Monday, January 18, 2010

What about YOU? Idioms vs. Idiots

Every Monday I ask a question, to get to know YOU better.

Okay, ready for today’s? What are some sayings indigenous to the area where you live?

When we moved to the Midwestern United States after living on the West Coast all our lives, we heard “How’s come?” in place of “why?;” “I’m not for sure” instead of “I don’t know;” and “I seen Nancy at the library” instead of “I saw Nancy.” They drove me nuts until I got used to them, realizing they are simply idioms native to this area.

All except that last one. I’d say it’s more idiot than idiom.

Your turn…


  1. So true. I live in Nashville...although we're a melting pot these days. Still, I hear more than my share of "I seen" and "that ain't..." and such.

  2. fun post! I'm drawing a bit of a blank on this one, although I know there are probably plenty! I will say that snowmobiling is huge here, but people call them "sleds." I was so confused here at first at the amount of adults that were so into their "sleds" and "sledding." I couldn't figure out how so many people rode "sleds" and actually went places on them ! Even at night! It baffled me until I realized that they were referring to snowmobiles!

  3. I'm fixin' to go to town, instead of about to go to town.

  4. Ha! I've actually done quite a study on idiots. Ask Diana about my next book. "Idio" comes from the Greek meaning "common man." Since there was only One who was not a common man, I surmise only Jesus is not an idiot. The rest of us are and we say silly things. But the Word of God never fails. I live in upstate NY and what we're all saying today is "Go Jets!" Sort of idiotic for this Steeler fan to even think such a thing.

  5. You've finally stumped me. I'm going to be thinking about this all day.
    ~ Wendy

  6. Oh, boy! I don't know if I'm aware of the local idioms! I've moved around so much my whole life that I'm probably the one with the idiot idoms!! :-)

  7. SOOO fun. I've lived, laughed and loved idioms for so long, who knows where they're from?

    Hard as a rock.
    Dumb as a rock (?)!!!)
    Beat the snot out of
    Bleeds like a pig (?)

    I'll throw in for free a couple of Alan-isms that our family lives by:
    Nothing good happens after midnight.
    Salt and light! (Every time we leave the house)

    Alan even inscribed Nothing good happens after midnight on a homemade clothes hanger he strung in my daughter's car when she drove off to college. Yep.

    Love you'll see on my blog post.


  8. In Texas, we are always "fixing to" do something or go somewhere! And everybody is always "yall". :)

  9. I'm from the west coast and I can't think of any! HAve a great day Jen! XOXO

  10. Oh dear, I'm Canadian, so I'm sure you all think of "eh" right away. But it really isn't that prevelant in Ontario that I know of. I'm been a hermit hear too long for any to stick out in my mind. BUt love reading of all of yours.

  11. "Don't bet on it" seems to crop up a lot in my circles, and "How ya doin'?" but I don't know that they are unique to my Canadian west coast locale. Sara's "Sledding" for snowmobiling is common here, too.


  12. In LA we would ask, "Do you want a coke? What kind?" Meaning all soda. Also the gas stations were "filling stations."

  13. Hi Jen -

    A real estate "closing" up north is a "settlement" in PA.

    An "attached house" in NY is a "row house" in PA.

    Growing up in a part Italian household, a sub or hoagie was a "gipi." I'm also accustomed to the Italian pronunciation of certain cheeses, like mozzarella and ricotta.

    Susan :)

  14. At my former home in southern New Jersey, "You's guys" was common. Here in North Central KY it's "Y'all".

    Jeanette - I was commenting on Patti Lacy's blog today, you are too a genius! I am sure of it. :)


  15. Here in NJ when we want to go to the ocean beach, we say we're going "down the shore." Not down to the shore, but "down the shore." No matter if you're headed south, north or west, you're going "down the shore."

  16. My very favorite, it melts my heart and I plan to tuck it away in a book sometime, is from my dad's family, in the boot heel of Missouri. "You ones" (as in "you guys") is said as Youn's.

    We love youn's.
    Youn's come visit us anytime.

    I wish you could hear me say it; it doesn't come out right when written. Anyway, to hear my favorite aunts say that fills me with such love. I can't get enough.

  17. I think here we just have foods known in this area and not sayings. Buffalo Chicken wings, Italian desserts, pusties and canolis, half moons and Saranac beer. :O)

  18. I hope you won't think me cruel, but my husband and I get a chuckle when guys hold up their deer antlers on "Big Buck Night" on Michigann Out of Doors and start their story with, "I seen..."

    In Ohio and Michigan, all soda pop is called pop. No one calls it soda.

    Other than that, I can't think of anything funny we say around here.

  19. Jen:
    Where do I begin?
    My mother's family were Southerners, Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi.
    My cousins (Mississippi) used the word tote. We in Indiana said carry. (Did you tote (carry) the ice cream home)
    My great aunt in Georgia used the word carry, We in Indiana say take. (Her husband carried (took) her to the hospital.)

    My dad, a born and bread Hoosier, always said 'crick' for 'creek'.

  20. I live deep in the country my friend. I have heard it all!

    People are always saying, "I'm fixin' to go to the store..."

    Fixin'? Really?

  21. Getting ready to move to the Midwest from the South... first move of my life! 32 years... in the deep south. I'm sure it will prove interesting in regards to my vocabulary ;)


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