Living in Maine means access to some special things. You get the coast, the breeze, the lakes, the forest and the absolute best food in the country. But, it also comes with a language that people from away might find challenging. If you want to make it here in Vacationland, you’re going to need to brush up on your language skills. To help you, we’ve gathered some words you’ll want to master if you want to have a strong vocabulary in Maine. Learn these and then try to blend in!
As in, "it's wicked cold out there!" Wicked is an adjective used to describe an extreme noun. She's wicked smart. The tide is wicked high. That test was wicked hahd!
2. From Away
Another two word phrase that's really just one word. From Away refers to those who aren't born in Maine. Some people believe you're from away if your lineage doesn't go back for two generations. We leave it to you to decide how picky you want to be, but a good rule of thumb is to assume anyone strolling the streets of Portland on a Sunday afternoon in the summer is from away.
Love just means something different here.
Also known as "willywacks," this is where you go to be in the middle of nowhere. You can live in the willywags, you can get lost in the willywags and you can explore the willywags. Just don't be there at night. It's likely to be pretty dark in the willywags.
In other states bugs are those things with wings that fly around and bother people. In Maine, it's a lobster. It seems it's the heartiest of Mainers that refer to our beloved crustacean as "bug," but it's still helpful to know. You never know who you could be talking to!
If "bug" is too difficult to pronounce, you can go for the ubiquitous way you'll hear most people refer to our favorite shellfish. The most important thing here is to leave off the "r." When in doubt, pretend "r" does not exist.
In Maine you don't go to your lake house. And while you might send your kids to a camp, it's a lot different than going uppta camp. Going uppta camp means your home away from home, whether it's a tiny one room structure or a multi-bedroom palace. Mainers love their camps, which is why you'll want to make friends with someone that has one as soon as possible.
Bean as in "bean supper," which is where all the towns dirty laundry will be aired out in about 3 hours.
This is not to be confused with the aforementioned "bean." Beans is a store in Freeport famous for being open all hours, every day. And for outfitting most of Maine.
This is a classic! Commonly mistaken for a "yes" by some, it's really just a term of acknowledgement. You see the weather? Ayuh! It's getting cold out there! Ayuh. I'm going to buy this bag of chips. Ayuh. The most important thing to remember with this one is HOW you say it. Uttered with a combination breath in and out, it's a tough one to master.
This is the front yard of a house. You might say "leave your muddy boots in the dooryahd before comin' in!"
12. The County
It's two words, but counts as one. The County is Aroostook County, way up North and sometimes forgotten about by people who don't know Maine very well. Contrary to popular belief, there's more to Maine than Portland and a lot of it can be found in The County. What's there exactly? Not sure. You'll have to go to find out.
Whoopie as in "whoopie pie." This Maine delicacy is our official state treat and it deserves every minute of attention it gets. You might find them other places, but nowhere will be as perfect as in Maine.
This is a great way to spend a day in the winter. Grab your friends, get some beers and sit inside this structure all day. Oh, and also try to catch some smelt. That's part of it, too.
In Maine, family extends to friends and neighbors. This is a good one to memorize because you'll be referring to family a lot when you're in Maine.
Maine's most polarizing beverage, Moxie is something you'll want to talk about but might not want to drink. It tastes a little like something you'd take for a sore throat. But, give it a try before you denounce it for good. Some people love it. We don't know any of them, though.
You might know this one as a way to describe someone smart. But, in Maine you'll use this to describe something cute. Babies, puppies, people. Just be sure to leave off the "g" depending on where you are and who you're talking to.
Living in Maine will change your definition of beauty forever.
An easy one, sure. But it's important because you're likely to see one in the spring. It's even more important to know this work if you're a passenger in someone's car. You may just have to scream it at the top of your lungs if you see one in the road.
It just means something different here. The only way to describe it is in the feeling you have in your heart when you see this sign.