Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Big 'Ol Word Fun

Some of my favorite words and phrases are from North Carolina, but I have found two new ones since I've moved to Texas that are particularly amusing to me.
I'm sure that someone from Texas could make fun of some of the things they might hear in NC, and there are even some that are shared. For instance, in both Texas and NC, if you are preparing to do something, you are "fixin' to" do it. This vernacular is accepted in both states. I've had several people, particularly colleagues [as this example is gramatically incorrect], voice interest in why I say "used to could." As in, "When I was a child, I used to could do a cartwheel." This is very incorrect, but has character. I blame my use of it on my mother.
I have always expressed when something is particularly large with the phrase "big 'ol." As in, "I have a big 'ol fat kid in my class this year." In Texas, the phrase is "big o." Or maybe "biggo." I'm not really sure, but it doesn't flow off my tongue as naturally. I feel that when there is a BIG 'OL cheeseburger on the plate, the size is more emphatically communicated than is a BIG O cheeseburger.
The other one that bothers me is the use of the word "whenever." Texans use the word whenever in the way that the rest of the country uses when. For instance, the rest of the country would say, "Remember when you and I went to the beach?" Texas would say, "Remember whenever you and I went to the beach?" Well, not the beach, since clearly that's not a valid option around here, but you get the point. I don't understand whenever.
Maybe whenever Joel or Katie write a big o comment on this post, I'll understand. I used to could understand what people said better whenever I lived in NC. Hee!

6 comments:

Meredith said...

I also liked the related NC-ism "might could". Similar to "used to could", but in the present tense. :) Another favorite of mine was "cut on" used (rather than "turn on") in the context of "cut on the light", but that's more of a SC thing than NC.

Katie said...

The "Whenever" is used here in Catawba County all the time and it drives me nuts. The word "Library" is another one- here it is "Libary". Also, I hear, "Go and get you some food". The "you" is supposed to be understood without saying it, but it's included in these sentences anyway. Another example: "He's got him some nice pants." Again, "him" is repetitive, and is not necessary. Oh, oh- and what about the word "supposedly"? Has anyone ever heard it said as "supposebly"? That one's funny to hear. I will probably return later as I hear more ideas around the office...

Pigs said...

Oh! That makes me think of another one. Mike uses the word "carry" to mean to drive someone from one place to another. As in, "Can you carry me up to the mall to buy a shirt?" or "They're going to carry us to the football game so we don't have to drive." I always have an image of Mike hefting his passenger on his back and taking off on foot to his destination.

Bubba said...

We say all those things. Also, if something is right in front of you but you missed it, I might say, "It was right there in front of you, as big as Dallas." Also, someone who is cheap might be, "Tighter than Dick's hatband." Don't forget, "Howdy" which I like to say to New Yorkers when I'm jogging.

The one New York saying that gets us is "on line." You aren't in line, but on line. Next on line please. (Hold your nose when you say it.)

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, my favorite colloquialism (yeah, that's right, someone from SC showing off using the big words) is if you were about to perform an activity very soon, you would be doing it "directly" i.e. "I'm going to get a shower here directly."
Or, another great one....if it's really raining hard, it's "raining like pouring piss out of a boot." That visual really says it all.
Mike

Katie said...

I thought of another one! "had went"- as in, "I had went to the store, and coouldn't find a parking place".