Virginia August 13, 2017
11 Phrases That Will Make You Swear Virginians Have Their Own Language
Here in Virginia, we’re a glorious melting pot of all sorts of languages and expressions. We’ve got plenty of southern heritage, yet there are also other cultural influences that make our dialect nothing short of fascinating. To Virginians, it’s the norm, yet folks from other states may scratch their heads at some of our more unique expressions. See if you find yourself using any of the following words or expressions that are so classically Virginian:
1. "Bless your heart"
This phrase isn't strictly Virginian, yet it's a common one around here and not nearly as nice as it sounds. If you're on the receiving end of a "bless your heart," chances are you've done something silly, naive, or downright agitating to the other person.
While it may sound like something you may be politely asked to shut if you've spoken out of place, cornhole is actually a beloved game commonly found in backyards and barbecues when the weather is nice.
3. "Til the cows come home"
Virginia has a significant cow population, yet this expression has nothing to do with farming. It's a phrase that signifies something happening for a long time, usually unsuccessfully. Ex: "You can keep sweeping that porch 'til the cows come home, but you won't notice any difference."
It may sound vaguely supernatural, but here in Virginia "NOVA" refers to Northern Virginia, or any suburb of Washington D.C. located in Virginia.
5. "Snow day"
A "snow day" in Virginia implies the same as everywhere else in the country: chaotic driving, a mad dash to the grocery store, and closed schools. Yet here in Virginia, these snow days don't necessarily mean the presence of much - or any - snow at all.
6. "The Rivah"
There are so many rivers in Virginia, but there's seldom any confusion when someone shares that they're headed to "the rivah" for the weekend. Not only does it sound lovely, but it will certainly involve time on the pier, boat, and eating fresh seafood. Specific whereabouts really aren't too important when you're on rivah time.
7. "As the crow flies"
This phrase is often used to describe how to get from point A from point B. You might explain to a friend that your house is 10 miles away from the store "as the crow flies," yet 15 miles in drivable distance.
8. "If it was a snake it would've bitten me"
Here's another one that has nothing to do with snakes, but is used as a creative way of explaining that you missed something in plain sight. Ex: "It can't believe I couldn't find the mustard in the fridge. If it was a snake it would've bitten me!"
In most places, this term refers to a slimy little creature you'll find when it's rained a lot. Here in Virginia, a slug can also be a person prone to sleeping in and lounging around. Ex: "I slept an hour past my alarm and have felt like a slug all day."
10. "There's no need to be ugly"
Used in certain expressions, ugly has nothing to do with physical appearance. Instead, it refers to being nasty, rude, or downright mean.
Love is more than a feeling of adoration towards someone or something; here in Virginia, it's a way of life! Why else would Virginia be for Lovers?
What are some additional phrases you would add to the list? We know these are only a few of the unique expressions used in Virginia, so please share some of your favorites with us!