July 12th, 2006 Group Since. These guys didn’t sound like their parents; they sounded like their grandparents. ( Log Out / In general I was just comparing Boston to New York. Out of towner, “No? After walking all day in the hot sun we reached the sea and asked in the village for the nearest camp site. If it wasn’t winter in Boston, I’d suggest changing the topology by walking for several of those journeys. One reason why most of the streets on the northwest side of (current) Beacon Hill are more or less straight and intersect at right angles is because the new buildable land there was created more or less at once. This page was last edited on 4 August 2018, at 02:32. The drawings remind me to tell stories with simplicity without losing the complexity. Tourist,”Hey, Bud can you direct me to the nearest super market”? I live near you (Kenwood and Allston) in Cambridgeport. If you see a photo, and... See more. Of course, none of this is to say that a person needs to talk like Marshall Dodge or Tim Sample or Robert Skoglund, the Humble Farmer, in order to be from here, to be a Mainah, in whatever way you want that to matter. “The accent triggers a sense of home,” says Brooksville-born, Dublin-based expat Kate Vaughan. A reporter asks a farmer what he thinks about Candidate X for President. As long as I had a map (doesnt have to be in English), I’ve made my way around cities in over 50 countries worldwide. Occasionally the most direct route lay across another route, perhaps at an acute angle. The year was 1975, and Nancy — then just Hopkins, a high-school student born and raised on the island of North Haven — was one of three young people interviewed for a Maine Public Broadcasting documentary about island life. I’m visiting Maine (from PA) in September and will do my best to avoid being the next. Enjoy a sampling of the best New England jokes from our archives. When it comes to belonging to a place, how we speak to one another is ultimately less important than how well we listen. At least once or twice a week, Betty reports, a customer chides her that she must need to go back to “New England school” because she doesn’t sound “Yankee” enough to represent the brand. In his landmark 1939 Handbook of the Linguistic Geography of New England, linguist Hans Kurath explained that this part of the state had more in common linguistically with Western New England, since it was originally settled by Loyalists from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Back on North Haven, Nancy Hopkins-Davisson is now a champion for the island dialect. An embrace of mimicry also lets people practice what Hopkins calls “playing around with the accent” — being a bit of a chameleon in how you sound, depending on whom you’re talking to. Since Boston doesn’t have a strong highway or wide-thoroughfare network, there are a lot of residential streets that would get you there faster than the main roads. Coolidge, I’ve made a bet against a fellow who said it was impossible to get more than two words out of you.” President Calvin Coolidge: “You lose.”, After crossing into Vermont while traveling from New York, a tourist stops beside the road to ask a farmer, “How do get to Rutland from here? But she wouldn’t give in to the tyranny of the hard r. “No,” she told him. Driver says “How’d you get there?” Man says: “Born here”. He’s on the high ground overlooking those marshes. ", Also, as in much New England English, the final "-ing" ending in multi-syllable words sounds more like "-in," for example, in stopping [ˈstɒpɪn] and starting [ˈstaʔɪn].. “Yessah!” they will nod when agreeing. As a former Mainer and current Bostonian, I have uttered this phrase more times then I care to admit. He understood there were some regional differences in accents, the professor said, but he warned Nancy that if she said words ending in –ing — like “eating” and “swimming” — she shouldn’t pronounce them “eatin’” or “swimmin’.”, “He tried to do it nicely,” Nancy says, “but I realized, ‘Oh, you can’t do that because you sound like a hick.’”. I think European cities have been regularly flattened by way often enough that they are rebuilt slightly more sensibly each time. "The Outta Statah's Guide to Maine Slang", "English in Maine: The Mythologization and Commodification of a Dialect", "Dictionary includes words only a Mainer would use", "Maine Slang, Local Humor, And Wicked Funny Words", "Ayuh, the Northern New England Accent in a Nutshell", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Maine_accent&oldid=965005198, All Wikipedia articles written in American English, Articles with unsourced statements from September 2016, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2019, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. I’m glad to have her back, actually.”