Saturday, July 19

Phrases I've learned while living in the west.

If you don't know me personally but were aware that I'm from New England, you might have suspected that I possess somewhat of a New England accent. But if you do know me, you should know that this is not the case at all. My grandparents and a few select family members are another story...I never even really noticed/cared about the Boston accent until I moved west and now listening to it irritates me just a little bit (Why can't you just pronounce your R's?!?!).

I personally feel that I have exceptionally good English (but only because I'm an English major) and the only thing that some people find odd about my speech out here in the west is how I say "aunt" the way it is meant to be said, "aunt" (I didn't change the spelling because the spelling tells you how to pronounce it) rather than "ant" which, as far as I've known since I was a child, refers to a tiny insect that lives in a colony in a sandhill that is known for raiding picnics. Apart from that little clash in pronunciation, there are a lot of phrases I've noticed that are used out in the west that I had never really heard used in the same context in the east.

Out west they say a car was in a "wreck" or "wrecked" instead of in a "crash" as we say in the east. We rarely seem to use "wreck."
In the west, something is "clear up the hill" or "clear out of here" instead of "way up the hill" or "wicked far away" as an easterner might say. It's a strange use of clear, but I've found myself using this phrase once in a while because, especially at BYU-Idaho everyone from around there says it.

In the west it's "pop," in the east it's "soda." (Haha, click on the word to see the google image results of each word.) I could never get the hang of calling it pop. I tried it once and I didn't even know what I was talking about.

Out here, everyone refers to the cardinal directions when giving directions (like everyone in Provo knows the mountains are in the east and Salt Lake is north of here). If you did that in the east, no one would know how to get anywhere because there are so many trees you can't hardly see any distinguishing markers. We have to use landmarks and road names, like "It's just past the gas station on the left, and you'll see a big red church before you turn."
I feel like there should be a person standing in the middle of this scratching his head about which direction to go.
Easterners called driving in circles in the snow "donuts" and out here in the west they call them "cookies" (which I don't understand because donuts is a much more accurate depiction of what they look like in my opinion--I'm mostly teasing Dalin and his friends with this one). Also, if you google search, "spinning cookies" instead of "spinning donuts" nothing relevant comes up. Maybe it's just a western Idaho thing, but it's still weird to me. (Dalin claims that it isn't his fault he spins them so tight that it's more like a cookie than a donut, but I know that's an exaggeration;)
It looks like a donut to me.
So, sadly, that's all I came up with in the last two days, but I know there are more out there. Help me out, friends!

What are the weird things westerners say that I have not already mentioned?
What about the east coast? (I know we have our weird things, too, like using "wicked" and whatnot...)

Hope your day is going better than mine--I'm stuck at home car-less (which almost means food-less) with a little terror of a toddler (she's only a terror because of how destructive she is to our house in a matter of minutes) and working on (well, trying to) a 15-page research paper draft that is due Monday. Eek!!! Plus, Dalin works literally all day today and tomorrow so I'm completely on my own here! Wish me luck!


  1. As a native south-westerner and someone who lives with someone from the north-west (ahem Idaho) I am going to say quite a few of those are north west things. I always grew up with donuts, soda, and I had no idea anyone even used cardinal directions till I moved up here. And Jason thinks I'm the weird one...

    1. Haha yes! That's what I like to hear. Maybe they're just a little too close to Canada and Washington (with it's legal pot) for comfort. Obviously Nevada is normal :)

  2. I agree with Halie up there! I'm a native Californian and I'd never heard of a car "wreck" or "pop" until coming to Utah!


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