(10/12/2018)
25 Words That Are Interpreted Entirely Different In West Virginia 1. Ma’am/Sir

What it means everywhere else: What you call customers when you’re working in the service industry and they are clearly your elders. What it means in West Virginia: What you call literally anyone you don’t know extremely well out of respect. It essentially functions like the formal usted in Spanish.

2. Poke

What it means everywhere else: To jab someone with a finger, or to do the most annoying thing you can possibly do on Facebook (including all of those Farmville invites). What it means in West Virginia: Just another way of saying grocery bag.

3. Peck

What it means everywhere else: A brief and often platonic kiss. What it means in West Virginia: A considerable amount. You really don’t want to hear that you’re in “a peck of trouble,” because that means you’re definitely in some serious trouble.

4. Molasses

What it means everywhere else: A syrupy by-product of turning sugarcane into sugar. What it means in West Virginia: Something that’s moving way too slowly.

5. Pepperoni Rolls

What it means everywhere else: What, you mean like those pizza roll things? What it means in West Virginia: The most delicious food in the entire world, and literally what you would eat every day for the rest of your life if you could.

6. Coleslaw

What it means everywhere else: A cabbage-based side dish. What it means in West Virginia: A condiment that you’ll put on just about anything, but especially hot dogs.

7. Redneck

25 A derogatory term for uneducated or working class southerners. What it means in West Virginia: A term that was literally appropriated by the United Mine Workers union when they tied red bandanas around their necks to fight for safer working conditions for not just West Virginian coal miners, but miners everywhere.

8. Buggy

What it means everywhere else: Something a horse pulls around and people sit in. What it means in West Virginia: What you put your groceries in and push around in the store, or sorta crazy.

9. Hunting

What it means everywhere else: A hobby that involves shooting game for sport or for food. What it means in West Virginia: Something your parents have pulled you out of school for a week.

10. Blinked

What it means everywhere else: When someone closed and opened their eyes. What it means in West Virginia: What you call milk when it’s gone sour.

11. Herd

What it means everywhere else: A large group of animals. What it means in West Virginia: The best college football team ever.

12. Holler

What it means everywhere else: To shout or cry out. What it means in West Virginia: A unit of measurement when talking about distance. For example, “It’s a hoot and a holler away.”

13. Spell

What it means everywhere else: A magical incantation or ritual that makes something fantastical happen. What it means in West Virginia: An undetermined amount of time. (When a West Virginian grandmother asks you to sit for “a spell” and talk, it can be determined that it’s going to be awhile.)

14. Scolding

What it means everywhere else: What your parents do when you misbehave as a child. What it means in West Virginia: When your parents threaten you with a switchin’ or a trip to Pruntytown or another correctional facility when you misbehave as a child.

15. Crick

What it means everywhere else: A painful thing you get in your neck if you sleep on it wrong. What it means in West Virginia: The proper way to say “creek.” Also, a common landmark when giving directions.

16. Red

What it means everywhere else: One of the three primary colors. What it means in West Virginia: When followed by “up” it’s the equivalent of clean. For example, to “red up” your room means tidy up your room.

17. Mess

What it means everywhere else: Something that’s dirty or chaotic. What it means in West Virginia: A unit of measurement, meaning a whole lot of something. For example, a lot of chicken wings would be a “whole mess of chicken wings.”

18. Fixing

What it means everywhere else: To repair something that’s broken. What it means in West Virginia: The G is usually dropped, but it means “about to.” If you’re fixin’ to make dinner, you’re not actually making it yet—you’re just going to make dinner in the near future.

19. Ramps

What it means everywhere else: Slopes that join different levels, and a more accessible alternative to stairs. What it means in West Virginia: What you call every kind of onion.

20. ‘Mater

What it means everywhere else: A character in the Pixar movie Cars. What it means in West Virginia: A tomato, or, in the correct West Virginian pronunciation, tomater.

21. Coal

What it means everywhere else: A source of energy, and something that’s always paired with the buzzword “clean.” What it means in West Virginia: What at least one person you know (if not many more) makes their living mining.

22. Tudors

What it means everywhere else: A royal house, an architectural style, and a steamy Showtime series. What it means in West Virginia: Tudor’s Biscuit World AKA the best breakfast food ever.

23. Cornbread

What it means everywhere else: A delicious southern bread and standby comfort food. What it means in West Virginia: What you use to sop up your pinto beans.

24. Organ

What it means everywhere else: A part of your body that serves a specific function, like the heart or lungs. What it means in West Virginia: Literally the coolest cave you’ve ever seen.

25. Y’all

What it means everywhere else: A southern expression that’s the equivalent of “you all” or “you guys.” What it means in West Virginia: The most used word in your entire vocabulary.


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