Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Whimsical Wednesday: Conchs, Fudgies, and Other American Jargon

Though my life is currently revolving around Moon Florida Keys, I still have other responsibilities – such as my travel blog at So, while working on a glossary of regional terms for the travel guide, I was suddenly inspired to post a four-part series about the unique regional dialect (and features) of four of my favorite U.S. locales: the Florida Keys, the Everglades, New Orleans, and Michigan.

So, if you ever wanted to know (but were afraid to ask) what a no-see-um is, here's your chance!

And, of course, feel free to share the odd words and expressions unique to your neck of the woods. I'd like to be better prepared for a future visit!


TheWordWire said...

I love these kinds of language lessons! Thanks for the fun reminder of NOLA speak. There really aren't any interesting local words or expressions I can think of here. But back home in Georgia, there's a whole mess of 'em.

I'll go with MASH as an example. As in, I'm fixin to mash on the "post comment" button.

Laura Martone said...

Glad you enjoyed the lesson, Wordy! I love learning new words, especially if they assist me in traveling through this crazy country. NOLA and the South, in general, have some wonderful expressions. I can imagine that Georgia is rich with them.

Las Vegas, OTOH, isn't really a hotbed of jargon. At least as far as I can remember. Admittedly, I often have trouble remembering what I do in Sin City - all those slot machine sounds and clockless walls do something weird to my brain.

Becky said...

As you know I really enjoyed those posts! I think N.O. has the most colorful language!!

I'm afraid Oregon is pretty lacking in regional dialect, but we DO call just about the whole USA "back East". I also love hearing about the "snow level" (rain/snow weather term, probably prevalent throughout the West). My favorite is "water dog"... the low laying clouds that hug the mountains during rainy weather.

Donna Hole said...

In my neck of the valley we're eclectic verbally, but not original. Lets see: bagging some schwag is getting free stuff from contest give aways; and we jack (beg/borrow/steal) whatever stuff our friends/family leave lying around in a junk pile for too long. We also stay out of the stores on mothers day (welfare payday.)

That's all I can think of right now. Probably popular terminology. I'd be better a acronyms from my job that nobody else understands.

Sorry I missed you in LA. If you'd only have come up north another eight hours or so we could have had lunch.


Laura Martone said...

Becky - I agree. NOLA is one colorful town. The "language" is especially curious. Sorry Oregon isn't quite as colorful - I imagine folks in New England call your neck of the woods "out West." "Water dog" is a good one, though.

Donna - I've used "schwag" and "jack" for sure. "Welfare payday" is hilarious! BTW, you haven't missed me yet - I'm still in L.A. But only for a few more weeks...