Friday, June 03, 2005


When I was a youngling in rural Louisiana, we would often use the pejorative, colloquial term "reflicted," as in, "Oh, shut up, you're so reflicted!" It was a synonym, roughly, for "retarded" or stupid.

Other colloquialisms from my home state:
  • silver dime, meaning, a dime (one time when I was a checkout boy at a supermarket, this black guy, when I was giving him change, kept asking me to give him "silver dime," and, as I used to collect silver dimes, started fishing through the cash drawer, looking on the edge of the dimes, searching for a pure silver one. Finally he pointed at a regular dime, and I realized, he meant a dime by "silver dime". What a non-silver dime is, to him, I have no idea.)
  • This calls to mind the time the black lady handed me a nickel and two dimes and asked me for a "solid quarter." After looking at her with the deer-in-the-headlights look for a second, I realized she meant just a quarter. I think two dimes and a nickel must be a "non-solid" quarter.
  • The blacks would also ask me to slice them up half a pound of "pepper sausage," by which they meant salami. I got to be good at interpreting their colloquial expressions, like the way they pronounced shrimp ("swimpses").
    • I hereby apologize for relaying this story and for remembering the racial aspect.
  • In Louisiana they say this, when they see that one of their friends is pregnant: "Who's dat baby for?" Which means, "who is the father of your child?" The answer would be of the form, "It for John."
  • They also say someone "caught a heart attack"
  • grocery shopping is "makin' groceries". The Schwegmann chain capitalized on this with a campaign "Makin' Groceries--Schwegmann Style"
  • They end sentences with the personal pronoun for emphasis, like so: "I need to get me some boiled peanuts, me."
  • "If" is used for emphasis. As so: A says, "Man, is dat chick HOT or what?" B would respond, "If!" meaning "Yes!" My theory is that this was someone's adaptation of the Spanish usage of the word "si" for both yes and if (there is some Spanish influence there).
  • "Skiing" means water skiing. If you want to refer to the other kind, you have to say "snow-skiing".
  • I once saw a flier for a "PENTECOSTAL REVIAL." The typo made me feel much more secure in my lack of thumperness.


Brian said...

My sides hurt, I was laughing so hard!

Anonymous said...

I believe a question was asked on the Chappelle show, during the 'I know black people' skit, regarding two dimes and a nickel. It wasn't aired in the skit itself but Dave stated that no one, even the black contestants knew what a solid quarter was.

Anonymous said...

FYI - the exact expression on the Chappelle show was "case quarter". I read somewhere that "case" may come from the the Yiddish for "silver". I think "silver dime" and "solid quarter" reflect the fact that people in Louisiana were using the coin names merely to mean a certain amount of money, no matter how it was constituted.