In Plainspoken English,
America's Still Whopperjawed


by Joe Sharkey, as appeared in The New York Times; November 16, 1997

		Ask any computer expert trying to design workable voice-recognition
	technology for standard American English:  Despite predictions that
	Americans would all be speaking by now in a bland, homogenized dialect of
	network TV newscasters, the United States remains a country of stubbornly
	presisten regoinal accents, idioms, and slang.
		"Regional differences i pronunciation remain, as do differences based on
	social class, occupation, ethnic group, gender," says Allan Metcalf, a
	professor at MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Ill., and the executive
	director of hte American Dialect Society.  "That's because if people have
	to choose between talking like the TV and talking like their friends,
	they'll choose their friends (or be laughed at by them.)"
		Near Philadelphia, Michael Lawrence Ellis III, an amateur linguist
	fascinated by accents and regionalisms, publishes  a series of regional
	handbooks under the title of "Slanguistics", and maintains a popular web
	site (www.slanguage.com) that collects regional pronunciations and phrases
	from correspondents all across the country.  Here are some recent ones
	(syllable inflections were not provided)

	ATLANTA
		Ahm feelin' puny (I don't feel well)
		Fizzshoe (If I were you ...)
		Mash the button (Press the button)
		Tick a rat (Make a right turn)
		Warshin' patter (Laundry detergent)

	AUSTIN, TX
		You sure clean up nice (You are looking very good today)
	
	BALTIMORE
		Ball Mer Orals (The local baseball team)
		Chest Peek (The large bay)
	
	BANGOR, ME
		Hee Yah (Here)
		Numb as a hake (Not too bright)
		Rafts Snappah (A cold night)
		They Yah (There)

	BOSTON
		Carpet softwah (Corporate software)
		Frappe (Milkshake)
		Had licka (Hard liquor)
		Saddie (The day after Friday)
		Shots (Summer clothing)

	BUCKNER, MO
		Bile (To bring water to 212 degrees)
	
	CHARLOTTE, NC
		Cement pon (A swimming pool)
		Hose pahp (Hose pipe: a garden hose)
	
	CHICAGO
		Cheek Ah Ga (Name of the City)
		Gapers blocl (Traffic Jam caused by gawkers)
		Graaj (Where a car is kept)
	
	CLEVELAND
		Warsh and wrench (Wash and rince)
	
	DALLAS
		All y'all (plural of y'all)
		Ah stay (iced tea)
		Flustrated (Flustered and frustrated)
		Pa (Pie)

	DES MOINES, IA
		Quote a little (Quite a lot)
		Snirt (Muddy snow)
	
	GETTYSBURG, PA
		Dreckly (Directly)
		Meer (A looking glass)
		Torst (Any of the visitors flocking over to the battlefield)

	HONOLULU
		Stinkeye (A dirty look)
		Vog (Volcanic Haze)
	
	HOUSTON
		Bayer (A beverage made of hops)
		Hatty (A greeting)
		Marka (The United States of ...)
		Pars (A town in Texas.  Also capital of France)
		Awful Tar (Famous tall structure in Pars, France)
	
	INDIANAPOLIS
		Whopperjawed (Crooked or uneven)
		
	JACKSONVILLE, FL
		Aint (Married to your uncle)
		Baiches (Beside the ocean)
		Churn (Children)
	
	JERSEY 
		Snot yer smine (It isn't yours; it's mine)
		Treh-uhn (The state capital)

	KANSAS CITY
		Can City (Name of the town)
		Pert near (Almost)

	KNOXVILLE, TN
		Air (What 60 minutes equals one of)
		You-uns (Y'all, Tennessee-style)
	
	LITTLE ROCK, AK
		Stars (Used to get to the second floor)
		Yet yet?  (Have you eaten yet?)
		You-ins (Y'all, Arkansas style)

	LOS ANGELES
		Gummer (Senior citizen)
		Trading paint (A highway fender-bender)
	
	LOUISVILLE, KY
		Dubby Day (Day of the Kentucky Derby)
		I'm kinner huh (I'm related to her)
		Tucky (Name of the state)

	MEMPHIS, TN
		Fur show (Yes, indeed)
		Miffus (Name of the city)
	
	MILWAUKEE
		Dairy air (The springtime smell of cow manure in the fields)
		Sudsy or barley-pop (Beer)
		Ya, hey?  or Aina hey? - (At the end of a sentence: "Do you 
			understand?")

	MINNEAPOLIS
		Can you borrow me a quarter?  (Can you lend me one?)
		Frizzle (Icy drizzle)
		Snizzle (Half snow, half rain)

	NASHVILLE
		Hail (Opposite of heaven)
		
	NEW ORLEANS 
		Poach (The platform in front of the house where the rocking swing is)
		Where yat? (What's up?)
		
	NEW YORK CITY
		Cawna Fish Treat (Corner of Fifth Street)
		Gnome sane? (Do you know what I'm saying?)
		Huh (Opposite of him)
		Mel pew? (May I help you?)
		Reg you la caw fee (Coffee with milk, no sugar)
		Washda closendaws (Warning from subway conductors)
		Whaddya, whaddya? (I am dumbfounded by your audacity)

	OKLAHOMA CITY
		Lack trick come knee (Electric company)
	
	OMAHA, NEB.
		Janked (Messed up)
	
	PHILADELPHIA
		Chimany (What Santa comes down)
		Fluffya (The name of the city)
		Iggle (A majestic bird;  namesake of local football team)
		Mayan (Opposite of yours)
		Pork (A wooded recreational area)
		Tail (What you use to dry off with after a shower)
		Widges (Not against you at all)
		Sum eye giss (Something like this)

	PITTSBURGH
		Dawntawn (South of uptown)
		Keller (Color)
		Liar (Lawyer)
	
	RALEIGH, NC
		Rat chair (Right there)
	
	RICHMOND, VA
		Spacial (Special)
		Whale (Where you get water from the ground)

	ST. LOUIS
		Narmal (Not abnormal)
		Slider (Hamburger)

	SALT LAKE CITY
		Tell (Same as "tail" in Philadelphia)
		Ustacould (Was once able to)
	
	SAN FRANCISCO
		Berzerk Lee (Nearby Berkley)
		Breeder (Heterosexual)

	WASHINGTON, DC
		Amma lambs (Emergency vehicle for the sick and injured)
	






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