I think I confuse people with certain phrases and words I use. Just a few weeks ago, I was planning a get-together with some friends and asked someone to bring “coke”. They asked if they could bring some other types of “soda” as well as they weren’t very fond of “Coke”. I had to explain that I lived in Texas for several years, and down there, “coke” means any type of soda, while “Coca-Cola” is used if you want that specific type of soda.
After my Sweet Versus Sweetened post a few weeks ago, I started thinking of more phrases I’ve heard or personally used that folks from other regions of the United States might chuckle at. ‘Folks’ is one, I’m sure…I know others might just say ‘people’. That’s my Texan again. 😉
Another Texan phrase I tend to use is “y’all”–and it IS “y’all”, not “ya’ll”. When my family moved to Missouri when I was 10, we realized that no one said “y’all”–it was “y’uns”. We used to joke about it, and I thought it was a bit of a weird word to use (yes, I know y’all is too, but I was so used to that one that it didn’t occur to me until years later). And if I or my mom become tired, we tend to drawl a few words–“pie” especially lends itself to a Texan drawl.
Then I moved to the Upper Peninsula. Talk about culture shock. Suddenly, every time I was around a large crowd, I could hear weird mutterings that sounded like “yah”, “da”,”eh”, “sowna”, and “owt”, not to mention the random R that popped up in the pronunciation but not the spelling of a nearby town.
Eventually I got it sorted out. “Yah” was kind of like “yeah”, “da” replaced “the”, and “eh” was used at the end of a sentence–it didn’t matter if the sentence was a statement, a question, or an exclamation, it was just there. “Sauna” was really pronounced “sow-na”, and “out” became “owt”. Another thing that still baffles me is how Yoopers add an “e” sound to words that clearly should have an “a”–“bag” morphs into “beg”, “wagon” into “way-gen”. Oh well. Yah, once Ah gowt used to da lingo, it wasn’t much differ’nt than Missour-a, eh?
And yes, that’s kind of how I sound now. No one will ever be able to guess where I’m from. 🙂