Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's a what? and Colloquialisms.

On Sundays, I usually make a hhuugeee something so Josh and I don't have to make our lunches during the week. It's a good system. Josh and I don't tend to get sick of food quickly, so eating the same thing for 7 days isn't an issue.

This past Sunday, I was making a huge Shepherd's pie and was running out of clean pots and pans and thought I didn't have one big enough for what I wanted, but then found one that looked like it would work. I turned the burner on, threw in some oil and onions and the onions started burning. I was confused. This had never happened before, it's pretty hard to burn anything in these pans.

I showed the burn marks to Josh and he was confused and disappointed too and we figured we'd check out the warranty and take care of it. NBD. Well, after I left to go home, Josh made a startling discovery while doing the dishes.. it wasn't actually a pan, it was a lid! It looks just like a pan (except it didn't have one long handle, it had two shorter, wing handles on either side) and apparently a little inscription that says "this is not a pan" or whatever. Josh got all the burnt stuff off and the lid is good to go.. as a lid and not a pan.

Too bad, really. It was a great size.

Josh and I grew up in pretty different areas of Michigan. I grew up quite rural, classic small town America with fishing contests, tractor parades, and pie auctions. Josh grew up in more "urbanized" areas like Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor.

While there are many differences, probably the most amazing difference is the difference in language and random colloquialisms. For example: Josh went with my family and me to a visitation for a dead relative. In the parking lot of the funeral home, a woman told my mom she hadn't seen her "in a coon's age". Josh had never heard this before! Pretty classic statement (similar to "when Hector was a pup"). But Josh wasn't quite sure what it meant and wanted to know how long a coon's age is.

Another phrase he had never heard was "bull in a china shop". He claims it's because I mumble and it sounds like bowl not bull. Don't believe him.

Most recently, I used the phrase "one bad apples spoils to whole bunch". It was actually in regards to a bag of apples I purchased where most of them were icky. But, Josh had no idea that such a useful phrase existed!

It's all fair, I suppose since he says things I don't understand mainly because it's hard to tell if it's a good word or bad word. Most recently, janky. He said something was janky and I didn't know if he liked it or didn't.

We usually figure out what we mean. I'm pretty sure he'll never pick up my y'all and all y'all habit, and I have no intention whatsoever of picking up some of his vocab.

I think the topic of premarital counseling this week is communication. Ha. :)


  1. Haha ... we run into this all the time! Lin's from a really rural area of Ohio. I'm sure he's all up on the "coon's age" saying. I have a friend from Battle Creek and she's always saying "jank" and "janky." I'd never heard it until I met her!

  2. I never really thought if it before, but the more I'm out in the world, the more I find that to be true. I understand you both, growing up in a small-ish town next to an "urbanized" area. Translation services available upon request :)

  3. In urban areas "coon's age" sounds like it could be racist. We don't say "coon" very much at all.
    However, those of us in urban areas that know what is what say "ya'll" because it is totally transgender inclusive by being all gender neutral and everything. Ya'll is where it is at.