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Where You At?

A forum for discussing US dialects (accents).

Where You At?

Postby Snappy » Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:25 pm

Why is it in Ohio that the state is actually O-hia at best and every mother calls for her child by asking, "Billy. Where You At?"

Drives me just nuts! Is it just here or is this a mid-west'ism?
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Where you at?

Postby oldrangerdude » Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:35 pm

In south Louisiana, in Cajun country, for years I've heard folks say, "How y'all are?" This is the equivalent to something we say in Texas, "How are y'all?," pronounced "Hower y'all?" They both mean the same thing. It's asking, "How are you?" I think it is interesting that the Cajuns reverse the order of are and y'all. One must also understand that "y'all" is a shortened version of "you all."
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Where you at?

Postby ginger » Tue Apr 11, 2006 12:19 pm

I have lived in Ohio all my life and have never heard anyone say "Where you at?" nor have I heard anyone pronounce the name of our state as anything other than O-hi-o.
People from other states always think we say O-hi-a, but I believe that is used only in the extreme southern part of the state, maybe near the Ohio River.
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Postby Cathy » Tue Apr 11, 2006 8:19 pm

New here and enjoying the forum topics!!! Just wanted to mention that my boyfriend...who grew up in Cajun country :D ... always phrases questions like "What it is?" instead of the way I might phrase it (being from Michigan) "What is it?"

Have a super evening!
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verb reversal and "Wayat"

Postby sluggo » Wed Apr 12, 2006 2:17 pm

Having lived in New Orleans 12 years (Wayat Katrina!), I've heard people all over the city reversing verb order on questions, e.g. "Who dat is?". One time a little kid pointed to a stuffed doll on my desk and proclaimed, "I can have that" -took me a minute to realise he meant it as a question. It's offputting on phrases like "You heard me", meaning "did you hear me?" but sounding more like "you heard me, now get it done!". In New Orleans at least it seems more closely associated with Black dialect although all the natives use the form.

The comments about this use in Cajunspeak (N.O. is not part of Cajun country) are interesting and again raises the question whether it's a Frenchism -French uses this order, though not exclusively.

New Orleans of course opens up a whole can of wanton word worms, what with making groceries, your mom and dem, the neutral ground, cold drink, addressing people as 'baby' and of course, it's the only place I've ever seen where one person can look directly at another, recognise them, and still say, "Wayat?" (Where y'at). To which one commonly accepted response is "All right!".

Then of course there are the improbable pronunciations of common proper nouns. Don't get me started...
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Re: verb reversal and "Wayat"

Postby Stargzer » Wed Apr 12, 2006 2:51 pm

sluggo wrote: . . .
Then of course there are the improbable pronunciations of common proper nouns. Don't get me started...


Oh, let's do! That's why here we're! ;)
Regards//Larry

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Re: verb reversal and "Wayat"

Postby sluggo » Wed Apr 12, 2006 3:31 pm

Stargzer wrote:
sluggo wrote: . . .
Then of course there are the improbable pronunciations of common proper nouns. Don't get me started...


Oh, let's do! That's why here we're! ;)


Ah, somebody took the bait already! :wink: Kewl.

Some street names that always crack me up:
Burgundy (bur-GUN-dee)
Milan (MY-lyn)
Helios (heh-LOYS)
Calliope (KAL-ee-yope)
Esplanade (ess-pleh-NADE)
Ptolemy (PEE-Tollemy) (no, really!)
Martin Luther King Boulevard (Milk boulevard)
Clio (See-Ell-ten)

I'm sure other Yats will be chiming in with more examples, and I'll post more as I think of 'em (I'm now a refugee in Carolina del Norte).

PS for the uninitiated: New Orléans is pronounced any number of ways but never "New or-LEANS". That one is strictly to make a rhyme within a song. Natives there have a ...shall we say unique attitude toward doing things the wrong way with full knowledge that they're wrong (e.g. the last two street names above) and doing them anyway- a certain contempt for the idea of order? In retaliation, I took to saying Canal Street as "KAY-nal" Street. Seemed to fit, but never caught on :(
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Re: verb reversal and "Wayat"

Postby Stargzer » Thu Apr 13, 2006 10:05 pm

sluggo wrote: . . .
Martin Luther King Boulevard (Milk boulevard)
Clio (See-Ell-ten)
. . .


Milk is obviously from M. L. K.; the juxtaposition of Milk and MLK is a bit ironic, to say the least!

