I've had a question from an English language student who is reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
He has a problem understanding what 'well-a-well' means in the following quote. I've searched and can't find anything online.
Has anyone come across this before? Do we interpret is as just a colloquial form of 'well' as introducing a point. Is it used in contemporary US? (I'm British). I did say to the student that maybe it would be better to read a book from the 20th or 21st century but I would still like to go back to him with some information if possible.
Every time I let him off, my conscience does hurt me so, and every time I hit him my old heart almost breaks. Well-a-well, man that is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble, as the Scripture says, and I reckon it's so.