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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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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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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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Old 01-04-2008, 07:00 PM   #11
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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"?
Picking

Gunny sack

Black top

You bet'cha I say you bet'cha!

We also have roofs...like Ruhf...not rooof.
We have creeks, not cricks.
We also eat tomatoes, not tomahtoes.

Keep 'em comin'!
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Old 01-04-2008, 07:07 PM   #12
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I thought only my St. Louis and vicinity relatives "warshed" the clothes.
They drink "sodi-pop"
I didn't really think anyone east of IL warshed anything.
When I lived in Indiana a year, they "ran the sweeper" when they vaccuumed.
And when asked a the grocery store if they had any frozen tortellini, they reply,
"Turtle-what!?!?"
I can't type that accent.
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Old 01-04-2008, 07:12 PM   #13
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I run the sweeper when I vacuum.
I vacuum when I run the Food saver
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Old 01-04-2008, 07:38 PM   #14
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I vacuum...and sweep and dust. I also vacuum the carpet, but some older folks around here vacuum the rug.
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Old 01-04-2008, 07:46 PM   #15
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Yes Radar was supposed to be from Ottumwa. James said that they had a big "M*A*S*H Day" celebration in Ottumwa one year. They invited the M*A*S*H actors to come for it. The only one who refused to come was "Radar!"

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Old 01-04-2008, 08:23 PM   #16
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Angie, do you say "crick" for "creek"?

Lee
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Old 01-04-2008, 09:31 PM   #17
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Angie, do you say "crick" for "creek"?

Lee
Creek.

My husband grew up in California and he went crickin'...
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Old 01-04-2008, 11:40 PM   #18
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I was born and raised in Des Moines Iowa and we sweep the floor with a vacume sweeper, and a crick is still a crick. Soda is acceptable for pop, and we mash the starter on the car to start it . and some of us Iowaowins still go courtin with my sweety. Pigs are called hogs and they make the smell of money to a farmer to every body else they stink. Cows are called a milk factory and a steer is T. Bone on the hoof. and we do not talk of sheep we are a beef, pork, and corn state and very proud of it.
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Old 01-05-2008, 09:52 AM   #19
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I was born and raised in Des Moines Iowa and we sweep the floor with a vacume sweeper, and a crick is still a crick. Soda is acceptable for pop, and we mash the starter on the car to start it . and some of us Iowaowins still go courtin with my sweety. Pigs are called hogs and they make the smell of money to a farmer to every body else they stink. Cows are called a milk factory and a steer is T. Bone on the hoof. and we do not talk of sheep we are a beef, pork, and corn state and very proud of it.
Isn't funny how you were raised 2 1/2 hours from me and we talk differently! Could be a generation gap to blame as well!
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Old 01-05-2008, 10:42 AM   #20
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St. Louis is only an hour an a half from here, and "you bet'cha" we speak differently. We do "warsh" clothes (fortunately not on a scrub board like my grandma) and run the sweeper.

Dave, have you ever been out in a cornfield on a still, hot, humid summer night to hear the corn grow? You can actually hear it pop and rustle as it grows.
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