I love the way my friend Diane says the word “pudding.”  She says “PUHHHHHHHHH-din,” with the “puh” drawn out for three whole seconds and the “din” just a little flip of the back of the throat, almost not even there.  I ate some pudding today, and I asked her to say the word before I ate it.  She obliged.  And then told me there was really no other way to say it.

“For you,” I said.  “But you speak deep south.  Imagine if I said ‘For Thanksgiving we had turkey and carrots and mashed potatoes and broccoli and PUHHHHHHHHHdin.’  It would sound ridiculous.”

She said, “I would never say that.  I’d say, ‘We had turkey an’ dressin’ and PUHHHHHHdin for dessert.”

Which lead to a “dressing” vs. “stuffing” conversation.  I say stuffing, because you stuff the stuff inside the turkey.  Dressing would imply that it went on top of the turkey, which it doesn’t.  Still, you can’t argue with words your Mama taught you.

I go to the movies.  Diane goes to the THEEayter.

I don’t really speak with any accent.  My upbringing was in three different states in the south and southwest in the learning to speak years, and the north during the formative years, and then college and law school at schools with large Yankee populations in the south, all with stereotypical Yankee parents.  I sort of speak television neutral, but I may get more Southern or Yankee depending upon who I am talking to. 

I LOVE regional accents.  I wish I had one. 

Diane, who starts to sweat when she gets more than 15 miles from home, is one of my favorite accented people, and one of my favorite games is comparing how we say things.  She thinks “Merry, marry, and Mary” are all pronounced the same.  I think they are three different words.  Likewise, she says “pin” and “pen” the same (peeeeeyun).  And “still” and “steel.”  Often, I have to ask her to clarify.     

It is fun to watch Diane and my mother have a conversation.  Between my mother’s thick Brooklynese (and worsening deafness) and Diane’s drawl it is rather entertaining.  I often have to translate. 

My mother, unlike Diane, says her g’s but will often drop her r’s.  Never fear – there is a law of conservation of r’s.  For every “r” that falls off of “water” (wah-tuh) it is added to “banana” (buhNAHnner.)  Once, when I was in college, I had been sick, and told my mother that my cough was better.  “What?” she said.  I repeated myself.  She repeated her what.  Then I realized the problem.  I said, “My CAWF is bettah!” and she said, “Oh, good.”

What’s your favorite misunderstanding based on an accent?  Tell me in the comments below.

Lori B. Duff is the author of the Amazon ‘Hot New Release’ Mismatched Shoes and Upside Down Pizza, a collection of autobiographical humor essays.  You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/loribduffauthor.  For more updates and the latest information on Lori and her writing, please visit www.loriduffwrites.com 


About Lori Duff 352 Articles
Lori is the author of the bestselling collection of humor essays, "Mismatched Shoes and Upside Down Pizza" currently available exclusively on Amazon. In order to finance her writing habit, she is a practicing lawyer with Jones & Duff, LLC. She is married to Mike Duff, who is a retired DeKalb County Public Safety Officer, and has two amazing children who make cameo embarrassing appearances in her blog posts and who attend Walton County Public Schools. Her legal column, "Legalese", is meant to de-mystify and humanize the Court system. When asked about her writing, Lori says, "Life is too short not to laugh at every available opportunity. My goal is to make myself laugh -- and hopefully you will laugh along with me."

6 Comments on Puddin’

  1. Well, there’s the time I had to take my truck for an ole change. My favorite snack is tater chips not popcone. My truck ( which is red by the way) takes gas, not fuel or petrol. And my favorite Saturday exclamation is GO DAWGS !!

  2. One day, my friend got to taking about “Earl Wales.” I commented to him that I didn’t know his friend, which got me an odd look. He explained that most folks knew about drilling rigs out West, and what they were commonly called. Can you say “oil wells”?

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: