For some reason, Wisconsinites seem to be the most in denial about the way we speak. Every state and region has it’s own vernacular and the Dairy State is no different. We’re rather polite and we like to shorten words. We add “hey” to the end of most any sentence to indicate it was in fact a question and we tend to be rather nasally in our deliver, especially of vowels. We don’t like hearing it, but there’s no denying that we Wisconsinites have a bit of a funny way of talking. Here are 13 ways that you can immediately tell someone is from around these parts:
1. Can you stop by my house on the way home real quick?
A two-for-one here - we rarely go to places, we just stop by. And real quick rarely denotes any sort of speed or hurry - it's more like a cushion we put on the request to soften the blow - it's a real quick favor I'm asking, even if it'll take two hours.
2. I s'pose.
As in "Can you please take the garbage out when you leave?" "I s'pose."
Much like when we drop the "L" in Milwaukee, we tend to run our words together a bit. S'pose is our version of suppose and we never make it a two syllable thing.
3. I hope the wings are up!
The Calatrava addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum is one of the cooler pieces of modern architecture around and it's frankly just not as cool when the Brise Soleil wings aren't extended. If I'm headed to the lakefront, I hope the wings are up.
4. It's prittner here - just down the road.
Much like s'pose, prittner is a contraction of sorts of a phrase that's already very Wisconsin - pretty near. If something is close by, it's pretty near. But that's a lot of syllables, so feel feel to describe something's location as prittner something else.
5. Before we head out for the night, I need to hit up the Tyme Machine.
Tyme is the brand name of many of the ATM cash machines that sprung up across Wisconsin decades ago. If you needed cash, you headed to a Tyme Machine and not an ATM.
6. I can't believe that guy just cut me off and didn't even use his blinker!
To the rest of the world, it's a turn signal, but here in Wisconsin, we just simply call it a blinker. Function over name, I s'pose.
7. Ya der hey!
In rare situations, we actually add more syllables instead of taking them away - and usually that includes a hey! There's no literal translation for this and it really just means "yes" but it's pretty indicative of someone being born in the Dairy State.
8. It's cooler by the lake!
Anyone who grew up along Lake Michigan's shores know that the big body of water wreaks all kinds of havoc on the weather. In the summer, you can feel the air temperature drop as you head east toward the shoreline. The lake brings lake effect snow, warmer winter weather and the need for a jacket all summer long.
9. Up north.
The further you head north, the more likely you are to hear it shortened to "nort," as well. Up north is both a physical direction and a spiritual state of mind. Up north is cabins and lakes and weekends away from the hustle and bustle of life. It's life on the pier, ice fishing and more.
10. Turn left at the stop n' go lights.
These are traffic lights in a lot of other spots, but sticking with our penchant for literal descriptions, we like to describe function. So stop n' go lights it is.
11. I wonder if the roof's open.
If you're heading in from out of town, you never have to worry about a game being cancelled, but you do need to know the roof status so you can plan your clothing selections. It it's closed for rain in July, plan on roasting. If it's open on a windy spring day, bring gloves.
12. Aw Geez!
We use this for happiness, surprise, disappointment, sadness - basically, we'll throw an Aw Geez around for just about any occasion. Most of us don't even realize we're saying it, it's so ingrained in our vocabulary.
13. Is Wisconsin truly gorgeous? You betcha!
Other folks can overlook us as flyover country - we know Wisconsin is awesome and we have no problem making sure you know it! You betcha!