Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Mama said what???
My Grandmother raised me. My Grandmother was from rural Kentucky. Kentuckians or at least my Grandma, have their own special language. For years I truly believed if I went outside in a storm, especially one with lightning, or if I sat in (not near or by..always in... even though it was in a chair near) a window during a storm, that I would die instantly. How would this occur you may ask...simple. I would be lexicuted. I also knew that I would die if I touched a cat during a thunderstorm (they always had to be put outside during storms) , used scissors, or sewed. How would this happen one wonders and why did the cats have to be outside? It would draw lightning to you; and of course lightning lexicutes you!
I would always be kittled, if you rode in a car over nails you got a flat tar.
In elementary school (moved to FL also noted for dialect issues) I would always be made fun of when I said certain words because the Kentucky accent never really left. Words pronounced Grandma style like home, phone, bone, tone had a slightly different inflection and a drawn out "eau" sound...kind of like, but not quite like, the word faux. Hauxm, Fauxn,Bauxn, Tauxn...just something you have to hear to believe. Also the fireman did not put out the fire. No sirree Bob! The farman put out the far on the far side of the mountain. It took me a while to understand dee and day. Examples of how this can happen you ask? Sure thing! It's Mondee, but we write it Monday; Sairdee, but we write it Saturday! So the days of the week are really....Mondee, T-yewsdee, Winsdee, Thursdee, Fridee, Sairdee and Sundee. All this was going on in my poor rattled elementary school-aged head. It was YEARS before I fully comprehended that lexicuting was electrocuting. I could spell electrocuting though! I wasn't really sure why we spelled the days of the week differently than we pronounced them either.
As far as countries go...Italy was Itlee, Mexico was MexEco, I'm sure there were other fun country pronunciations but I can't remember now.
Food was pretty normal...biscuits, gravy, cookies, puhtaytah (potato) chips, soda pop, tail toters (we didn't eat those) pulley bones, ribby back, little back, hoe cakes, johnny cake, corn pones, fried potatoes, sweet milk, light bread, oleemargerine, store bought cake, rashers of bacon, searal (cereal), pot liquor, pink gravy, red eye gravy, city ham, country ham, swish cheese, rocafort dressing, we had boh-wuhld aigs (boiled eggs)...we could never drink milk while eating fish cheese grits were even suspect....if you need an interpretation just ask; but not about the fish because I don't remember why. The ban was uneasily lifted when I kept coming home from school alive after eating fish sticks with cheese grits and drinking milk.
Dressing was always fun...When I was very young my shoes were brogans! I didn't wear jeans I wore blue jeans (no matter the color). There were pinafores, pants or britches, dickeys, T-shirt dresses, gauchos, culottes, saddle oxfords, sandals (with socks of course!) pantyhose, sup hose, petticoats, half slips, full slips, paten leather shoes (patent), high heeled shoes, tennis shoes or sneakers, moon boots, chukka boots, house shoes, pajahmas, night gowns, Sundee best, play clothes, school clothes, they were brassieres and never bras. We had anklets (ankle socks), knee socks or tube socks. We had drawers not panties.
For beauty and cleanliness there was rouge, face powder, cologne, sweet oil (ear cleaning olive oil), oil of olay (oh-wuhl is how you pronounce oil) toe nail polish, lip stick, Sairdee night baths and spit baths.
I miss mama! She put onion-teen ointmunt (unguentine ointment) on my burns, vicks salve on my chest, muhcureahcrome (mercurochrome) on my cuts, she festered out stickers with egg shell lining, drew pus sores to a head with a hot wash rag, and all colds were cured with hot toddies. When I was cold I had goose bumps, and if my skin was splotchy purple with cold it was pidey or all pidey lookin. (no clue!!)
I acted growney up, or sassy, or too big for my britches.
We had lighting bugs, we cut the grass, there were piss ants, sugar ants, far ants...ants were ants but our Aunts were aints. Aint Sally, Aint Lil (leah...again no clue)
We got to it dreckly (directly) things were over yonder, way over yonder, way way over yonder or not far. God was in heaven, the Devil was in hell and I had no idea who Satan was.
I still say things funny!!!
But I am alive because I was never lexicuted, not even once even though our cats stay inside!