Thursday, March 22, 2012

Boston Speak

After thirty- some years in New Mexico I must confess I find "Burqueno" more natural than Bostonian. But during George's visit, both accents provided a lot of amusement for all involved. Annie D, who spent many years there (we met at the fabled Childrens' Zoo-- use search bar for "Real Zoo" tales)-- sent a long email forward of hilarious Bostonese pronunciation and usage. I have been unable to find a link, but a few examples and reactions from former and present Bostonians are irresistible.

"How to say these Massachusetts city names correctly (Say it wrong and be shunned).
Worcester : Wuhsta (or Wistah)
Gloucester : Glawsta
Leicester : Lesta
Woburn : Woobun
Dedham : Dead-um
Revere : Re -vee-ah
Medford: Meffud (or Meffit- see below)

Frappes are made with ice cream; milkshakes are not.
If it is carbonated and flavored, it is tonic.
Soda means CLUB SODA.
Pop refers to DAD.
When we want Tonic WATER, we will ask for TONIC WATER. [SB: Hell no: "WATTA"]
The smallest beer is a pint.
Scrod is whatever they tell you it is, usually fish.
If you paid more than $7/pound, you got scrod.
It is not a water fountain; it is a bubblah.
It is not a trashcan; it is a barrel.
It is not a spucky, a hero, or a grinder; it is a sub.
It is not a shopping caht; it is a carriage.
It is not a purse; it is a pockabook.
They are not franks; they are haht dahgs; franks are money used Switzahland.
Police do not drive patrol units or black and whites; they drive a crewza. If you take the bus, you're on the looza crooza. It is not a rubber band; it is an elastic. It is not a traffic circle, it is a rotary."

Reactions: Paul Dinolo, who has known me since I was 13:

"Geeze Steve & Libby, that Anne is wicked smaht. It's so friggin' pissah that she knows this stuff."

Paul McCormack, no Bostonian but another old Zooey, with maybe the best:

"I remember Richard [from Medford] imitating a Medford cheerleader: “M – E – D – F – O – AH – D- Meffit!... Meffit!... Meffit!"

Dr Hypercube, who is from nearby Portsmouth:

"What? No definition of packie?"

Me: "You mean a likka stoa?"


Anonymous said...

I lived near HAHVAHD Street in Fort Collins a number of years ago. Someone had helpfully fixed up the street sign to aid the locals as to proper pronunciation.


Josh said...

I've got a slew of family in Connecticut, by virtue of an uncle who married a nurse when he got home from the War (he'd been captured at Bataan and was a POW through the war; captured at 17).

He's still there, as are his three kids and most of his grandkids.

When I last visited, everybody got a kick out of trying to pronounce my name: Josh. They held their lower lips and just laughed and laughed.

My uncle, by the way, is an Okie, and my aunt a Slovak.

I've been walking around for two days with that cheer running through my head. Sadly, all the cheerleaders look like Cliff Claven.