cultural lexicon!

In the last week, I’ve learned a few new terms here in the Midwest. It brought to mind additional terms I’ve learned on this trip that you, too, should familiarize yourself with for your upcoming nationwide road trip.

A hodge-podge of some of this trip’s new terms:

hit-skip: Adjective. I heard this yesterday. It refers to an automobile hit-and-run, apparently. Police are looking for a hit-skip driver who fled the scene after hitting the ice cream truck.

cornhole: Noun. A 2-player beanbag toss game, like horseshoes. I’ve run into this game 3 times in the past week, and two of the places called it “cornhole.” I was injured in a terrible cornhole incident.

a group: Noun. Synonomous with “a lot” or “a bunch,” which certainly makes sense etymologically but sounds weird if you’ve never heard it. We had a group of snow earlier this winter. Heard in Northern Idaho.

all set: Adjective. A very broad term encompassing several ideas, depending on context. While other areas use the term in a limited way, it is used freakishly often to cover a large semantic spectrum in New England, or at least in Boston. For instance, when at a restuarant, “all set” can indicate that a group is satisfied with their seating, is ready to order, has received everything they ordered, or is ready for their check.

pop, soda, soda pop, coke: Nouns. All of these mean “soft drink,” and I’ve simply not chosen to worry about keeping track. I think here in Ohio I’m supposed to say “pop.”

buckeye: Noun. This mascot of Ohio State is actually a nut. I saw one, and it does kinda look like a wooden eyeball.

Blue Devils: Noun. This is the famous mascot of Duke University, but surprisingly enough, it did not (originally) refer to anything diabolical, but to an elite WWI French fighting force. This is one of the cooler mascot stories I’ve heard, and you can find it here.

Tomorrow, though, a more interesting (and ecclesiological) regional difference: in the partaking of the Lord’s Supper! This one has been one of the trip’s random surprises. Stay tuned.

Written from Columbus, Ohio

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