I Say! Where Might YOU Be From? A Question of Pronunciation and Colloquialisms; What, What!

Awhile ago, I took a clickbait internet quiz to see where I was from based on how I spoke. Did I say, “Coke” or “soda” or “pop” for a sugary, carbonated beverage? “Ay-pri-cot” or “a-pri-cot” to describe a fuzzy fruit? “Rooooof” or “ruhf;” “crick” or “creek;” “malk” or “melk” or “milk…”

Photo by slon_dot_pics on Pexels.com

The neat thing about this highly-scientific and accurate test was that the designers included a map with a target-type graphic. Every answer I gave sent the reticule to one location or another around the United States. And, believe me, mine was flying all over. My saying one thing suggested East Coast; another said somewhere in the ocean; perhaps the program was trying for England? I felt a bit proud that I couldn’t be placed -probably a relic of my younger years when I really wanted to be a secret agent.

Recently, however, my friend corrected how I said, “Appalachian.” I’d learned to say the ‘a’ before the ‘chian’ with a long vowel sound: “A-ppa- lay-shan.”
“How’d you say that?” she demanded. “It’s ‘A-ppa-lah-shan.'”
I thought to correct her. This had to be an accent thing since she’s from The South. Then, I used my ol’ phonetic skills and thought, Ya know; I think she’s right

Still, I’ve heard how the newscasters have been throwing around, “Ne-vah-da” and “Or-eh-gone” lately. I can be smug in knowing those are “Ne-va-da” and “Or-eh-gun.” Right?

Photo by Stephan Müller from Pexels

It’s true that certain regions pronounce certain locations a certain way. There’s good reason for that know-how with some of those. For example, I have no idea how to say, ‘Worcestershire.’ Of course, visitors to Utah are sure to butcher ‘Mantua’ or ‘Tooele.’ Do you know how to say them?

Besides honing my spy skills further, I’m curious: what are some strange names of cities or landmarks near you? What are some odd ways your community pronounces some everyday words?

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Here’s my postings for the past week:
Monday, December 28: Wrote “Re-Resolution” in the early morning hours, then posted a quote that might be by Mother Teresa.

Tuesday, December 29: Shared “We-Resolution” to encourage more humorous limericks.

Thursday, December 31: Wrote another update on Coronavirus life at home. You know, now that I’m not at home so often.

Sunday, January 3: Poemed whilst in a dismal mood. Cancer sucks.

Monday, January 4: Shared a quote by Glennon Doyle.

Tuesday, January 5: Wrote yet another bad limerick. You all need to enter the A Mused Poetry Contest to put a stop to them!

I also posted random thoughts of mine on my motherhood site.

©2021 Chelsea Owens

Honest-To-Goodness

Maybelline hadn’t been at the property fer long afore she knowed why they called it The Ranch. The smell alone was enough to put a gal off her vict’als, fer sure. She’d never seen or smelled outbuildin’s what could have their stink seen afore a body could smell ’em. But even the honest smell o’ horses wasn’t what told her.

It was the look of it all. Wild weavin’ grasses danced and clumped round lonely, broken fence posts. The wildflowers filled in the rest -at least, what wasn’t already filled by the Apens and Cedars.

The crownin’ glory of ev’rythin’ was the house. She leaned a bit, sure. She needed some paint what to make her decent. Maybelline even suspected a hole or few in the roof as she’d seen a bunch o’ sparrows take flight as she stomped up the path.

Still, a ranch couldn’t bear to keep such a name without use and purpose. That was the very reason Maybelline had made sure to ask around in town about settin’ up.

“Ah need a handyman, a-course,” she’d told the gossipy postwoman. “And I’ll be wan’in’ a few animals once he can patch up stalls or whatever else needs fixin’.”

“Sure, sure,” Postwoman Gloria had nodded. “You migh’ wanna post on the job board, yonder.”

Maybelline had, knowin’ full well Gloria would pass word ‘long much faster’n a postin’.

Sure shootin’, she’d barely stepped inter the house an hour later afore she heard callin’ from outside the warped kitchen winder. A waverin’ shadow became a solid form of a man against lunchtime sun as she walked back out to the wide, dusty porch.

He removed an honest-to-goodness cowboy hat, placed it against his chest. “Ma’am.”

Well, I do declare, Maybelline thought. “Howdy,” she answered, and smiled.

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Submitted for the Carrot Ranch Free-Write Contest.