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« Island Cowgirl? | Main | Spin Cycle: Favorite Post »

March 29, 2010


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Here in the south, people like to say " I'm fixin' to do ___" (and fill in the blank with whatever you're going to do).

I love that one town would have an expression that would be specific to that place and not spread further. I had never heard of "spare" or "dank" and I love them both. Language is just such a fascinating thing, no?


Here in California it's "way." "That's waaaay good." I'd heard wicked but spare is new. Fun post.

Hey now... I never say "wicked," EVER. I've made it a point in my life not to. Maybe once or twice but that's it. Pretty dank post though. <3

Apart from "lah", which we would add at every end of a sentence, we now sometimes like to use the word "one" for some odd reason.

So it may go like..

Not like that one laah, but like that one.

Can walk like that one? Can lah.

How come one? I don't know one.

You lah, so stubborn one.

I don't know if these phrases are specific to Wisconsin and Minnesota, but I didn't hear them in Memphis (where "Bless her heart" = screw her).

Lots of "you betchas" and, further north from me, "Uffda," which is an exclamation used when the speaker has done something he regrets, like putting spoiled milk in his coffee. Or is lamenting life in general.

"Uffda" is a synonym for "for dumb." "Oh for dumb. I can't believe I left my secret hotdish recipe open on the counter when that nosy Barb Becker was over here yesterday. Now she's going to steal it and make it for the church supper and then what will I make?"

These are awesome! Wicked great post Maureen. ;o)

I'm trying to think of one and for some reason keep pulling up a blank.

There's the Canadian standby of "eh." Sometimes lenthened to "dontcha know eh?"

Do you use the word skookum? As in... that's a pretty skookum sled you got there. I bet you could jump FOUR dogsleds with that...

Did not know that NE is the originator of wicked. I love the word wicked. I think I picked it up from Movie. But there must me New Englanders over here as I have heard it here and there.

Hawaii has pidgen English, also known as Hawaiian Creole English. Lots more than a couple of words.

Favorites are "choke" and "da kine."

I went go to da kine's house the other day and they had choke food.

Hi Maureen - I've lived in northern NJ all my life and never heard 'spare'... it really must have been just in your area. Funny how these phrases or words can be that localized.
Never heard dank used in that context either, I've got to listen more carefully next time I'm on MV :)
Interesting though how you can hear someone speak and sometimes know where they're from by the words they use.
And now I can't think of any that I use, or hear here. Oh well, yada yada. :)

"Oh my heck" is a big Utah term. I refuse to use it. I will say hell!!!

OK, where did you grow up? I've never heard of "spare" in NJ.
My numerous moves through the deep south I heard "fixin to" all the time and it drove me nuts! But in this part of FL it's rare to find a native. Everyone is an import from somwhere else. Not many colloquialisms. At least, I don't know of any. I'm just as hard on my kids about proper diction and no slang as my parents were on me.

Totally wicked post, Mo! It was dank!

I knew about wicked, never heard spare, but I have heard about dank, oh yes.

But the only way I've ever used or heard the word dank was about marijuana.

It's is either "dank" or "skunk"

Yo, man, I got some dank-ass weed. This weekend is going to be awesome! Totally off the hook!


Dude, that joint was skunked. This sucks. Now what are we going to do?

We say wicked everything up here. I picked it up when I moved from NY to MA in the summer of my 14th year and have been saying it ever since.

Never heard 'spare' or 'dank'...

Wicked cool post.

Dank? Spare? Such a secret society you live in where the meaning of a commonly used word is transformed, to be understood only by those in-the-know! Makes me want to do the same thing with some common word like maybe staple or bright. But it somehow doesn't have that sound appeal. I'll need to put on my thinking cap. Brilliant post!

Haha, as a native New Englander I use "wicked" too much.

When I moved to RI I found there were lots of terms and words that I had to get used to. One in particular is the word "srew". People use it to say they have to go, or left somewhere real fast.

"The cops crashed the party and we all screwed."

"This work day has been ridiculous! At 5pm I'm gonna screw!"


Damn, I was expecting a post about Wicked the musical. That was wicked, Maureen to play with my emotions and noone mourns the wicked. Yeah, I'm done.
Down here in good ole FLA, we say y'all a lot, but I don't think it's a local thing. :-)

My parents are from Pennsylvania, and cringed every time I said "wicked" :) but it happens! I try not to say it too much, as I don't think it sounds all that... proper, ha! But I'm sure in no time my kids will be saying it as well.
I've never heard of "spare" like that! You learn something new every day ;)

That's not a wicked good post, it's a wicked awesome post! Hmmm...I can't think what they say around here.... we say "crick" for "creek" but that's because we's all hicks.

