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Old 01-04-2008, 11:24 AM   #1
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ISO Iowans

As you all know, I'm writing a book about my dad's life growing up on a farm in Iowa. It's going well, but it's been a long time since I've been there, and I need some help with the dialect and local colquealisms.

For instance, do you say:

"I'm gonna plow that field," or "I'm going to plow that field"...
"That fella's plumb lazy," or "That man is very lazy"...

I remember they call soda "pop", but anything else you can think of would be a help.

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Old 01-04-2008, 12:16 PM   #2
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Hmmm, I say, I'm gonna (do something) and I'm from PA. I call a Coke pop, but 2 hours south of me in Pittsburgh they call it soda..... and say gumband rather than rubberband..... I'm not sure dialect is state specific.
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Old 01-04-2008, 02:01 PM   #3
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They call soda "pop" all over the midwest.

I grew up in Iowa but not on a farm. We called the thing over your head a "roo-uf" and the white stuff from a cow "melk."

But living in Boston has cleared my memory bank of much else ...
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Old 01-04-2008, 04:38 PM   #4
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James has a definite mid-west sound in his speech. It isn't strong enough to call an accent, but there is a definite difference. One of the things I have noticed, mainly with men, is what I call the "mid-west pause." Not all men talk that way but my dad (from central Missouri) and James (from Ottumwa, Iowa) both do it. My dad is especially bad about it. You think he is finished talking, but he is just pausing for a breath (or 7). It always irked him that we would start talking when he wasn't finished. It was so hard to tell sometimes though! James takes shorter pauses than my dad does, but there is still a pause. Not in every sentence, of course, but pretty much at least one per (if it were written) paragraph.

Speaking of James, he just got home from Columbia and wants to take me to Taco Bell (woohoo!), so I will see if he has anything to add when we get home.

Barbara
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Old 01-04-2008, 05:31 PM   #5
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Ottumwa, Iowa. Why does that ring a bell?
Was "Radar" from there?
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Old 01-04-2008, 05:48 PM   #6
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Could be, Pacanis. Ottumwa is just south of Des Moines. My dad grew up in Bondurant, which was just north of Des Moines.

Now that I think about it, Barbara, my dad did that to some degree.

Jenny, that really helped. I'm thinking of the accent of the North Dakotans and Minnesotans and moving south.

You all have helped with the dialogue...Thank you very much!
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constance View Post
As you all know, I'm writing a book about my dad's life growing up on a farm in Iowa. It's going well, but it's been a long time since I've been there, and I need some help with the dialect and local colquealisms.

For instance, do you say:

"I'm gonna plow that field," or "I'm going to plow that field"...
"That fella's plumb lazy," or "That man is very lazy"...

I remember they call soda "pop", but anything else you can think of would be a help.
Hmm...I've lived here in Iowa all of my 36 yrs...

I'm gonna plow the field...well, I don't plow fields but if I DID...
That man is lazy.
We drink pop
We wear tennies, not sneakers.
We WASH our clothes. We don't warsh them.

Throw more at me!

Oh...and I write like I talk...if that helps any.
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
Ottumwa, Iowa. Why does that ring a bell?
Was "Radar" from there?
I love M*A*S*H...Radar was from Ottumwa.
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:46 PM   #9
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Thanks, Angie! I haven't had time to Google it yet, but it was going to bug me all night if I didn't find out

That's another one you mentioned, too. People in Pgh, PA say warsh, people up here by the lake say wash. I just think this dialect is an interesting topic. Kind of like Michael and his pronunciation polls... pecahn, pecaan, pehcan.... whatever Accents are one thing, but people in the southern part of my state have the same accent as I do, they just talk differently. I wonder if the different dialect holds true, or rather the pronunciation of words holds more true through other states. No matter what part of the stae you are from. Hmmmm
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:54 PM   #10
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Thanks for the reply, Angie.

Would you say pickin' or picking?

Gunny sack or toe sack?

Black top or hard road?

Do you say, "You bet'cha"?
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