doodlebugs and dooryards…

As my brain has taken a wrong left turn due to an unprovoked and undeserving bout with vertigo, I found myself bandying words across the Atlantic Ocean with Pauline, my Irish cyber-buddy, a knitter-extrordinare.

She was feeling chipper and had strung together so much brogue so quick that I heard in my head the sound of a record, scratching to a halt.  Wait a minute… Biccies? Chips? Strogs?

So I asked and a dialogue of sorts ensued, leading me to an amazing revelation.

I needed more sleep.

“Biccies” are biscuits, apparently, but not the kind we eat for breakfast. More of a cookie (then why not just call them a cookie?)

Strogs are…. still don’t get it, something about something that’s not named. Um, Pauline, is it just my fog or did that one just whiz right over my head?

In honor of this blasted case of vertigo and our cultural differences, allow me to illuminate you as to the proper way to speak in Vermont…

First, drop consonants at the end of words and replace them with “ah”  … as in, “there’s a deah out thereah.” TRANSLATION: “There’s a deer out there.”

Next, substitute names for objects that make no sense.

Like “dooryard”

Dooryard = front yard.

And “doodlebug.”

Doodlebug= an object that no longer works that’s parked in your dooryard.

“Hey, look,” my daughter said, “there’s a doodlebug boat in our dooryard.”

“And a doodlebug plow,” chirped the other.

Not to be outdone, I added, “and a doodlebug woodshed.”

Both simply blinked at the utter stupidity of my statement.



Still don’t know why THAT wasn’t funny.

Anyways, I asked Pauline if they called their yards “dooryards” and she explained in such away as to make my poor malfunctioning head swim. Allow me to quote..

“No, we don’t say dooryard at all. Nor do we say ‘front yard’- it’s front garden, and back garden as appropriate! A yard is unplanted, as in farmyard or a small patch of concrete you might have behind a townhouse, where there’s no room for a garden, and you’d keep your rubbish bins (not trash cans!) there…”


And, because I’m writing this mighty Irish epic fantasy, I just had to ask.

Do they say “Ay” in Ireland.

Here is what she said…

“The closest I’ve ever come to an ‘aye’ is watching Scottie on Star Trek… Cliches abound  in reported irish- and scots-speak, I’m afraid. Worst offender: ‘Far and Away’-painful!”

(Oooops! Guess I have some editing to do before she reads my book.)

So you see and in summation, if you have a doodlebug and you park it in your dooryard, it’s going to taste like a cookie, but be called a biscuit….

Oh, wait, that’s a strog.


I guess I should just go to bed.

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6 thoughts on “doodlebugs and dooryards…

  1. free penny press

    That is one thing i have really enjoyed about social networking on the web.. meeting so many people from around the world and learning their lingo, fav foods, etc.. So much fun!!

    • I agree! Just this morning, I woke to find my cyber-buddy Ashi Akira from Japan had visited. It just gets me so excited connecting with people from all over the globe!

  2. mouthfulofwords

    I don’t know why your daughter didn’t think doodlebug woodshed wasn’t funny, I had a good laugh. I believe I will have to edit a few aye’s from me script as well 😉

    • I know, right?! No respect… as to the “aye” end o’things – ay, I’ll be doing some editing right along with ye…

  3. I may have to throw some of these words into some of my conversations…..then again, my kids already think I’m nuts.

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