Colloquialism is described in Webster’s as a word or phrase that is not formal or literary and is typically used in ordinary or familiar conversations. That even sounds complicated.
I am from the south, the true south of the United States of America. And by true south, as explained only by someone from the true south, that means east of the Mississippi River and below the Mason-Dixon Line. While some people feel that part of the country can be more gentile, they can also be more scrappy than most.
As I have lived in other parts of the country, my southernisms have been known to turn a head or two. Most people just look at you like a deer in headlights. All southernisms are local terms or phrases we use in the south that we all understand what they mean. Proper name for them is colloquialism, a $5 word. A $5 word is big word, a hard to pronounce word, a dictionary looking up word or a very proper word nobody really uses. One of the most famous southernism we get teased about is a phrase we use that means we are getting ready to do something. That phrase is “fixin to” ex. I am fixin to get dressed. I am fixin to cook up a mess of beans. That means I am going to cook a large pot of beans. There is even a certified dictionary for southernisms but I have read some of those and some of those are ridiculousness that somebody just made of to make us look even more silly.
Linda G Hill with Streams of Consciousness gave us the prompt for this week of “bone”. My first thought was fighting words – huh? When someone ticked you off but yet they were not present, the next time you saw them you would yell across the room “Hey, I gotta bone to pick with you“. Then they knew they were in trouble with a capital T. That phrase may be used lots of places but I know the south does use it frequently. In doing research on the phrase, they linked it to bone of contention going back as far as the 1500 with the idea of two dogs fighting over the same tasty bone.
I gave Mimi and knuckle bone I got from a local butcher and she turned her nose up at it. Guess she is too sophisticated for the real thing and prefers her “chicken bone”.
Who am I to judge? She is happy, I am happy. Its all good.
And in closing, I remind myself and others to always be kind. You never know when that stranger may be an angel in disguise.
One thought on “Colloquialism, A $5 word – #SoCS”
I used fixin to a lot as well. I am not a true Southerner though. Just something I picked up over time.