cultural patterns or attitudes of a particular community. He compiled (with coauthors) several books on the subject: The South Shore Phrase Book (1983), The Hockey Phrase Book, co-authored with his son, Aaron (1987), Talking Country: The Eastern Townships Phrase Book (1992), Car and Motorcycle Slang, co-authored with his brother Jim (1992), Plane Talk (1997), and Cop Talk (2000). He also wrote numerous essays and papers - many unpublished - on unexplored aspects of language, such as: ‘Cowboyçois’ in Quebec Township Anglophone Speech (1992), and A Canadian Student Slang Survey (1990). In 2005, he was asked to be the Canadian contributor to the revision of the Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds provides information on Lewis Poteet’s research on language, dialect and slang. The fonds also gives genealogical information on the Poteet family.

The fonds contains research materials, drafts, correspondence with other lexicographers and writers, and notes. The fonds also includes materials on Poteet’s latest literary project: Voetsek – Revisiting Swasiland and Soweto, a narrative non-fiction memory of his childhood in South Africa.

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Immediate source of acquisition

The documents were donated to Concordia University Records Management and Archives by Lewis Poteet in 2017.

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  • English
  • French

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