Free Write 2: My Home Language

Free Write 2: My Home Language

8/28/13

As a child, the words that your parents use on a daily basis become part of your own language and tend to have a lasting impact. My mom is from Orange County, Virginia and the way she pronounces certain words are quite normal to me because I’ve grown up hearing them. However, when I have friends come over and my mom says, “Savannah, you need to warsh (wash) a load of clothes,” I usually get a funny look from them. I say warsh most of the time as well, just because I am used to hearing it. It never even fazed me that most people don’t say wash with an r in it, but it is a word that I have heard throughout my entire life. Another unique word we use around my house is “phaser.” When we refer to the “phaser,” we mean the TV remote. I don’t think I discovered that most people don’t call the remote control a “phaser” until I was about twelve years old. I was over at friend’s house and when I asked her if I could change the channel with the “phaser”, she looked at me like I was crazy and started laughing uncontrollably. As she told me that she has never heard of that word in her life, I realized that the word we used everyday around our house was completely bizarre to somebody else. I’m pretty sure the word “phaser” came from a Star Trek movie, so my parents thought it would be funny to call the remote that and it just stuck!

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3 thoughts on “Free Write 2: My Home Language

  1. My household is the same way! When my grandmother lived with my family a few years ago she would say things like ‘over yonder’ and ‘ranch’ instead of ‘wrench’, and sometimes I would slip up and say some of the same things. Being in a certain environment and constantly talking to people that have a specific way of speaking can really affect how you talk to others outside of that common household. I also had a friend who was born in New York and when she would come over she would be amazed at how we talked and pronounced things at my house. Then when I would stay over at her house, her family would say things like ‘cawfee’ instead of ‘coffee’ and it would just blow my mind.

  2. I think that’s super funny just because I have never in my life heard people say “warsh” or “phaser”. If I had heard you say that I would have given you the funniest look. I just think it is so interesting how some people grow up with a certain language that is so different from other people. It makes me think what is it about an area that some words are used and other words are never heard of? It is the most peculiar thing to me.

  3. That’s so funny. I have heard older people say warsh a lot. I think it’s pretty common and my grandmother usually ads an ‘er’ at the end of words like piller (pillow) or Georgier (Georgia). I never thought about some of the words that people say differently until reading this post. It’s really interesting we grow up hearing certain words and never think twice about if we are saying them right or not. My dad has always called the remote control a clicker which I have only heard a few times but I have NEVER heard phaser. That’s hilarious.

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