As for See-Ell-ten, try this poem on for size! :wink:

[Note: the Lemprière link it the poem is broken; try this one.]
Regards//Larry

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Postby oldrangerdude » Fri Apr 14, 2006 11:02 pm

New Orleans = "Nawlins"

And of course, Justin Wilson (Sjew-stain) loved to say, "I gayrontee!" Another version was, "I gayrontee you me!"

When I first went to college, it was on a football scholarship to L.S.U. in Baton Rouge, LA. For a while after I first arrived, I had a lot of trouble understanding the Cajun accents and dialect. It just fascinated me to listen to them talk. One day, when a friend and I were eating lunch in a small restaurant in either Bunkie or Krotz Springs, we just sat at our table listening to everyone talking. I was doubly surprised when, after listening to the other patrons speaking French for almost an hour, I finally started to understand a few words, and then a few more, and realized they were speaking ENGLISH!
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Postby AdoAnnie » Sat Apr 15, 2006 1:06 am

Ptolemy (PEE-Tollemy) (no, really!)


Busting a gut, what a good laugh. My hubby says that down from PeeTollemy is Copper-nick-us St (Copernicus).

And, of course, I from near Houston and we have streets named Cheninvert and Bissonet and they are prounounced almost as they are spelled, Shin in Vert and Bis-oh-Net. And there is also San Fill-uh-pee St. Then coming home from vacation a few weeks ago we drove through Kay-row, Mississippi, funnily spelled Cairo. :wink:
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Postby AdoAnnie » Sat Apr 15, 2006 1:10 am

I from near


Wouldn't it be cool if I pre-read and spell checked before I posted? But what would be the fun in that.

I am from near Houston, native Texan, and I have noticed over the years as the infux of Snowbirds (no offence - ok, only a little) how the accents have mellowed some, not a lot, but the local TV news anchors all have that washed out placeless non accent. Boring.
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Postby sluggo » Sat Apr 15, 2006 10:38 am

AdoAnnie wrote:
Ptolemy (PEE-Tollemy) (no, really!)


Busting a gut, what a good laugh. My hubby says that down from PeeTollemy is Copper-nick-us St (Copernicus).

And, of course, I from near Houston and we have streets named Cheninvert and Bissonet and they are prounounced almost as they are spelled, Shin in Vert and Bis-oh-Net. And there is also San Fill-uh-pee St. Then coming home from vacation a few weeks ago we drove through Kay-row, Mississippi, funnily spelled Cairo. :wink:


That weren't Cairo Illinois? They call it that there too. Which brings up other places in the Midwest: Versailles, Missouri (ver-SALES), Beloit, Wisconsin (be-LOIT), et al...

Another New Orleans street I forgot: along with Ptolemy goes his countryman Socrates (SO-crates!). And there's a local supermarket chain called Canal Villiere. The first time I rang them on the phone was also the first time I heard it spoken; I forgot my question and was forced to hang up. (VILL-er-ee!) Visitors come to N.O. expecting a French city but don't be fooled by cheap intimations.
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Postby Stargzer » Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:56 pm

AdoAnnie wrote:
I from near


Wouldn't it be cool if I pre-read and spell checked before I posted? But what would be the fun in that.

. . .


Annie, if you look at the top of your post, next to the Quote button, you'll see an Edit button. :) I've used it many a time myself. Now you can use it to fix this post:

AdoAnnie wrote: . . .
I am from near Houston, native Texan, and I have noticed over the years as the infux of Snowbirds . . .


A Freudian slip, revealing your true opinion of Snowbirds?

:D
Regards//Larry

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
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Postby AdoAnnie » Sun Apr 16, 2006 1:06 am

A Freudian slip, revealing your true opinion of Snowbirds?


I am SOOOOOOO embarrased!!!! :oops: :o :oops: But I laughed till I saw stars and had to run for the bathroom. Back in 1983 I was in a college history class and the topic of human migration came up. Well the joke at the time was that if you were leaving from Michigan to come to Texas all you had to do was follow another car with Michigan licence plate headed south and just follow them. I, well, goshdarnit, told that joke in class and it turns out that half the people in the class were from Michigan or parts north. OOOoooo, I was not popular in that class for a while, but heck, it's my state, I was here before they were. :wink:
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Postby gailr » Mon Apr 17, 2006 9:39 pm

sluggo wrote:
That weren't Cairo Illinois?

A good friend of mine once lived in Cairo, Nebraska; it is pronounced "CARE-oh" there.

-gailr
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