Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Word Play

Word Play?

Every nook and cranny of this wonderful country has its own dialect and words that are uniquely indigenous to a state, region, county, perhaps even a a small community.
When I was in college I majored in English. Now, you can tell right quickly after reading some of my blogs, emails or newsletter, that I was never good at grammar. But I love words. I like how some feel in my head, moving into my mouth, rolling off my tongue and resound to my ears when spoken. Some words are just FUN to say. Some words need to be reserved for just that right moment or occasion. Some words have become so overdone, they become trite and meaningless. These words of course, are the buzz words of the current generation that by the time we adults catch on, have become antiquated.

Where I live we have our own small vocabulary that is not necessarily unique to my town. However, after speaking with friends all over the nation, I have realized that not all folks understand English according this North Carolinian. So here now we have a short list of words and phrases that take on a different meaning where I live.

Carry - while the rest of y'all are bringing a covered dish to a function, we here CARRY something "I will carry my squash casserole to the reunion."
Tote - can be interchanged with carry
Sack- a bag to carry things in.
ill - you may consider this word to mean sick. To us it means bad mood, as in "I'm so ill, I can't even stand my own self!"
Curious- While you may consider this word to connote nosey, we know that it means people are strange! Nosey people are Nosey! "Those Blevins have always been considered right curious"
Ugly - now this one has the usual meaning as being hard on the eyes - y'all know what I mean when I say "That child was born in the ugly tree and on the way down she hit every branch" Now, it also means someone is insensitive or acting badly, such as "That was just an ugly thing to say (or do)."
Be Smart - Every good little child around these parts hear these two words every day. It means behave yourself. "Now Johnny, I want you to be smart and stop acting ugly"
Poor - not only is this word used to describe poverty such as "They are so poor they don't have a pot nor window to throw it out of" it is also used to describe a condition of appearance, as in looking sick "She still looks right poor, and she had that surgery 6 months ago."
Might would or Might should means you ought to consider doing something. It is generally a response to a question put to you. As in, "You might should ask your husband if they think that is a good idea." To which the other person would respond, "I might would"(NOTE: I have been told by folks that they could recognize a person from NC just from these two phrases!)

Of course, there are sayings that are just fun to interject in conversation - if you have a hard time believing what someone is saying you can always add the disclaimer, "Well now, that dog don't hunt"

Now y'all now by now that I love my Daddy and Momma. My Daddy is a plethora of odd sayings to suit each and every situation and circumstance. For instance, yesterday when my daughter's car broke down, she called me hysterically and I ran to where she was to wait with her for the tow truck to arrive. My Daddy also arrived and when asked where we were going to carry the car to we told him. He was not pleased, as he doesn't care for that particular mechanic. After telling us what a sorry, curious thief this person is, Daddy added that he would like to "Kick him so hard in the backside that he would need wings to fly back down to earth". We didn't have the tow truck driver tote the car to him.

I would love to hear about some colloquial expressions where you are from. Heckfire, shoot! We can come up with our own blog vocabulary.

And as a postscript: Everyone associates Teddy Roosevelt with the word "bully" but who else would say that today?


Flora said...

This post is priceless!!! I laughed my a*s off about the ''ugly tree''

Wild Rose said...

Hi Blondie

I enjoyed this post too. You certainly have a way with words. As for colloquialisms, there are some Yorkshire (England) ones that you may enjoy:

To say someone is "a sandwich short of a picnic" means that they are not very bright. This is interchangable with "a chip short of a buttie" - this is a little difficult to explain: a chip is a french fry to you and a buttie is another name for a sandwich. Some people enjoy "chip butties"...I leave this to the imagination.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea!

Thanks for your kind words on my blog.

Marie x

SayraH said...

I admire you, I love what you write. I enjoy your thoughts & witty humor.

Robin said...

What a hoot !!! You are one gal I would love to just sit and "Shoot the Breeze" with. ( one of our local expressions for just chatting about anything and nothing....LOL)
I thank you for my daily dose of humor and wit !!!
Bless ya,

jbs said...

So cute! I totally get everyone you listed, and then there are a few that come to mind..

I'm fixin to go to the store, means I am about whatever...

Hey ya'll! Bye ya'll, see ya'll later! Use this expression for coming and going!

"That dog don't hunt" Use this one for a situation that is not good.

Bless her/his heart.. can mean poor thing in a good way or poor thing in a really bad way. Depending on what is really going on, know what I mean?!

I am sure there are more, but I don't want to be too silly!

Blondie ~ Vintage Primitives said...

Oh yes, JBS, we say all those above plus we also say "settin" to be interchangeable with "fixin" I'm setting to go out to the store can also be said, I'm Fixing to go out . . . And I do believe that to be southern you MUST say bless your heart at least once a day as well as Lord Have Mercy! which can also be shortened to simply "Mercy" if you have the right tone of voice!!

Blondie ~ Vintage Primitives said...

Hey robin,
well if we ever sat down to a chin wag, we would have to stop now and then to draw a breath!

Blondie ~ Vintage Primitives said...

Oh flora, I have a million of those! After all, I grew up with my Daddy. Like I said, he has an expression for everything. Thanks!!!

red tin heart said...

Blondie, in Southern Illinois we use words like : I am getting ready to do the warshing, yes there is an r in wash. How fer is that, instead of how far. Or, that person done been beat by the ugly stick.
Blondie, it is almost like you got a line in my soul. The scripture, your souls shall be like a well watered garden has always been one of my favorite scriptures. You have so much insight, that is considered a spiritual gift. love Nita

Anonymous said...

In Texas we say "we are fixing to do this or that", it must be odd because people always ask me why I say it when I am not in Texas.
Also, if a lady in Texas says "She really likes so and so but then proceeds to tell you all the ways she doesn't like this certain person, you can be assured that she doesn't really like her but is too much of a lady to say she doesn't like someone". It took me 25 years transplanted here from Calif to learn that one.
I love your blog, your fun and funny.
:) Bren

Amy Wagner said...

You have me "right worried" now!!! Tee hee.
I guess my blog name means sheer crazyness!!! Curious.

I loved reading this post. I have taken up some of my Texas relatives lingo. "down the road a piece" , "have your picture made", "fixin' to do something", "Grand babies" and some other things that will get you a strange look here in Northern Ohio!!!!

Blondie ~ Vintage Primitives said...

Amy, I always knew that you weren't right~! Your blog is rather a combo of sheer crazyness and that is why I took such a likin' to it! I have received numerous emails about this and I will have to do an update and so many of these colloquial expressions we used everyday that I just don't consider them curious.
Now you keep those Northern friends in line and come back now, heah?

Cathy Nash said...

Great post! In Georgia they call a trunk of the car a "boot." And my fav. phrase I've heard since moving here was from a carpenter working on a project at our home. He looked a piece of lumber and said, "That's as crooked as a dog's leg." Have great day~Cathy

Blondie ~ Vintage Primitives said...

Love it Cathy! My daddy has said one as well. The boot is a new one on me, though.
Thanks for visiting; you should have mail soon . . .