Did you know that the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s recently completed Dictionary of American Regional English, which collects words used across the country by region, dedicated an entire section to the state of Maine? Here’s why:
What if, strolling through the produce department at a local Maine grocer, you overheard this?
“As much as I wanna serve lawbstah with buttah, bean suppahs are the best fundraisahs for the fiah depahtment. Dem fiahmen love their pahster and tahmaytah sauce. Innit the truth?!”
If you’re “from away,” which is a phrase we Mainers use to say “not from around here,” you may not understand what all that means. But just like with our “lobstah dinnahs,” we’re proud of our dialect. To help you understand native Mainers a bit better, we’ve compiled a quick guide to our favorite “Maine-isms”:
L.L.Bean’s Top Ten Maine-isms
1. From away Not from around here, a visitor: “Jack doesn’t know how to trap a lobstah, he’s from away.”
Bonus: Flatlander Tourists or those who inhabit lower elevations or latitudes: “The beaches were crowded with flatlanders, but they’ll be headin’ home by Monday.”
2. Wicked Synonym for very or extremely: “After the blizzahd the roads wah wicked slick.”
3. Ankle biter A small child: “I got two ankle biters at home.”
4. Jeezum crow An expression of shock, akin to “oh my!”: “Jeezum crow, it’s teeming out there!”
Bonus: Teeming Heavy rain.
5. Ayuh Yup, sure, you got it: “Did you remember to pick up milk?” “Ayuh.”
6. Upta camp Traveling to a lakeside cottage or cabin: “We’re headed upta camp to do some castin’ this weekend.”
7. Bah Hahbah, Auguster, Pawtlind, Bittifid Popular towns and cities of Maine (Bar Harbor, Augusta, Portland, Biddeford): “I’ve gaht siblins in Bah Hahbah, Auguster and Pawtlind.”
8. Scooch To move over a smidge: “Scooch over, make room for your brothah.”
9. Tipping To pick fir boughs for wreaths: “We went tipping out in the woods last weekend.”
10. Stove up To be injured, messed up or broken: “Jane fell skiin’ – she’s all stove up!”
If you have a hankerin’ for more Maine-isms, check out this extensive list from The Bangor Daily News.
Do you know any Maine-isms? What are your favorites?