May 17th, 2007

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Wicked Awesome English

Recently I've caught myself using some especially Massachusettsetsian (ugh, this is why the papers use "Bay Stater") terms. Usually people just look at me blankly, because they just don't translate down here.

A few examples:

blacktop
The other day somebody was talking about Atlanta being such a green city when I pointed out that 50 acres of "blacktop" are put down every day in place of trees. "Black...top?" This is what elsewhere (and here) is known as asphalt or tar. But blacktop is pretty descriptive!

black and blue
I still find it hard to believe that this isn't the universal term for bruise. I mean, bruise sounds so medical. "Black and blue" sounds poetic!

bubbler (pronounced "bub-la")
I never really used the term to describe a water fountain, but for some reason whenever I talk about an office water cooler, the kind that goes glug-glub, I always say "bub-la." And *nobody* has any clue what I'm talking about. It's *such* a Boston/Rhode Island type word.

tag tale
I know what "yard sales" and "garage sales" are, but to me those are secondary, more specific terms. A sale you have on your lawn, in your garage, or anywhere else of your own stuff is a tag sale. It's only a "garage" sale if it's in your garage. And it can't be a "yard sale" if it's on the sidwalk. So tag sale makes sense. Does anybody know what I mean when I refer to tag sales? Only other Yankees!

awesome and wicked
If somebody were to do an impression of me, I think a key to it would be to used "awesome" and "wicked awesome" and phrases like "wicked cool" and "wicked bad" a lot. A wicked lot. I think "awesome" is probably my favorite adjective. It never occured to me, at least not until high school, that "wicked awesome" etc. was some Boston thing, until one time SNL did a spoof of New Kids doing a song called "You Ah Wicked Ahwsum." LOL.

soda
It's always soda. Never pop. In fact the only place I can remember seeing a lot of "pop" is Minnesota.

sub
I don't do hoagies or gyros or whatever other names there are for subs. They're just *subs*. (And speaking of, Atlanta does not offer a decent sub *anywhere*. Subway's subs certainly don't count.)

Hoodsie
It doesn't come up a lot, but if you ever see me eating an ice cream cup, I'll call it a Hoodsie, even if it's not really a Hoodsie. Hoodsies are called Hoodsies because in the Boston area the Hood milk company makes ice cream cups called... Hoodsies. And everybody knows what a Hoodsie is!

There are more words but these are some of the main.