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Sweet Rose Ramblings (AKA The Call-Waiting Blog)

A place for my unformed thoughts. Help me sort them out!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Regionalisms

I was reading about the Don Imus affair in my issue of Newsweek the other day and noticed that they used the word "shtick" in the article. I was surprised that a national magazine would use a Yiddish colloquialism that I suspected so many of the people reading the magazine wouldn't understand. I mentioned this to some people during Shabbos and they were under the assumption that everyone knows what "shtick" means, but I pointed out that I doubt it's a popular word amongst those in Alabama, at which point it was suggested that not that many people in Alabama probably read Newsweek (to which I objected and used as proof that my parents receive the magazine).

Then today one of my co-workers came up to me and used the word "kvetch." I relayed my previous conversation to her and she told me she thinks everyone knows those kinds of words these days. But I think it's because I'm living in NY. She agreed with my point, and mentioned that people here don't use words like "fret" and "reckon" which I definitely accept as part of my vocabulary and have rarely thought anything of, not even realizing that they were considered Southern terms (especially "fret").

It's interesting how these words become so normal that we don't even realize until we find ourselves in different parts of the country. (I also never realized until living here that I put the accent on words such as "insurance", "umbrella" and "Thanksgiving" in a different place than those from up here in Yankee territory.)

4 Comments:

At April 25, 2007 12:54 PM, Blogger e-kvetcher said...

how about 'over yonder'? - heard it in Georgia quite a bit last week.

 
At April 25, 2007 8:18 PM, Blogger Semgirl said...

Well I do declare, Scarlet. You may have a point.

 
At April 26, 2007 9:42 AM, Blogger Shoshana said...

e-kvetcher -
I don't expect to hear "over yonder" up here, I KNOW that one's a Southernism.

semgirl -
LOL

 
At April 26, 2007 7:25 PM, Blogger SaraK said...

Insurance and umbrella - when a southerner says those words you can spot 'em in a second! :) Where do you put the accent in Thanksgiving? First syllable?

I use the word "shlep" all the time, even among people who don't speak Yiddish. I assume most people (esp up north) know what that means.

 

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