Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Burt Feintuch, Lynwood Montell, Kenneth Clarke

Degree Program

Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


Taped interviews, fox hunting magazines, and a questionnaire were primary sources for collecting approximately 290 of the specialized terms employed by pedestrian fox hunters known as "hilltoppers." Once the terms were collected, they were co,pared with the terms related to formal fox hunting. The comparison revealed that hilltopper jargon and formal fox hunting jargon contain many identical terms, yet the former body of terms is significantly larger and more varied. In order to determine whether or not the jargon of hilltopping qualifies as an aspect of folk speech, methods of dissemination, patterns of innovation, speaker response to social and technological change, geographical variance, and the perpetuation of archaic terminology were taken into account. The mapping of regional patterns of distribution could not be accomplished within the confines of this study, although tems do vary geographically. The study resulted in ascertaining that the jargon of hilltopping does qualify as an aspect of folk speech, and in the recording of many terms and phrases never before organised in glossary form.


Anthropology | Linguistic Anthropology | Social and Behavioral Sciences