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ALISHA BREWER NELSON: The Montana By Way of Texas Language Barrier

For those of us City Girls who married Country Boys, we knew there would be some adjustments we’d have to make, which wasn’t surprising. We were from two different worlds. But one adjustment I personally did not expect was ‘The Language Barrier’. I mean, we were both lifelong Texans. Surely we spoke the same language, right?

Not hardly.

Of course he spoke his country way with his funny twangy accent and cute expressions when we dated but you know what that time is like – you’re floating along on a Love Cloud not paying much attention to anything besides laughing, smooching and having fun. We weren’t actually trying to, you know, like communicate or anything grown up for Pete’s sake.

But then we got married, moved to Montana (a whole new learning experience in itself), decided to build a house together and suddenly, communication became very important. Who knew? And I couldn’t understand anything this man was saying!

Now lest you think I’m making fun of him, I’m not. He is a total genius even if he does talk funny. But seriously, just look at what I had to deal with!

— “Eye’m fixin’ to” (“I’m about to.”)
— “Eye’m finna” (“I’m fixing to.”)
“Eye don’t even lak yew that wayell” (“I don’t even like you that well.” What he says to his beloved cat who he pretends not to like.)
— “Muther Hummer” (His way of not cussing.)
— “Moe Foe” (Also his way of not cussing.)
— “Moe Jammy” (I have no idea.)
— “Jes part uv et” (“Just part of it.” His wonderfully stoic attitude when things break.)
— “Rat killin'” (the work he has to do that day as in “Eye gawt lawts uv rat killin’ tew dew tew-dayee.”)
— “Tainkel” (Tinkle, as in “Eye gotta go…” and such a manly man too!)
— “Actin’ uh fewl” (“Acting a fool”, being foolish and what he says when you’re not in full agreement with him.)
— “Pehcker” (Do I really need to explain this one?)
–“Tally whacker” ( again….?)
— “Pehcker hay-ed” (“Pecker head”, someone he is NOT pleased with.)
— “Bak en mah dayee” (“Back in my day…”, the beginning of a very boring story.)
— “Eye’m tuckert” (‘I’m tuckered.” What he said after spending three years building our house and barn ALL by himself.)
— “Eye TOLE yew….!” (“I TOLD you…!” What he *thinks* he did.)
— “Sehxy Thang” (“Sexy thing.” Me. Giggle.)
— “How dew yew figger?” ( How did you come to that conclusion, dear?)
— “Brace yeur-say-elf Effie!” (I’m not telling what this one means, but it’s NOT romantic!)
–“Oh HAIL no!” (What he says when we run out of coffee, milk or SPAM.)

See?? What kind of alien speech WAS this? I walked around in a language fog, saying, “Huh? I don’t even know what that means! Speak English!” And every time, he’d respond, “Eye AM spaykin’ Ainglish! Whutter yew talkin’ ’bout? Yew jes don’t listen!”

And to add insult to injury, he had all these expressions I had never heard before. Colorful and funny though they were, especially with his twang, I didn’t understand a word he said for years. Get a load of these:

–“Higher than a cat’s back.” (Means something is expensive.)
–“Just to fill a holler spot.” (What food means to him)
–“It’ll make a turd.” (Another charming reference to food.)
–“I’ll put a knot on your head big enough for a calf to suck.” (What he says when he’s mad at someone. Not me of course.)
–“I haven’t hit a lick at a snake, lazy bass turd!” (What he says about himself by 5:00 in the morning and hasn’t gotten any work done yet. Potty mouth.)
— “Dark as the inside of a cow in here.” (Now that’s dark!)
–“Quiverin’ like a cat poopin’ peach seeds” (How he describes being nervous or afraid, like when he’s on a tall ladder.)
–“Handy as a pocket on a shirt.” (What he says about things that are convenient and what I say about him!)
–“I’d stretch a mile if I didn’t have to walk back.” ( Creative!)
— “Shinier than a diamond in a goat’s butt.” (Something is shiny, but seriously??)
–“Well you can wish in one hand and poop in the other and see which one fills up faster.” (His annoying response when I say I wish I had something.)
–“Oops! Almost stepped on my pecker!” ( What he says when he almost makes a mistake.) (Snort! He wishes! )

I mean really. What am I supposed to do with all of that? I did eventually learn to decipher this mysterious speech. I even applied for credit at a college for learning a second language but they didn’t agree for some reason. Psh.

So. Ok. At the very least, his way of talking is funny, colorful and it never gets old. After 15 years he is still making me laugh out loud. I told him I was going to write a sto-rey about his accent and what do you think he said?

“Whutter yew taulkin’ about? EYE don’t HAVE uh AXE- sent!”

– Alisha Brewer Nelson is a city girl learning to live off the grid on a mountain in Montana with a country boy. She says it makes for an endless supply of funny stories, even if they weren’t always funny at the time . . . You can follow her on The Roanoke Star as well as her blog:

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