Friday, February 24, 2017

Do You Know What A "Sercy" Is?


This week as I have moved off the sofa and out the door, I stopped by the post office on a round of errands and mailed a couple of small packages to friends. Just a little surprise.

In college that little surprise gift was called a "sercy." I didn't know that word until my freshman year. And I'm still not sure how you spell it. I never saw it written down. But I'd hear a shriek of delight every now and then, "Oh, I got a sercy!" Or, even better, I'd hear, "I brought you a little sercy from my vacation." Yes. It's fun to be on the receiving end. 

A sercy is just a small gift—even a tiny one—given for no particular reason. No special occasion. Not given as a thank you or a get well gift. Just an unexpected little treat. It might be a favorite candy bar. Or, maybe a jar of pepper jelly picked up at a farm stand. Last year I got a jar of sorghum when I met up with a friend at a knitting retreat. Perfect sercy for me! It certainly doesn't have to be edible. It might be a cute notepad or even some fun socks.

Now, my question for you today is about the word itself. It might be spelled some other way--any way you can do it phonetically seems to be acceptable. But I'm wondering if the word is purely a Southern thing. If you do a google search for the word, one site you'll find is this one from the Georgia Gardener. One of the replies to his post included this:
I’m from NJ and my first thought when I received a sercy was “OK, so what do they want from me?” Nothing is the answer; it’s a no-strings-attached, feel good gesture to give one just to make someone smile. I love the South.
Or, maybe you have a similar tradition with a different name. Tell me. And maybe this week, we'll all give a sercy to someone who might least expect it.






8 comments:

  1. Funny you should post this after I gave mini pumpkin breads to each of my ceramics teachers last night. They do so much for us and I wanted to show my appreciation. They loved it.

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    1. A true surprise is always a treat!

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  2. Well i cant wait for the replies...i have never heard of a sercy and i have live in ky my whole life!

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    1. The linked article seems to be limited to SC, NC and Georgia. I'm curious to see if it's really that local. But I didn't know the word until college.

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  3. I have never heard the term, but it sounds like a fun one to know!

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    1. I kind of figured that the word "sercy" had not made it as far north as you are. Maybe you can start a new trend!

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  4. I have never heard the word "sercy" but the tradition was planted in me by my mother. She believed in "just because" gifts - small items that showed a person she was thinking of them. I like to carry on her tradition and my best friend does, too. An unexpected gift is the best kind, I think.

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    1. I'm beginning to think the word is truly a regional thing. I imagine the concept is broader than the word. But I do love telling someone "I brought you a sercy." :-)

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