Sunday, April 3, 2011

Cove Colloquialisms: How We Talk 'Roun' Here

I never knew I talked funny until my senior year when, as proud officer of the FFA, I was privileged to attend the National FFA Convention in Kansas City, MO. As we intermingled with kids from other chapters, a fellow from elsewhere in the nation said he liked my accent. ?? I was not aware that I had one. I thought they had them. And apparently we also talk slower.

When I meet someone new who's not from Around Here, I try to speak in a non-regional dialect. But the effort is such that eventually I find myself talking the same way I always do. I was very, very impressed when in one of Stephen King's books (I've read so many that now I can't remember which one) he actually used some of our sayings and even printed them the way we say them.  (Yay Stephen!)

Don't get the wrong idea here, we don't sit around on our porch wearing bib overalls and playing the banjo (we lack the musical talent) but we do talk a little different.  We add letters that don't belong, subtract letters that should, and make up our own words. Here are some examples:

CRIK - (creek) "I'm gone down to the crik ta do some fishin'." (I'm going down to the creek to do some fishing.)

WARSH - (wash) "I warshed Elmer's close but thur steel greasy." (I washed Elmer's clothes but they are still greasy.) Some pronounce it worsh instead of warsh. I have friends who've tried their best to break me of this habit but no matter how hard they try, I still say warsh. Once when we were little kids, one of my cousins wanted to write "Wash Me" on the back of my mom's Volkswagon Rabbit and they asked me if it was spelled with an "AR" or an "OR." Dummy me, I had to really think about it before I remembered the "R" doesn't even belong. HA!

POP - Around Here we call it Pop instead of soda. "Grab me a pop outa the fridge."

REDD- The correct spelling of this word eludes me since we've never spelled it, only said it. And apparently no one else says this except for Around Here. It means "to clean up." Example: When I was little we were down in Virginia at my uncle's house. I said to the visiting neighbor kids "We'd better redd up around the pool." They said "What??" I said "We'd better redd up around the pool here." (thinking that adding "here" would make my point clear.) Finally they said WE DON'T KNOW WHAT REDD UP MEANS! So I said "WE'D BETTER PICK  UP ALL THESE POOL TOYS AND PUT THEM AWAY!"

IGGLE - (eagle) "Didja see that iggle flying aroun' down by the gap?" (Did you see that eagle flying around down by the gap?)

We also have a habit of dropping the "h" off of words like "his" or "hers". The "h" gets lost on the word that precedes it. Such as:
Person 1: "What's yur husband doin' taday?" (What's your husband doing today?)
Person 2: "I dunno what'ese gettin' into." (I don't know what he's getting into.)
Example 2: "Whats'er problem?" (What's her problem?)

GETTIN' INTO - (doing) When we say this we don't literally intend to climb into something. We just mean "What are you doing?"

HUH - This can be a question OR a statement. We say this when we can't think of something else to say in response to a statement by someone else.
Person 1: "That water jus came through n warshed the bridge out." (That water just came through and washed the bridge out.)
Person 2: "Huh."

HOW 'BOUT THAT - used similarly to Huh as a question or a statement. This is the other go to when you have no other response. Sometimes we use them together.
Person 1: "Didja see Bernice's boy made the honor roll" (Did you see Bernice's boy made the honor roll?)
Person 2: "Huh. Wool how 'bout that." (Huh.Well how about that.)

WOOL - (well or we'll) Sometimes we say "well" but it sounds more like wool, as in the above example.

KELLER - (color) "Getcher crayons n wool keller." (Get your crayons and we'll color.)

YINZ - (You ones) Down south they say "Y'all", our version is "You'ns" often pronouced as "Yinz".  "Whad're yinz doin' this afternoon?" "Do yinz wanna come down 'n' swim?"

PUNKIN' - (Pumpkin)

We have a bunch of words that sound exactly the same as other words, even though I think, they are supposed to be pronounced different. Some flaming examples:

Close - Clothes (both pronounced "close." I don't know where the "th" got to.)
Cow - Kyle   (both prounounced "cow")
Owl - aisle   (both prounounced "owl")
Our - are   (both pronounced "are")
Pool- pole (they both sound the same to me, aren't they supposed to?)
Dawn - Don ( both pronounced "Dawn")
Pitcher-Picture (both pronounced "Pitcher")

Other weird things we say:

"Fred's came down for supper this eve'nin'. " (Fred and his family came down for supper this evening.) Fred is used as a plural even though Fred himself is obviously singular. Hence the 's on the end. Another example:
Ronald's came by n picked chestnuts today." (Ronald & Margie came by and picked chestnuts today.) The whole household is included in these statements but for some reason we use the first name instead of the family's last name. *Note: Fred and Ronald really are our neighbors so the likelihood of both of these scenarios are realistic.

I'm sure there are other ones that I've missed. I really can't linger though, us 'n Fred's is gettin' together tonight for Desperate Housewives so I must skedaddle.


Laura said...

You forgot "It's all."


"Are there any more gobs?" (gobs also being a local thing)
"They're all."

Mike said...

And "turn the light out."

Kelly B said...

I also forgot "Purt Near."
"Are we out of milk yet?"
"Purt near." (pretty near, almost)

Carrie said...

My personal favorite: Pony-ack
As in: "Wanna take a ride in muncle's Pony-ack?
Translation: "Want to take a ride in my uncle's Pontiac?