Discovering Maine-isms

The other day I found myself sharing a story about a friend’s secret “cookie craving cash fund.” Here’s how the conversation went:

“My best friend texted me and was telling me how she had a wicked cookie craving at work …”

Then I paused, and realized what I had said — “wicked cookie craving.”

“Wait, she lives in Oregon and would never even think to use the phrase ‘wicked cookie craving,’ but boy it sure slipped out without thought from my mouth and is the perfect word to describe the situation.”

I guess I’m picking up the lingo here after all.

As I laughed, I got to thinking about all the phrases I’ve heard since moving here to Maine. Some, like “wicked,” I first heard while living in Massachusetts last year, but many are brand new and I’ve found myself trying to find ways to work them into everyday conversation. Unfortunately, that means I will probably go through an awkward phase of using these words incorrectly for awhile, but someday, maybe someday they’ll be part of my vernacular.

Bangor Daily News reporter, Emily Burnham wrote about Maine-isms last year after the  Dictionary of American Regional English was published. I haven’t heard too many on her list, but then again, it’s only been seven months so I’ll give it time.

Here’s a few of my favorites and what they’ve come to mean to me. Feel free to leave comments with your favorites but don’t forget this girl from away may need a translation.

 Away: “You’re not from around here are ya?”

The County: Anything in the wide expanse that is Aroostook County (This one I picked up on my first day or two in the newsroom because it’s so common we use it in the newspaper — capital T with a capital C of course

Right out straight: very busy (this one I’ve already used incorrectly a few times. Last night I told someone he needed to get his life “right out straight” then realized that it’s not interchangeable with “straightened out”

Stove up: Crash and burn. I first heard this one right before the Kenduskeag Canoe Race when a co-worker told me about the best place to watch canoes “stove it up”

Supper: From one of my Twitter followers @tanyapereira — Dinner = midday meal that you eat from your dinner pail at work; Supper (suppah) = evening meal

Hotter than two foxes {mating} in a wool sock*: wicked hot

*amended for the sake of keeping this a “family-friendly” blog

Natalie Feulner

About Natalie Feulner

Natalie Feulner is a journalist and “semi-crunchy” cloth diapering momma to a rambunctious toddler named after a county in California. She drinks too much tea and loves to climb rocks but not at the same time.