When you move from the South to the North, you’re bound to get some funny looks. I’m a Texas girl through-and-through, but add my seven years in Arkansas to that and I can really get my Suuuthrn on! Give me boots and jeans, some Texas country music and a little two-step, and I’m a happy girl. So, when my family decided to move North (as in almost-to-the-Canadian-border-North) from Arkansas, we pulled ourselves up by our boot-straps and got goin’.
In Wiscaaansin (or Wisconsin, if you prefer), my family and I get a lot of versions of the question, “Where are yuu all fraaam?” And when we speak, there looks of complete confusion at our pronunciation and terms (like we’re speaking a totally different language…our own little version of English, I suppose), and usually lots of giggles.
Like a circus side-show, we get requests to say words like FLAG (rather than “flaegg”), JOB (instead of “jaaab”), WISCONSIN (not “Wiscaaansin”), and even re-learning city names that we thought we knew how to say, like Green BAY rather than GREEN Bay, or OreGON instead of ORegon.
Even when I try to sound more native to these northern states, I sound more like I’m just making fun of my new friends. It comes out sounding too nasaly or with the emphasis just a little off kilter.
So, I’ve decided that since I can’t seem to completely join them…I’ll just stick to my southern roots while living here in the northern Midwestern U.S. By golly, I’ll embrace being the only girl in the neighborhood coffee shop greeting people with “hey, y’all,” and showing my appreciation with a hearty “thaynks a laaat!” I’ll keep the southern twang that makes me sound more like a Georgia Peach at times than a Texan, but who knows and who cares up here! I’ll keep enjoying the grins and shared looks I get even when I think I’m keeping my Suuuthrn talk under wraps. And, I’ll continue to repeat myself (complete with hand motions, when necessary) when my new neighbors can’t seem to understand a single word I’m saying.
It’s all gooood, y’all!
Make it a great day,