Who knew when I moved here I would have to learn a whole new language. After all, I didn’t leave the country. I just moved south. I’ve lived in the south before but this is totally different than the genteel south of my youth where if you didn’t address your elders with ‘ma’am’ or ‘sir’ you were just ignored.
This is entirely different.
The dialect is totally unique. Not just the accent but the syntax of the language.
I understand the accent. I understand the different emphasis on the syllables. INsurance instead of insSURance….REcycle instead of reCYCLE.
But what are still completely baffling to me are the idioms.
Down here you don’t ‘call in sick’ to work you ‘call out sick’ or ‘call off work’. (Does that mean everyone in the office gets a day off because work was ‘called off’?)
When things are broken they ‘needs fixed’ (and if you are thinking, like I did, these are just phrases used by less educated locals, this particular one is used in a television commercial for a very large home improvement company!)
If you were born here you’re a ‘cracker’ everyone else is a ‘foreigner’. (and just for the record, in the 16 years we’ve been here I’ve only met 4 ‘crackers’!)
I was taught ‘cracker’ was a derogatory word not to be used but apparently down here it’s a source of pride.
‘Staff up’ for season is another one used in a local commercial. Our economy is heavily tourism based so a majority of jobs are seasonal. But ‘staff up’? Sounds a lot like ‘man up’ to me. In that sense “We need to ‘staff up’ for season' takes on a whole ‘nother connotation …..