Wednesday, May 2, 2007


About a month ago, Roy was walking around the house. He'd sit, then get up. Make a phone call. Get on the computer.
"I just can't light anywhere" he said. This was the day of our car accident and he had already confessed that he thought he had whiplash. Upon this comment, I said he needed to go to the doctor. He was perplexed.
"Why?" he asked.
"'Light'? You can't 'Light' anywhere? That doesn't make any sense." I continued to correct him on different phrases he MEANT to say. He continued to look at me, baffled.

The following Monday I went to work and Susan, my office mate from Eastern Kentucky validated that no, Roy's comment was not a sign of a concussion.

After 7 years of living in Kentucky, I am still confused by things people say. Here are a few things I have learned.

* * * * *

"Do what?" can be a response to anything.

"That flower is very pretty."
"Do what?"

"I'm getting married at the end of the month"
"Do what?"

"I quit!"
"Do what?"

* * * * *

Recently, my afore mentioned office mate, Susan, was talking about her son and his girlfriend staying with her in her one bedroom apartment. I asked if she had enough room and she said, "oh, I'll put 'em on a nail." She laughed when she saw the blank look on my face. She explained that before people had closets, they would pound large nails in the walls to hold their clothes. Therefore, when they had guests but not enough room they would say they would "put 'em on a nail."

* * * * *

The definition of pitiful is sad, not pathetic.

* * * * *

Another co-worker of mine came in to reserve the Board Room for a very secret, very special event and she didn't want her name attached to it.
"Put it under my maiden name" she said, "Hurl."
"Hurl?" I asked, thinking this poor, poor girl. "H - U - R- L?"
"No, she said, "Hurl" as in the Lexington Herald-Leader."

* * * * *

Bacon grease is to be kept in a jar for things like frying chicken and okra.

* * * * *

Good mashed potatoes require at least 1T butter per potato.

* * * * *

Macaroni and Cheese is a side dishes and in some cases is considered a vegetable.

* * * * *

To some members of Roy's family, I am known as "Miss Anna", just as Roy's grandma is known as "Miss Jean". I find this particularly endearing.

* * * * *

Bluegrass music is tradition, not a fad started by "Oh Brother Where Art Thou?"

* * * * *

"I don't care to" actually means yes.

"Will you babysit Sophie tonight?"
"I don't care to."

I'm sure there are many more phrases and sayings that I've forgotten and even more that will continue to confuse me. This is just one of the many reasons I love living here. The culture is rich and deep and the people are kind and polite in a southern hospitality kind of way. I'd by lying if I said I don't miss my northern ways - my "weird, northern" food and flat plains talk. But I love that accent, that phraseology. I guess it makes me feel a part of something. I hope I never run out of surprises and I have no doubt that one day, I will giddily exclaim, "I just can't light anywhere - I'm higher than a Georgia pine!"


kclblogs said...

That's hilarious!! And so interesting. I really liked this post.

AnnaMarie said...

Thank, Katie! I'm sure you'll have your own "Georgia-speak" in no time!

Strangeite said...

It took no time to turn you into a Kentucky girl, complete with blue blood running through your veins.

Anonymous said...

Hey - you can't forget liable. As in, "My grandmother is liable to come over, so I shouldn't leave the house." This one still bewilders me and I was born here. Good luck finding that usage in a dictionary. I love you more than a speckled pup, which is a bit more than a bushel and a peck!