Small town girl. Joins Navy. Sees the world. Flies in planes. Hunts submarines. Gets out of military and has 3 kids.


A compilation of stories and lessons learned

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Whipping Shitties and Playing Duck Duck Gray Duck (though not at the same time)

(photo courtesy of sxc.hu)
 
Recently I learned a new expression: "he fell out" It is a southern expression for "he threw a tantrum".  Initially, my mind was going completely somewhere else on this.  [Thank you, NC Narrations- http://nc-narrations.blogspot.com/2012/02/say-what.html]
 

I cannot help but be amazed that within our wonderful country of the USA- we have such vastly different land masses ranging from deserts to cities to mountains to beaches to cornfields etc.  Anyone who has had the privilege of driving from one end of the country to the other can attest to the broad spectrum the little USA has to offer of land masses- but it doesn't stop there!  The culture differences and dialects among the different regions are about as far different as if there were an ocean separating them.  But there is not, or you would not be able to drive from one end to the other.  I divert.
 
I grew up in the northern Midwest region.  Up there, strong work ethics are ingrained at birth.  If something comes too easy- well it's probably a scam because everything worth having takes hard work to achieve.


I also lived in New England for about 4 years.  What an incredible part of the country!  The oldest parts of this region were where some of the first colonies had originated.  In my tiny community of beautiful Phippsburg, Maine, they were also once an established colony back in 1620.  Amazing.  In Maine, I feel compelled to say, they speak funnier dialect than I've ever heard.   The first time my landlord, Martha, (pronounced Ma-thah who was more like a mother) said to me "Just go ahead and pahk the cah in the dooryahd."  I was dumbfounded.  I needed a translator:  Park the car in the driveway.  For some reason pronouncing an "R" is scary to them.  And everything good is proceeded by wicked.  "It was a wicked good time."



Now back in MN, we knOw how to speak.  In fact, I distinctly recall a conversation I had with my friend growing up, "Isn't it funny that everyone else in the country has an accent except for us MinnesOtans?"  I never heard the accent until I went away for a few years and came home.  Everything was followed by "You knOw?  Or 'hey'?  'Hey' is simply used to see if you're paying attention.  "I'm going to the store, hey."  Makes perfect sense.



I also didn't know it was weird to end a sentence with a 'with'. "I'm going to the store, you want to come with?"  I could go on.  Other words in which I knOw we speak correctly but the rest of the country does not:  About, bag, goat, boat, or any other long O word.  We say 'O's the way that God intended them to be spOken.

Another observance for my fellow MinnesOtans:  The rest of the world says "Duck Duck Goose,"  not "Duck Duck Grey Duck".  I'm simply attempting to spare you the embarrassment I suffered when a bunch of preschoolers laughed at my game suggestion one day.  Okay- it wasn't that embarrassing.  They were preschoolers, right?  They can't even drive yet.  So at least I got that on them.  And by the way, when you are driving crazy- apparently it also is weird to say "whip a shitty."  Instead, more politically correct (and more common) would be to say "Whip a doughnut). [this is when you spin around really fast on the snow or mud in your motorized vehicle- usually intentionally for pleasure]


And for my final observance- Southerners- while they can be quite the gossipers and are sure to let you know what's going on with everyone- are the friendliest folks I've ever met.  They'll tell you their entire life story in one sitting- whether they are your waitress, barber, or sales clerk.  They are caring, open, and take their time...which can drive an East Coaster (such as NY or DC) crazy.  Slow down and smell the roses.  They talk slower, eat slower, and tend to enjoy life.  But word of warning- many Southerners don't have the Northern bubble.  Northerners are quite particular about someone getting in their bubble.  It's a comfort zone thing.


One of my good friends was my roommate in the Navy off and on for several years.  I solely blame her for my use of the word y'all.  I never realized the convenience of combining words- or how freely it flows from the tongue.  Northerners take note!  (Though she was also the one who sent me on a mission to get a coke and was upset that I brought her an actual 'Coke' instead of asking her what kind of 'coke' she wanted.  What?!?  Pop = soda = coke.


So I now in my confused state of mind living in the middle of the country may say something like, "Y'all need to checkout this wicked good show, hey!"  I've become a mess.  I stumble upon which word to use when I want a softdrink.  Often it's just better to order by name.  Or just order a beer.  Beer is at least universal, worldly perhaps.  I'm in people's bubbles, asking for soda up north and playing Duck Duck Gray Duck down south.  I constantly have to think before I speak- which I suppose isn't too bad of a habit to get into.

8 comments:

  1. I find this particularly hilarious, seeing as I'm an East Coaster who grew up spending summers in Deer River, went to college in South Carolina, and now has a husband whose entire family lives in Maine. You hit ALL the nails right on the head. And by the way, I have always found the Minnesotan habit of ending sentences with "with" to be one of the most annoying things ever! I'm so excited that I found your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ha ha- that's so funny, Jill. How did we end up in nearly all of the same places- but different? I'm glad you found me too!! :)
    By the way- I really had to cut this short. There are so many many other words and cultural differences I would have loved to have added- but it would've been a near novel!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love this! The other day my chief made so much fun of me for saying bag, and I had no idea that I had an accent when I said it! Having lived in on both coasts and a few spots in the middle, it sure is incredible to hear the way people talk and even more so to see their expression when they hear you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kaye- yes, I NEVER hear the end of bAg. There's an A in it right? So it should be pronounced like "brace" or "game"- an appropriate LONG 'A' sound. :)

      Delete
  4. I live in Texas, and I very definitely have a bubble! But I see what you mean about the different dialects. Even in this state, there are different words and different accents, depending on where in Texas you reside.

    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps it's a 'selective' Southern bubble ;) And yes, Texas may as well be broken up into a few different states for how large it is- no wonder there is a variation in the dialect!

      Delete
  5. My husband was in the Coast Guard and, as he puts it, he picked up the laziest parts of speech wherever he was stationed. Funny how easily we pick things up, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete