The following excerpt is from a Tomas Sowell's book "Black Rednecks & White Liberals"

“Talk about Northern steamers,” the fireman of a Mississippi steamboat sneered to an eastern traveler in 1844,“it don’t need no spunk to navigate them waters.You haint bust a biler in five years. But I tell you, stranger, it takes a man to ride one of these half alligator boats, head on a snag, high pressures, valve soldered down, 600 souls on board & in danger of going to the devil.”

TFD def for "haunt" 2. also hant or ha'nt (hănt) or haint (hānt) Chiefly Southern US A ghost or other supernatural being.

Wikipedia dic def of "biler" (colloquial, takes a reflexive pronoun, reflexive) to worry (pour) about

I think "biler" might mean "boiler" as the book depicts races of steamboats in the past and how dangerous they were on account of boilers blowing up from generating too much steam, but I could not find any definition like that anywhere.

1 Answer 1


"You ain't bust a boiler" - written in eye dialect, with an h-insertion before "ain't" and the implied pronunciation of Boiler as bIler with an /ai/ diphtong.

This is the "ain't + past participle" form of the present perfect with the irregular pp "bust". In standard English "You haven't bust a boiler".

You won't find eye dialect words in dictionaries (usually) They are made up by the author to represent the pronunciation of a individual and don't gain get used generally.

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