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?

Friday, May 19, 2006


I am SOOO glad it is Friday. This has been a long week, arriving early, finishing late, taking work home, etc. Big training session coming up, and so many regs have changed, I'm having to re-do all the material. I think I'll be done Monday, fingers crossed.

Do kids still do that? Cross their fingers for good luck? Probably not. I bet they don't 'touch wood' either, or carry rabbits' feet (Ewwww, now that I think about it). They probably don't rub the heads of red-haired kids, or carry a lucky penny, or throw a pinch of salt over their shoulder when they spill salt. I did this last thing when I was making bread last weekend, and daughter R happened to be standing behind me and got the full benefit. She hollered, "WHAT are you doing!!?"
and I tried to explain, but it really doesn't make much sense, does it? I think it only confirmed that her mother is a little wacky.

I had occasion to crawl up in the attic last weekend too, someplace I haven't been in years (thanks to a strong agile son). Ours is a half-attic, with pull down stairs, but you have to go through it on hands and knees, or walk WAY bent over. That attic is STUFFED! With tons of junk! I didn't remember what I was looking for was packed in, so I had to check every box, after I made my way past crib, high chair, bassinet, playpen, youth bed, dining table and appliances. And I couldn't belive how many boxes of old clothes, lots of empty boxes saved "in case", and boxes and boxes of books. This is in addition to the 3-4000 books we have downstairs, and that after donating 700 to the local library. Most of the ones in the attic are hard-bound, and some of them are OLD textbooks from the early 90s, when I was getting my Med Tech degree. It's ridiculous, I mean, are we going to crawl up in the attic for a little reading time, there amid the cobwebs and dust, just curl up in a handy broken chair and relax with a good thriller from 1960? I think not. So one of my projects after I retire is to clean the attic out, stem to stern, and either trash things, donate them, or do a flea market thing. I kinda enjoy selling junk at the flea market, although having someone walk off with your stuff always makes me wonder, did I really want to get rid of that? I guess the merchandise always does look better in the other customer's hand. But clearing out the garage? It's hopeless, I think when the time comes to move out of this house, we'll just saw the garage off and set fire to it.

I was reading DOOCE's Blog from a few posts back, about the correct pronounciation of certain words. I'm with Jon on this one, crayon IS pronounced 'cray-on' and not 'crown' (unless you call all crayons regardless of brand as crayolas). When I started working in California, I was quickly corrected anytime I said certain things. For example, I used to say insurance as INsurance instead of inSUREance. I pronounced Washington D.C. as WaRshington. But nothing compared to what I would routinely hear after moving to West Virginia. Here, you don't bathe the baby, you 'bath' the baby. The use of 'went' when 'gone' should be used ("I had already went to the mall when she called me"). There are lots of these regional usages of words, I'm going to have to ruminate for a while and do another post when I come up with more.

Meanwhile, enjoy the weekend!

Monday, May 08, 2006


It's not bad enough that I'm fighting the demon of Insomnia, thrashing around on the bed like the agitator in the washing machine. But I find myself doing odd things in the middle of the night, too. One night I pulled out the drawer in the dresser where I keep socks, and arranged them in vertical rows, according to rainbow colors. One night I went through my cedar chest (just getting to where you can open the top is a chore) looking for...what? I dunno. One memorable night I pulled all my purses out of the top of the closet and went through them, each pocket and compartment, looking for a small penknife I left behind when I changed purses. I finally found it--in purse #57. And then I had to put them all back, using a ladder. All this at 3 am. Last night, at 3 am, I got up to use the bathroom, and decided my feet were in terrible shape. So I got out all the foot-treatment stuff, soaked my feet, rubbed the calluses off with three different tools, used foot sloughing lotion, and finally foot repair creme. Then I put my feet in plastic bags so the lotion would stay on my feet and not make a greasy mess in the bedclothes. With the way I've been sleeping, I'd slither right out of the bed, hit the floor "plop!" and sit there going, "Huh? Wha?" The next morning the Hub comes in (for obvious reasons he sleeps in another room) and I told him how long I'd laid awake, and he said, "No wonder you couldn't sleep! You've got bagel bags on your feet!"

I don't get any respect.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I had the strangest dream last night. I dreamed that I was on this huge cruise ship, in a really big storm. Waves were swamping the ship so you couldn't even go on deck, but no one seemed worried. I was lost in the dream, trying to make my way back to our cabin, but since I wasn't sure of the number, I couldn't figure out how to get there. I had with me my dog, or maybe my horse, or maybe a baby-- it sorta ran together, but there were places I couldn't go through because of the dog/horse/baby, and every time I backtracked, I got more and more lost. There were arenas where they were playing polo, and Vegas-style nightclubs, and places where to get to the upper deck, you had to go up a climbing wall (particularly hard with a horse). Everyone was smiling and polite, but none of them could help me. I finally woke up and realized two things. One, no more watching The Perfect Storm, and skip the trailers for the Poseidon remake. Two, leave the dog, the horse, and the baby at home for our next cruise!