Howdy, you ‘uns!
Last Cabbage Night,
Farmer Jane was sitting out on the veranda
chewing on a homemade grinder
when she heard the spine-tingling scream of a catamount
tearing through the timber.
The sound caused her chickens to pile up in a real gawk block.
Feathers ruffled as the girls gathered to gabble about the clear and present danger.
Jane fled to get her faithful old flintlock
in case she would need to defend her flock.
But when she returned, all was quiet.
Still prickled with goose bumps,
Jane decided to stand guard a while longer.
She tucked her hair into a horsetail,
popped a PEEcan
(peCON?) into her mouth,
and counted the peenie wallies
as they began to flash in the shadows.
Just another night on the farm!
Jest dabblin’ in the dialects that pepper various regions of the country. Even though we all speak the same language, nuances abound!!!
To pin down your own dialect, take this fun quiz, published recently in the New York Times.
Were you surprised at your results?
Well, I am definitely located in the deep South along with Alabama, Georgia Mississippi and Tennessee. Those expressions you listed are all new to me EXCEPT for Peecan! I was raised saying Pecan but most everyone here uses the double vowel e in the word. I am in love with the photo of the pumpkin patch!!
Acrroding to the quiz, I am the Richmond VA and Baltimore dialect which is not surprising as I grew up in Maryland ( mostly eastern MD ) and Virginia ( mostly Norfolk and also the DC area). It took me 13 years to stop saying y’all !! I sound most southern though if I am back down south, with relatives or drink any alcohol. Its always in there no matter how much you might want to change.
Oh and I still say a “passel” ( sp?) of this and ” whole slew” of that. No one local can understand me, needless to say. Lots of other old time sayings like ” screaming bloody blue murder” and such date from my grandmother’s time I think. She was from TN. The locals here in Lancaster County use PA “Dutch” phrases and pronunciation, like a w for a v, hence my cats’ doctor is a ” wetinary”. The local VFW is the ” wee-eff”. And my elderly friend’s house is covered in ” wines”. I love local speech patterns which in this day of TV , internet and such is fast being lost. I have a friend ( the one who gave me the wonderful Sourwood Honey) who is an Appalachian food historian and her website is full of taped interviews and short videos of her locals remembering their foodways : http://www.appalachianfoodstorybank.org
I am southern and even I have a difficult time understanding the words. Appalachian dialect is really fascinating and many phrases date back to early English/Scotch/Irish settlers. They still say yonder for instance. Listen to them tell their stories for a taste of the past.
Those are common phrases to me also: passel, whole slew, and screaming bloody murder. How about gag a maggot?! Love the food story bank. Taste of the past!
Nope, never heard of ” gag a maggot”. Glad you like her food story bank, shes an amazing and dedicated young woman (along with her helpers.) She’s working on documenting the Lancaster County Saffron story from her visit here last summer with my Mennonite friends, identical twins, Marion and Martha, the “Saffron Twins”.
I’m with you on most of them, but “peenie wallies” are nowhere to be found in my brain! What are they?!?
Well this had me pegged. It showed that the two cities with dialects most like mine are Salt Lake and Boise which is appropriate since I was born and raised in Salt Lake. I’m like you MaryJane, I still use passel, slew and gag a maggot! Even though we are as far as could be from the Deep South my Southern Utah grandparents still used words like “fixin” and “pertnear” as in “we are FIXIN to leave and we are PERTNEAR there” and a man you might not know well was a “feller” as in “That there FELLER did a fine job.” So funny and sweet. I agree that with internet and TV I hope we don’t loose the small things that make us unique.
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