Monday, August 19th, 2019

Green Bay versus Arizona, the lexicon


My sister Nan sent me this Facebook posting by local television news personality Steve Irwin from Arizona. I think the vocabulary depends on which part of Wisconsin you’re from. Before you complain about stereotyping of Wisconsinites, I’ve heard them all and then some.

As the Cardinals prepare to play the Green Bay Packers in this year’s first pre-season game, you may see a number of Wisconsin residents interviewed as part of our coverage. I grew up in America’s Dairyland, so in the interest of clarity, I’ve prepared a glossary of terms for anyone confused by the unique language of those from the Badger state…

–Ya, Ya Ya, Youbetcha: Expressions in the affirmative. “I agree with that statement.

–Ya Hey Dere… Affirmative expression combined with a greeting.

–Yeahello… phone greeting common to the midwest.

–Allrightythen: an expression of benign resignation.

–Uff Da: There are many people of Norwegian descent in Wisconsin. This phrase, loosely translated, means wow.

–Cry, or Crimeney: Wisconsinites do not like to use the Lord’s name in vain. Thus, this substitute. Generally an expression of frustration or disgust. See also: Jimeney Christmas, For the Love of Pete, and For Pete’s Sake, and Dag-blast-it.

–Quit yer yammerin’: Shut Up.

–Bubbler: A drinking fountain.

–Pop: (pr: paahhp) A soda, derived from the now antiquated “soda pop”

–Brat: (pr: Braahht) A bratwurst, a German sausage served on a bun. Among the finest bratwurst is the Johnsonville brand, produced in… Sheboygan.

–Kielbasa (keel-BAAHH-suh): Much of the world refers to this as a polish sausage, similar to a brat with different seasoning.

–5 year cheddar: In Wisconsin, cheese is a food group in and of itself. Among the best cheeses are those which are aged. A cheddar aged five years will have a crumbly texture and a bold, sharp flavor.

–Cheese Curds: In the cheese making process, what’s left over are curds, little nuggets of cheese goodness. Unlike aged cheeses, curds are best eaten fresh, within a day or two of production. You can tell a fresh curd if it “squeaks” while you eat it.

–Leinee (pr: LIE-knee): Short for Leinenkugel’s Beer, brewed in Chippewa Falls Wisconsin. See also, Spotted Cow, a popular brew from New Glarus.

–Holstein: The actual name for the black and white spotted dairy cow.

–Da Bears: Spawn of the Devil, Evil Incarnate, often used in the context of a grave insult.

–Ditka: A foreign word. Few people in Wisconsin will understand what you are talking about. In fact, it is rare to find anyone who watched or has any recollection of the ’85 Superbowl.

–Flatlander: someone from Illinois

–Walleye, Crappie (Craahhpy), Muskie… prized fish in many of Wisconsin’s freshwater lakes.

Hope this helps. Having grown up in the Wisconsin, and raising my family in Arizona, I will endeavor to remain “football neutral” for the next 24 hours. Youbetcha…

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