Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I’m rushing to get over a cold before Our Girl comes to visit tomorrow, and my system is full of everything you can buy over the counter in a capsule, big ole chalky horse-pill pushed out of a blister-pack, and icy lozenges to melt under your tongue. I cringe as I open the fridge, for that’s where the oozy cough syrups live, and my tongue is ablaze and numb all at once, from a constant residence of a Hall’s in my mouth. This year there was no Vicks’ SAAAAAVE for I just didn’t think of it, and it kinda icks me out after all those years of hot flannel and that gooey camphor.

So I may be wandering a bit, but I thought of a couple of little Southern things I’d been meaning to ask about/define/mention.

There are some little Southern phrases regarding time which confound those who haven’t been accustomed to them. Both reference future time, and even in the South, there are two contingents for one of them---like the Big and Little Endians cracking an egg.

Folks say either, “They’re coming to visit Tuesday,” which to me means the-very-next-Tuesday-on-the-calendar. Proponents of calling that “Next Tuesday” confuse me all to heck, for when they say, “They’ll be here next Tuesday,” I’ll miss the whole thing, for to me, NEXT TUESDAY is the one after THIS Tuesday. They'd have to say "the next Tuesday there IZZZZ," for me to get it right.

Even in families, depending on the clans they married into, there are sometimes confusion and missed events and even downright arguments, for each side KNOWS their phrasing to be the right one. And the little Bledsoe girl’s word-of-mouth-in-fourth-grade birthday party will occasion many a frantic phone call to see exactly WHEN the party is, with ruffled feelings on both sides over which-phrase-means-which and tears on hers when several of her absent guests later insist that the party was NEXT WEEK. Their Mamas said so.

And the other little idiom is in reference to tomorrow. “Is your appointment in the morning?” almost always leaves “or afternoon?” implied, as in morning vs. afternoon.
But if you say “IN-NA Mornin’” it ALWAYS means tomorrow.

“Do you want to go in the morning?” is “Shall we depart before noon?” but “Do you want to go IN-NA Mornin’?” means departure tomorrow, but implies your choice of any other day you’d choose.

I’d love to hear what the different phrasings mean to YOU, in your own part of the world.

Hope I haven’t muddled you too much; gotta finish up all this Clorox-wiping to get ready for Herself coming IN-NA mornin’.


Nail said...

I know exactly what you mean! In Sense and Sensibililty with Emma Thompson, 1995ish....There was a scene with Alan Rickman saying, "You're invited to a picnic, Thursday next." Sooooo, I get it if it's Friday when he says this, but if it's Monday???? Can you help me, I've always wondered....ummmmm?

Kat said...

So sorry you've had a cold. I say HAD 'cause I hope by now it's over. My hubby swears by using Vicks on his chest at night and a tiny bit under his nose.

Enjoy your time together.


Kim Shook said...

Today is Tuesday. Thursday is two days from now. Next Thursday is the 28th. What else could it POSSIBLY be? You have the right of it, my dear!

Ah, Vicks! I so adored the fragrance of Vick's that I used to tell Momma that I wished the whole world smelled like it. I still sneak a sniff when I see it in the medicine cabinet. Don't know which I like better, the smell or the milk of magnesia blue bottle!

Hope you are feeling better tomorrow and up to the little Miss!

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Sweetie...I'm sorry you gotta co'd. Those are terrible! Haven't had one is about seven years now...(pardon while I knock on wood!)
Do you think they are stress related.
The last two I got was during the 6 years I was married to my second husband. One I got on the trip to be married..and the other when I met his family..none since.
Probably not..but it sure made me wonder.

Beverly said...

You just can't know how this speaks to my soul. I once invited my aunt and uncle to dinner. They got to the house just before 1 p.m., and I offered them some pasta salad that we were having for lunch - but they declined and asked what we were having for dinner.

We chatted, relaxed and visited, and about 3 o'clock my aunt asked what time we were going to eat. I said I had planned an early dinner about five so they would get back home while it was still light.

That was when I learned that apparently lunch/dinner and dinner/supper don't mean the same thing to all people.

We still laugh about this today.

Southern Lady said...

Rachel, I, too, was subjected to those yucky-feeling hot Vicks-soaked cloths draped across my chest when I was a child, but I think they probably worked better, or, as well as some of our "wonder drugs" of today, without the side effects.

I hope this finds you feeling much better today and enjoying your little Sweetpea. Give her a hug and tell her it's from "Miss Janie."