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If I Tell You A Hen Dips Snuff

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We were invited by Huntsville, Alabama, public radio station WLRH to do a live appearance at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. During the Q&A, a listener shared a version of the phrase If I tell you a hen dips snuff, you can look under its wing (and you’ll find a whole can). It means “What I’m saying is true, and if you don’t believe it, you can check it out for yourself.” This phrase, and versions of it, have long been a part of Black American English. In a letter recorded in Louis: The Louis Armstrong Story, 1900-1971 (Bookshop|Amazon), jazz great Louis Armstrong once wrote to his biographer: If I tell you that a Hen Dip Snuff, you just look under her wings and you’ll find a whole can full. Meaning I don’t waste words either. Interested in booking us for a live appearance in your hometown? Just look under our link! This is part of a complete episode.

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