Recently, there was a "blue moon" that adorned the night sky. A blue moon is technically when there is a second full moon in a month. Except sometimes not, as in this particular August. Confused? Me too. You can enlighten yourself here. But that's not what this post is about. Well, sort of.
The blue moon reminded me of a time in junior high when I said to a boy "Well, that only happens once in a blue moon" and he looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language. Because he didn't get the saying. And then he teased me for being "from Ohio" because I used a phrase that, to him, was clearly indicative of a Midwest heritage. And that got me to thinking.........
I've always been amused at the different words we use for different things, depending on where we were raised, or how our parents always said it, or our cultural make-up. For example, I grew up calling the thing you drag around the house cleaning the carpets a "sweeper" until I realized that most of the population called it a "vaccum" or "vacuum cleaner." Whaaattt? Now I call it a vacuum like everyone else, but my mom still refers to "running the sweeper."
In high school, I had a good friend from New Jersey (Hi, Danielle!). She carried a "pocketbook" while I carried a "purse." I sit on a "couch" at my house, while you might sit upon a "sofa." Don't even call it a "davenport" unless you're 90 or a pretentious bitch. Growing up, I drank "pop" while some of my friends drank "soda." I found myself at Panera the other day saying "I'll just have a fountain drink." Say what?
Any vehicle I drive is a "car" while my husband sometimes drives "the truck" or "the van" or even more specifically "the Honda" (for some reason, our Toyota and Ford do not get the same honor of being called by their brand names). When he's in the yard, he uses what I call a "weed whacker" and what he might call a "trimmer."
I carry my money in a "wallet" while my dad always carried his in his "billfold." My mom always liked to bug me by saying that a recipe called for "oleo" which is margarine. And don't even get me started on pronunciations. My sister sleeps on a "pellow" while I enjoy a "pillow." When I moved to Washington state, I realized that people here put their groceries in "begs" instead of "bags" and they "may-sured" things instead of "measured" them.
The other day, we spent an inordinate amount of time trying to research the meaning of the phrase "leaning towards fishers" but never could come up with a clear answer. I did find out that "three sheets to the wind" refers not to sails on a boat, as I thought, but the ropes that hold the sails, which, when not secured properly, cause the boat to lurch about like a drunken sailor. Hence, when you are "three sheets to the wind" you are very drunk. I'm so glad I have that stored in my memory now. Because one day, when I can't remember my debit card password and I'm stuck in the checkout line in front of several impatient customers, I'll still be able to recall what "three sheets to the wind" means.
What are some of your regional, family or "weird" sayings, words or phrases? And if you know what "leaning towards fishers" means, please enlighten me!