Thursday, September 27, 2012

Speaking Neff Roadian

Last night, totally exhausted, I took my sleepy self to bed. Snuggling under the covers........ Covers? Not until that moment, did I realize that not many people today would understand the term. Covers are blankets. Most nights my mother would say, "I'll tuck the covers in." We on Neff Road understood the language of our part of the country.

I became more aware of the different speech patterns we Neff Roadians have when reading "The Country Doctor" by Patrick Taylor. In the back of his novel is a glossary of terms. In reading the terms, I found that our Neffness had strong ties to Ireland as well as Scotland. In fact, my Johnson side of the family has origins in Scotland.

I thought you might enjoy seeing what words and phrases are common between Neff Road and the Irish heritage. Bound and determined (determined). Bun in the oven (pregnant). Cow's lick (tuft of hair standing up). Cuppa (cup of). Dead on (strong affirmative). Dibs (first claim on). Dote on (worship). Eejit (idiot). Finagle (get by devious means). Guttersnipe (ruffian). Having none of it (not allowing). I'm your man (agree to follow plan). Malarky (nonsense). Mind (remember). Muffler (long woolen scarf). Mortified (embarrassed). Not put it past (would not be surprised). On the mend (getting better). Out of kilter (out of alignment). Hold your peace (remain silent). Rightly (well enough). Rubbernecking (prying into someone business). Saying no more (final decision). Read up or ready up (clean, put into order). Take a gander (look at). Take leave of your senses (do something incredibly stupid). Tickled (very pleased). Don't give a tinker's damn (couldn't care less). Donnybrook (fight).  Take a gander (look at). Have your cake and eat it, too (trying to enjoy two exclusive options).  Hide nor hair (no trace). Long drink of water (tall and skinny).

Just a few Scottish phrases: How's it guan? (How are you?). Yer Welcome (you're welcome). Whit's this? (what's this). Heft (lift up). Speak o' the devil (talk of someone when they appear), Pure done in (tired). Yes, both languages have infiltrated other parts of the country, but a friend once told me that she was told that a good linguistics person can pinpoint a Darke Countian. For many years I was asked where I lived. Evidently, my speech patterns gave me away. When I moved to Wisconsin, I felt like a foreigner. It was truly Dutch country. We all came over on a boat somewhere along the line.

I love my roots. I love returning to a language I understand.

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