. This vocabulary includes, but is … Interesting browsing your website. Even long time residents don’t fully understand it all–I pity new residents with cars.”. Finally, her body washes up on shore weeks later, with a dozen lobsters attached. “Let’s see”…Local starts up chain saw and the city slicker asks, “What’s that noise?!”…. Did her parents complain? Then we stared in amazement at the yellow spot on the grass where our tent had been pitched. This kind of identification with a place can slow or sometimes even reverse changes to a dialect. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Where you build houses and businesses, roads follow, also opportunistically. I often wonder… what happened to all those families who stopped to ask directions and I sent off in the wrong way? Community mimicry is probably part of what makes people so critical of performances of Maine dialects: think actor Tom Bosley’s infamous version on Murder, She Wrote, or Fred Armisen and Bill Hader’s truly cringe-worthy impressions as a gay couple from Maine on Saturday Night Live. If you are visiting Maine, or if you're what we call a transplant, from away but you are now residin' heah, this list of Maine terms, local slang, and wicked Maine accents, might help you out should you find yourselves in a bit of a sticky wicket. What did she expect me to do? There is a man in a chair on the front porch. Well-known author, musician, and former television broadcaster, Jud Crandall, main character in Stephen King's 1983 novel, This page was last edited on 28 June 2020, at 21:12. In Maine specifically, Dartmouth undergraduate researcher Hannah Perry interviewed speakers in Waterville and Belfast and found a similar rate of decline in r-lessness — about 18 percent with each generation. – Gary Smiley.  The phrase "You can't get there from here," coined in an episode of the mid-1900s humor stories collection Bert & I, is a quintessential example of the principle of syllable extension. I had a car just like that, once.”, Do this in a hick accent and it’ll go over great..Old Joe says to his NH neighbor sitting on the front porch “well, think it’ll stop rainin?” “Ayuch, always does!”. The tourist asks, “Are you sure that’s the way to Rutland?” The farmer responds, “Mister, I’m not the one who’s lost.”, What do you call 18 inches of new fallen snow in Maine during April? Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. It only took a minute of quiet chatter, she says, for all 30 people aboard to realize they could talk without fear of being misunderstood. I never thought I could get "there." “It marks you out with people who don’t respect the accent. They were driving past our local cemetery, and my Dad had just asked the group that riddle, when from behind one of the stones, our cemetery caretaker who was behind one monument eating his lunch, peered around and waved at the campers. As Canadian writer Russ Cobb has noted, it’s a nostalgia that pines for a golden age of American regionalism, back when a “cah” was a “cah” and a hoagie was a hoagie. You should take me up on this. While most of the island’s residents were unconsciously shifting their vowels in one direction, a small group of fishermen, mostly young men, were resurrecting an older pronunciation of the same vowels. Or consider Down East itself, which (like most magazines of its size) employs a subscription management company to field a bulk of orders and inquiries that the magazine’s small staff can’t handle. Ha! Why do they call it Indian Summa?…..the heat is in tents! My grandfather once told her if you couldn't read with cold feet, there wouldn't be a literate soul in the state of Maine. I’m the webmaster of the Charles River Wheelmen, and an avid cyclist. From Maine humorist Joe Perham: Old mostly deaf fella with an ear trumpet is being introduced to a politician. “As the former marshes and ocean were filled, the buildings were built — on the new land, as is where is. “Once the city was filled in and built, well, there were the roads. “Henry and I will be motoring to California in the summer.” “How exciting! Can you get there from here? Evidently this truncated road could still carry them as far away and as long ago as that. Vernon, Beacon Hill and Cotton, or Pemberton, Hill), whence comes “Tremont.” The only connection to the mainland was a narrow isthmus following where Washington Street now lies and running approximately from the present Chinatown (the south end of the tadpole) through saltmarshes to what is now Roxbury where (if you drive along Blue Hill Avenue and the surrounding area, you will see)the marshes gave way to higher ground. The traditional Maine dialect has a fairly rich vocabulary. And although universal humor often depends on “the last word” concept, nowhere is this tool as effectively utilized as in New England.
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