Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Things I say...

If you live any amount of time in a place you pick up the local lingo. I've lived a lot of different places but certainly never lost my native lingo and have often found myself trying to explain what I'm tawkin' about.

Our local mini-mart is owned by Hindu people, country unknown, and when I bought my lottery ticket the other day the gentleman said "Don't forget us when you win". I said "From your lips to God's ears". He looked at me funny.

Having worked in an American Embassy, and being married to a government employee, I learned to speak acronym and military. My favorite is "wheels up" which means that a plane has taken off. I could tell you a funny story about that but you never know who is listening. When people would ask what my husband did for a living I'd start rattling off what I call "alphabet speak". Now I just avoid explanations and say he works for the government. It's easier.

Here's an interesting (to me anyway) language usage whose origin I am unsure of, tho I tend to think it's Italian. The set up: an adult talking to a child, the child is distressed in some way. Adult says: "What's the matter mommy, come here" See, we have the adult female appearing to be calling the child "mommy". What is that about? I even say that to the cats. I've only heard other Italian-Americans use this but I could easily see Hispanics using this phrasing as well.

Then there is "don't start with me" which is always answered by the other person with "you know how I get", like a call and response. This phrase goes back decades with me, a friend even had a t-shirt made for me with that on phrase on it. My husband was initially puzzled by it but he quickly learned the routine. This has got to be a common saying, I'm sure I'm not the only one using it (incessantly).

Because I am a NY'er my speech is heavily laden with Yiddishisms and they don't actually travel well, What I find truly funny is when they fall trippingly off the tongue of my Boston-Irish husband. No wonder my husband's family is unfond of me; I have turned him not only into an IBM (Italian By Marriage) but a New Yorker as well. Ah, the shame of it all.

I had a list of things I say floating around in my head and now I can't seem to retrieve them, the most fun thing I wanted to share is the way I pronounce the word "floor", but I can't figure a way to describe it. When I am very angry or very tired my NY accent is so thick you could cut it with a buzz saw. Then again, there are times when I slip into a Southern accent for no apparent reason. Which is off-set by a slight British accent every once in a while.

Sometimes I think I am not only a little manic-depressive but have a slight case of MPD.
OR
Everybody does this kind of stuff and I'm just as normal as apple pie.
Right?
Thank you, I thought so.

No comments:

Post a Comment