Saturday, September 08, 2007

Regional Dialect

I used to make fun of an old boss who grew up an Army brat and then joined the Air Force himself. He's not really from anywhere.

As a result, he had this bizzare accent that we all used to make fun of. It's hard to describe. It was a kind of east coast-midwest meets Texas accent (he lived in El Paso before leaving for law school in Michigan).

It wasn't weird to hear him say he was fixin' to go get a pop out of the fridge. "Fixin'" is common southern saying and "pop" is such a midwest word!

Apparently I shouldn't have made fun of him for his mixed regional dialects. I didn't realize that I'm just as bad!

"Hooky bobbing" appears to be a distinctively Alaskan word.

Per Urban Dictionary, hooky bobbing is defined as:

An Alaskan teenager activity which a sled is attached to the back of a truck and pulled around with somebody on the sled, often with the truck moving at high speeds. This is done over snow or ice. The act of Hooky-Bobbing is often accompanied by jumps, bumps, potholes, and snowbanks, off which the point is to go high up in the air or hold on as long as you can.

"Last night, since it snowed so much, me, Isaac, Gabe, and Jake went hooky-bobbing out the road. We nearly killed Isaac when he went over the birm!"

I thought everyone knew what hooky bobbing was! But no wonder they don't cover this in elementary school safety education down here!

My google research even cited "hooky bobbing" in a dictionary I totally need to buy when I've got $50 to spare on Amazon:

AK Eng

There you go. Y'all can go home now. You've learned your one new thing for the day.



Blogger Donna Lee said...

I love the urban dictionary. They send me a word of the day and I learn the most interesting things. Kids here do that too but I don't think there is a name for it. And we don't often have enough snow to make it worthwhile.

9:56 AM  
Blogger cpurl17 said...

Hooky Boobing sounds hella fun!

10:24 AM  
Blogger cpurl17 said...

oops, I meant to write bobbing, not boobing.

Hooky boobing sounds painful.

10:26 AM  
Blogger Poops said...

We hooky bob (I typed "boob" too at first...go figure.) up here, but we do it on sneakers alone, and we call it "skitching". I think it's from the sound your body makes as it hits a patch of dry pavement. Skkiiiiiittttccchh...

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grandpa Riley hooky-bobbed once and got a cut on his chin. He carried a scar there all his life and when he did it his friend went running home to his mom screaming "Charles heart is coming out!" cause of all the blood. The poor truck driver picked him up and carried him to his home. That had to be in the 30's cause if I remember rightly he told me he was ten when he did it. Love, Mom
PS This all took place in Iowa.

10:39 AM  
Blogger janna said...

We do that in the midwest, but I don't think it has a name - just 'dragging a sled behind the truck.' Although I wonder if your grandpa called it hooky-bobbing in Iowa?

1:07 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

I knew what that was when I read it. I have no idea why, I must have heard about it as a kid.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

In New Hampshire there was an activity, I think called "Bumper Riding," that involved wearing one's most worn-out slippery sneakers or boots and holding onto a car bumper while the car drove on a road with a layer of slick packed snow. Only, you didn't want to get caught by surprise by dry asphalt.

2:58 PM  
Blogger Stacie said...

I wanna hooky bob! my hubby talks about his dad pulling them on sleds behind a pickup here in the midwest!

5:07 PM  
Blogger turtlegirl76 said...

It sounds like waterskiing! How fun!

7:00 PM  
Anonymous NikBudnik said...

Ya'll Alaskas are hella weird, Dude.Hei!
(and before Ya'll get all pissed off, this is coming from a Californian who moved to Arkansas and married said Alaskans brother, while living in Japan.)Yeah, we are worldwide.

7:19 PM  
Blogger LadyLungDoc said...

Sounds alot like Bumper Shining.

8:21 PM  
Blogger weezalana said...

What was his dad doing in the fridge?


Hooky bobbing sounds like something they'd do on Jackass! So does hooky boobing, now that I think about it...

11:58 PM  
Blogger Starfish said...

Yup, in these parts its "skitching"....although it's really pronounced without the g - "skitchin'"

7:08 AM  
Blogger Alisha said...

Hooky bob.....that one made me giggle.

Your teaching me everyday Bezzie!!!

9:27 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

My teenaged neighbors do this along our road, but not on sleds - with their snowboards. My daughters and I came home one evening and saw them at their sport. My ten year old quipped that it looked dangerous, and I (inadvertently) relayed her concerns to their mother, who told the boys that they didn't need to be doing that anymore, as it concerned my girls. So, the oldest boy brought a DVD about extreme snowboarding over to show the girls it was perfectly safe ;).

Take heart regarding your lexicon and accent. I'm an Army Brat, who later enlisted, and have lived all over the US and in Europe. It's not beyond me to say things like, "It's wicked hot today", followed by, "I reckon we should go to the beach." ;)

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Miss T said...


4:53 PM  
Blogger Magatha said...

Totally awesome. I had no idea, but it makes sense being that Alaska used to be very isolated and has several very different ethnic influences.

I just thought you made "hooky bob" up like "thingamajiggy".

11:27 AM  
Blogger ZantiMissKnit said...

I say "fixin' to", and sometimes
"y'all". It's part of my Boston Yankee in New Orleans dialect.

11:42 AM  
Blogger JRS said...

Interesting! As an English teacher who mostly is around non-native speakers, or English speakers from other countries, I'm always fascinated by this stuff.

BTW, I recently read a really good book set in Alaska (and written by a guy who grew up and lives waaayy up North) called Ordinary Wolves. If you haven't read it, I would recommend checking it out.

1:15 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home