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1.19.2012

HOW NOW BROWN COW?

Isn't it funny how certain phrases are regional?  Not the dialect, the accent they are spoken in.  But, the words themselves.  For instance, I grew up in one of the states surrounding the Great Lakes in the Midwest.  I also grew up in a farming/rural community.  Not too long ago I said to my husband, "I'm all done." I also use "all finished" and "all gone" as common speech in my everyday world. He appeared puzzled by what I said, so I repeated it.  Now to me it was explicitly clear; all in front of done was dictating how done I was.  Completely.  There was no question that I had squeezed all drops from done.  He was right though, done means in its own right, complete or finished or the end.  It was as though I was saying a duplicate statement much like a double negative.  It was needless.  But, it was part of my regional upbringing.  It was in my Urban Dictionary:) What other strange words and isms did I regularly say that were completely understood by me, but might leave a listener outside of this region scratching their head?  "Red the table".  Now that I just spoke that out loud I am wondering how the hell I ever understood that, let alone anyone else.  That was said in my house growing up in reference to clearing away the dishes off the table after a meal.  It was usually spoken by my mother.  It's not like there were flash cards with pictures and these phrases written underneath.  Somehow, like osmosis, I just came to know what their made-up adaptive sort of definitions to these non-real words were. A little digging today brought to the surface that the phrase originated from the Scots as part of Old English and was a variation from "rid up" - meaning to clean up, clear, put in order.   Personally I think the "all" in front of done, gone, finished, and through adds a more imperative-declarative-absoluteish touch to the thought.  I have heard others use the words, "full up".  That is a combination of double backing same meaning words with a bit of a southern drawl. On this very snowy, windy January day, after returning from a run in the blowing snow, I am "all done with winter"!!! 

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