Oh, I know one...when a chick is a slutty type, we call her a "skank" or a "skanky ho". And if someone is gross we call them "skanky."

I'm not sure I could pinpoint a good example of Midwest slang, but I confess a love affair for describing things as "wicked!"

The only slang that I can remember most recently using is in I'm mad happy or mad hungry..or you are mad wicked Maureen. See? It still works (-:

Love, love, love the term "wicked" which I grew up with, but rarely used because I thought it was so weird! And having raised my kids in a different part of the country, they think it's funny when every now and then I resurrect a "wicked good" or "wicked pissa" or "wicked cool" from my ancient New England past.

And I have noticed that my hybrid Northern-Southern-Euro-American kids have a little of this and a little of that in the way they speak, being somewhat absorbent aurally. And every now and then, I let loose a "fixin to do something... " and they just laugh, and think it's wicked good.

How about the word "beast?" My son uses that now to describe anything cool, special or positively unbelievable. As in--Look at that pimped up car over there; it's so BEAST. Please tell me this is just regional. I'd hate to think it's spread anywhere outside of Florida.

My husband is from the Boston area so I think it's so funny when he says "wicked" anything. And he always adds a little extra twang to it so we know he's messing around with us. Down here where I live (the deep south) we don't stop at one slang word. There are whole phrases here that'll get you giggling. "Gimme some sugar!" "Two eggs short of a breakfast." "She fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch."

When I first moved here, I had no idea what people were talking about much of the time. At work, they asked me to sweep the carpet. I went for a broom,and my supervisor brought out a vacuum cleaner.

The language of The OC is a world onto its own. Obviously, a lot of it revolves around the surf ...

Where I grew up in Texas, every other word spoken is some crazy regionalism. Here in los Angeles? There's plenty, but we write it all into every tv show and movie, so our colloquialisms become nationalized pretty quickly.

Here in L.A. our favorite saying is" go fuck yourself". We tend to use it mostly when we are driving.

In my family (of seven sisters) we pretty much ended every sentence with the words, "ya know?" Kind of like we had to get agreement from every audience to every word we uttered.

It took a lot of effort to just snap my mouth shut when I was a little older and not let those words come out with everything I said, ya know?

We say wicked here too. When at college, my daughter was asked where she was from because she evidently says it more than I ever noticed. LOL!

AWESOME seems to get overused in northern New England.

Responding to Lora (and Maureen): dank comes from marijuana talk here on-island too. Only the opposite here isn't skunk but schwag. And smiling Maureen cause perhaps dank does mean dark and damp when it refers to pot? Anyway, don't know much about pot, but do know that if my teenager says the dinner I made was dank ... that means the same as ill or sick ... delicious!!! Perhaps dankalicious? And if dinner is schwag, well, that's not a complement. And neither is schwagleberry.

The middle class in Co. Cork Ireland add 'actually' at the end of every statement. It became so noted by the rest of us that the University Collage at Cork is re-named UCC,Actually. The pronuncation Ack-chew-Elle.

I use wicked myself alot, but never heard spare. Funny how words stick to certain regions and mean nothing of their intended origin. I need to learn the island lingo before I go there for my tour!

Hmmm, nope. I can't think of any words used here that aren't said everywhere. Wicked entertaining post though!

We say "sweet," as in "a sweet deal," or "a sweet ride." Or: "Sweet post!" =>

I have always loved "wicked," which I learned from a New Hampshire transplant.

I am up to my eyeballs in slang at high school, but there is no one word that is standing out. I blame my congested head.

Every other word out west is "like" and I know it's been that way for a while. But I never really noticed it until I met my sister-in-law.

Sometimes, I will try to count the number of times she says it in a conversation.

I do agree, Wicked good post. A good one comes from my Southern side... Hollr. which means different things depending on where in the south you are. I was told (as A child) that a hollr was a a dark, thickly wooded place and if you weren't careful a demoko could get you. so... If you spy one you had better hollr and then run home, like it was chasing you and never look back because....

I kind of love that jessica up there with the "go fuck yourself." but i suppose it's something i should refrain from imparting on the kiddos as they grow into the years where colloquial reigns. wicked is a new england thing? really? i'm still having trouble not using DUDE all the time. it totally brings me right back to junior high.

maureen, you totally make me laugh. love it.

and spare? really...what IS that? ha!

Fabulous post as always, sweetie. "Spare"? Seriously?? I have nevah heard of that one...and I've lived *so close* to the Jersey border...

I still like "dude". I'll say, "Dude." Or, I'll say, "DUDE!"...sometimes with a "Seriously?" after it.

Da boys think I'm an EPIC FAIL.

All I can come up with is Rodeo, yall and yo.

Rodeo basicly means..let's go or bring it on.

Love First Born Son's comment!

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