Thursday, May 25, 2006

The way 'Eers talk

OK, so I've come up with more regional ways with words. If one looks for "West Virginia Dialects" on Google, you will come up with all sorts of interesting links on the WV Dialects Project, which is attempting to preserve some of the unique characteristics of language here. Some of them, I've only heard a time or two, from old folks, but the ones I have here are pretty common even in Morgantown, the home of the university.

The term "pooched out" is one I've heard no where else, it means 'sticks out', like, 'The front of her dress was all pooched out". For some reason, saying 'pregnant' is frowned on, instead a woman is 'that way', thus, "The front of her dress was all pooched out 'cause she's that way". It's also considered bad form to say 'stallion' or 'bull', instead you'll hear 'male horse' or 'boy cow'.

Because 'Eers say pin and pen both as 'pin', it's pretty common to hear, 'stick pin' and 'ink pin' to differentiate.

Let's see, 'crack the window' means to roll the window down some. Memorial Day is usually called 'Decoration Day'. To be 'gritly' means to be a hillbilly. Your grandmother is Mamaw or MeeMee, where your great-grandmother is Meemaw. A 'painter' is a mountain lion, and 'ramps' aren't something you drive your lawn mower up to get it in the truck. They're a vile version of a wild mountain leek, and if someone asks you to eat a mess 'o them, you should decline quickly. And if the other person eats them, you should try to avoid sitting in close proximity to them for several days afterwards. Like garlic, they, ah, exude.

A similar term to 'pooched up' is 'hove up', as in, "the sidewalk was all hove up from the tree roots". My grandmother always admired something by saying, "That's REAL!" with no reference to what it 'really' was, nice? pretty? And if she referred to someone as 'cute' it meant they were bow-legged. And because it isn't polite for a lady to swear, she always said, "I swan, I never saw the like".

Oops, time to go. Y'all be good now, hear?


Orikinla Osinachi. said...

Very interesting.

If I have the time, I will enjoy writing a romantic story on such manners of speech in American culture.

God bless.

Carolyn said...

I'd love to read this, but it's way too small to see :(

Mike Rubin said...

I love the artistic layout of your blog. A refresshing change from the times new roman. Thank you.


Redhead said...

I have NO idea how the font got so small-- hopefully it is OK now. I don't know how the font ended up with the script-y version either, but I sorta like it, so I left it alone. And hopefully, the left is side is where it should be, and not WAYYY down at the bottom of all the posts. Thanks to Carolyn for pointing this out....

Carolyn said...

What a sight for sore eyes! Land sakes gal, you done gone and changed the font size and I can see it now, plain as the nose on my face, hehe! It's real purtyful too ;)