Unique New York

Just like a regular woman, only crankier.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Friggin' New York

"Freakin", and its two siblings, "friggin", and "frickin", are alive and well in NYC. Being from the South, it's the little linguistic differences and colloquialisms that will remind you that although you may be in a Target that looks just like the one in Denver, or OKC, a ten year old girl parading through the isles in a coat she's trying on saying, "Look at me, mom. I'm a friggin' fashionista!" will be the hallmark of your return to planet earth. You thought the USA was just so homogenized that you could fit in anywhere...a Target is a Target, right? Unless it's in New York.

Admittedly, something about that is comforting and unsettling all at the same time. I will just begin to get comfortable, and I will hear a six-year old say to his mother pointedly, "Mom, can we get outta here and get some friggin' McDonald's?" To me, substitute curses may be more polite in mixed company, but when spoken with the same fervor as its more dastardly relative is usually delivered, it really isn't any different. The intent of the "friggin" is there, with or without the "uck". The accent here is so forceful anyway, that everything sounds like a "fuck you." Part of it is funny, and part of it is just so different from how I was raised. My mom would have smacked me for saying such a word at such a tender age. Mind you, my mother does not bother with substitute curses, (she uses only brand names), but there was no way in heck that she was going to allow her children to come near those words.

Of course, if you New Yorkers had children that said "y'all" and "sumbitch", you might smack them too. For sounding like hicks. We're not better or worse, we're just different.

As an FYI, I would have never been allowed to say "sumbitch," or worse, "ain't". "Y'all," however, is a neccesary evil when you have as many siblings and cousins as I do. There was no way anyone in my family was going to go through the trouble of singling out children; by the time they did that, someone may have died. Instead of running through the list of names, we received the all-encompassing "y'all," which meant that "we all" got in trouble even when the admonishment was meant for Alan. And yes, it was usually meant for Alan.


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