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Tuesday, February 26, 2019

I'm a Stranger Here Myself

I’ve lived in and around Boston for nearly 40 years. This is my home and I fuckin’ love it. Yeah sure, February here sucks mondo Bantha wang but, HEY, it’s a short month.

Now, you know I’m a language freak. The Boston area has supplied me with a plethora, a bottomless cornucopia of mega interesting words and phrases. Some I’ve adopted purposely, others crept in and fiercely grabbed hold.

A sampling, a taste:
I’m calling in sick
I’m calling off sick
I’m bangin’ in

Also, you don’t simply make a u-turn or turn left here, you bang a uey and you bang a left.

Meanwhile, the Urban Dictionary tells me that banging in means staying at home with your honey for a night of sexytime. OoooKay.

Let’s go
Let’s move
Let’s book

This one's not just a Boston phrase. The Dutch use it too.
'boeken' (infinitive). Usually used in a context such as let's book which would in Dutch be we boeken 'm or laten we 'm boeken; we use it pretty much only when we mean " let's get out of here quickly" (source)
I was so angry
I was incandescent with rage
I was bullshit

We crass Bostonians can get right to the point ‘cause, ya know, if you’ve become a fresh steaming pile of male cow poo, you’re OBVS boiling over with the white hot fury of a thousand exploding suns. Amiright OR amiright!

We’re going to the mall
We’re headed to the mall
We’re goin’ down the mall

Can also be phrased as down ‘a mall.
N.b., we also, often, go down the Cape.

That’s very nice!
That’s SO cool!
That’s wicked pissa!

While I’ve taken many phrases, expressions and attitudes as my own, I just never got this one. I understand wicked as an intensifier and use it with abandon but pissa (pisser)? Nope. I just can’t think of piss as anything but…ya know, pee-pee.

You're gonna want to be careful ordering coffee around here. A regular coffee is one with cream and two sugars. //shudder// Silly me, I thought regular referred to size.

I’m done.
I won’t be ordering more.
I’m ready to go.
I’m all set.

This confuses non-Massholes. Why? It's abundantly clear (to me anyway).

Eastie is East Boston
Southie is South Boston
Rozzie is Roslindale
Mefid is Medford
Weymouth is Southie with trees

Anything with Dorchester in the name can be shortened to Dot. e.g., Dorchester Avenue is Dot-av.
And anything Westa (west of) Woosta or Wistah (Worcester) is considered Midwest. Of course.
"I think a Bostonian would much rather go north or south than east to west. There is a sense that anything west of Rte. 495 needs a passport and currency control."
~ John Mullin, director of the Center for Economic Development, UMass-Amherst

The Irish Riviera is the South Shore from Nantasket Beach to Sandwich. Scituate (Jen’s home town!) is said to be ground zero.
A scrappy, anvil headed kid, I fell out of my share of apple trees and threw my share of snowballs at passing cars on the south shore of Boston in a town called Marshfield, that we sarcastically referred to as "Marshvegas" because it was like most of the suburbs along the Irish Riviera , small, homogeneous, and boring."
-- Kevin Connolly
I want the T-shirt!

By the by, when Jen goes up to the liqua stoah, she’s goin’ to the Packy (i.e., package store).  Naturally.

I'll never completely sound like a native BUT at least I can follow the score. Ya know?

Dirty Water – The Standells


  1. Suddenly, I have catch phrases from "The Departed" going through my head.

    Regionalisms are fun.

    I took a test online a few years back, and even though those things never seem accurate, this thing told me my regionalisms were 50% mid-west and 50% southern, which is just about right considering where I've lived.

    1. :-) This one mebbe?
      "I don't want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me."

      You're not originally from Houston? Where else have you lived? Tell me a story :-)

    2. Born in Omaha, Nebraska, and I went back there for law school, thinking it might be where I'd end up. One winter changed my mind (plus I still had a girlfriend in Houston). Moved back to Houston, lost the girlfriend anyway, and have been here ever since. I don't regret the return. I'm not a good driver on dry streets, let alone ice.

    3. I wish I'd spent more time in Houston when I was in Texas. I was with a traveling carnival though – time was not my own. Apart from the steambath weather, it seemed like it could be pretty interesting/fun.