July 31, 2017

"Warsh Me."

P1140268

A sticker in the window of our favorite Indianapolis restaurant, Milktooth.

I had to look it up to see what, exactly, it referred to. I came up with this:



Good to know everything's warshed.

74 comments:

Gordon said...

I kept waiting for some kind of witty reveal. It didn't happen.

There is much about the state of femininity that can be revealed by two girls with guitars.

LCB said...

Me momma, from the holler's of Southeastern KY, always warshed the clothes and told us boys to warsh behind our ears. Good lord how I miss hearing her voice.

buwaya puti said...

My mother-in-law from Northern California used to say "warshed". It was the dialect there around Eureka, oh thirty years ago. These peoples ancestors had come over from Ohio, pre-railroad, across the plains on covered wagons. We have some things that came on that trip, including a folding rocking chair.
I don't know if that dialect is still heard in those parts.

EDH said...

As someone from Boston, home of the dropped final "R", I've noticed people from other parts of the country seemingly pick those Rs up and put them where they don't belong.

Like Newt Gingrich saying Warshington DC.

David said...

We used to warsh stuff in Pittsburgh too.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

"Warsh" is a very Appalachian pronunciation.

Curious George said...

My grandmother did the warsh.

traditionalguy said...

The Hazel Dickens sound is back. Fly Away Little Pretty Bird.

rehajm said...

The word in question should not be 'warsh' but 'Birdcloud'. I looked it up. Still don't get it but at least I know...

Richard Dillman said...

People from Washington state often pronounce the state name as Warshington.

rhhardin said...

Ohio and Western Pennsylvania say "needs washed."

mockturtle said...

People from Washington state often pronounce the state name as Warshington.

I lived in Washington State all of my life and only knew one person--a childhood friend--who said 'warsh' and 'Warshington'. It would be interesting to know where that pronunciation originated.

Tom White said...

Many of us warsh our clothes in the warsher. Might be a Central Indiana thing.

When I go to the nation's capital, though, I go to Washington, D.C.

Ralph L said...

When I was young, I'd write "warsh me" on the dirty rear windows of parked cars. Should have written it backwards.

From Florence King:
Drunken good ol boy at a party tells her "I could sure use a little pussy."
"So could I, mine's as big as a bucket."

I'd given that book to my brother's mother in law for Christmas.

EDH said...

Gingrich: "If you assume Warshington remains the way Warshington is right now..."

Meade said...

Joni Mitchell Birdcloud are not.

Ralph L said...

The glass in these recent photos looks amazingly clean and transparent. Is that because it's digital, or is it Indiana?

Ann Althouse said...

Birdclouds got in my way.

rcocean said...

"I lived in Washington State all of my life and only knew one person--a childhood friend--who said 'warsh' and 'Warshington'."

I knew people who did the same. Usually, they were "foreigners" who'd moved to Washington state from the Midwest.

It used to annoy the hell out of my Mother. I

Meade said...

You've douched Birdcloud from both sides now
from up and down
and still, somehow...

Ann Althouse said...

"The glass in these recent photos looks amazingly clean and transparent. Is that because it's digital, or is it Indiana?"

I was into the reflections, which seemed very pronounced, and I've tried to capture them in framing the photographs and tweaking them. I'm guessing the potential in real life was about 2 things: 1. Proprietors care about keeping their windows super-clean in Indianapolis, and 2. Bright sun that day.

rcocean said...

She used to make fun of JFK for saying "Cuber"

Mike said...

Thank you for the intro to Birdcloud. Never know what I';m gonna pick up around here. I mean Warshin' My Big Ol' Pussy is funny stuff. These chicks are the Laslo of Nashville. Their song Black Guys is right down his alley, with the skewering of people who date someone just to piss off their parents (insinuating latent racism of course), and reminiscent of the best of Kinky Friedman.

What a blog.

Meade said...

@Ralph L,
That's Indiana. Where the maize is cleaner and all the parents are trans.

Robert Cook said...

As a native Hoosier (from south/western Indiana)--though expatriated from there involuntarily by my parents in my childhood)--I can tell you that "warsh" is the Hoosier pronunciation for "wash."

Meade said...

She used to make fun of JFK for saying "Cuber"

I remember everyone laughing at JFK when he campaigned in "Indianer".

mockturtle said...

Thank you, Cookie. Interesting! Maybe my childhood friend had Indiana roots.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"As someone from Boston, home of the dropped final "R", I've noticed people from other parts of the country seemingly pick those Rs up and put them where they don't belong."

Actually you people put an "r" on idea, as if it's idear.

John Kerry sounds so funny asking "say, what's the big idear?"

And these two musicians are normals in a world with Alicia Witt as Wendy Crowe in "Justified" hence they need to talk about their how clean their pussy is and act as though they would fake being all orgasmy if a man's mouth goes near. 'Tis what 'tit is.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

EDH

My relatives in Maine talked about pahk in the bahn and clean the cah winders. Then ohda a pizzer.

They were always confused about where the Rs went.

Like LCB says. God, I miss their grating accent, red hands and sun baked faces. Those were the real Mainiacs.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I lived in Washington State all of my life and only knew one person--a childhood friend--who said 'warsh' and 'Warshington'. It would be interesting to know where that pronunciation originated.

Agree. I'm a fourth generation Washingtonian and I only ever heard one family member say that ("Lake Warshington," shudder) and she married in.

Meade said...

"As a native Hoosier (from south/western Indiana)"

Did you know Indiana came close to entering the Union as a slave state? Much of southwest Indiana was proslavery in 1816. Slavery had been established by the French Jesuits in New France as a means of dissuading Native Americans in the region from their customary treatment of war captives: execution followed by cannibalism.

Unknown said...

Wait, really Meade? I thought most cannibalism was Gulf of Mexico oriented. The Islands and Meso-American. The Caribs, especially.

I'm not actually sure if the Aztecs ate people or not; I seem to think they didn't. If you can believe Daniel Defoe, It was restricted to a few tribes.

I'd not thought cannibalism had made its way up to Indiana of all places. Certainly the western Native Americans like the Ute tribe didn't do it, nor the Nez Pearce, etc.

--Vance

Guildofcannonballs said...

"268 Ah fu got to warsh my face Whorealdo blew me a kiss, creepster, really Faux really needs to move some folks out. OReally Whorealdo and give insHannity a break and a valium perscription
Posted by: ConcealedKerry Or SubMitt at November 03, 2012 10:59 PM (7HW+2)"

http://minx.cc:1080/?post=334568

Ann Althouse said...

"It would be interesting to know where that pronunciation originated."

I think that the "r" is representing a vowel sound made by people who don't feel as though they are adding an "r" but just doing an "a" sound. There are many ways to pronounce "a," and, for some people "ar" is one of them.

tcrosse said...

It sounds like my Scottish landlady's imitation of my Wisconsin accent.

Ann Althouse said...

I think I add some "r" to my "a" when I say "water." I can hear it, but no one ever has said to me: Hey, you're one of those people who say "warter," because I don't hit it that hard. It's a subtle thing. I only noticed it about myself when I was quite old.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, I unsuspectingly clicked on your link to Birdcloud. My day can only go up from here.

Big Mike said...

And you aren't "quite old ." When you're 82 you're quite old.

Ann Althouse said...

"@Althouse, I unsuspectingly clicked on your link to Birdcloud. My day can only go up from here."

It begins with a warning, so I didn't warn you separately.

Robert Cook said...

"Did you know Indiana came close to entering the Union as a slave state?"

I didn't know it, but I'm not surprised. My father told me Indiana at one time had the greatest number of members of the KKK of any state in the union.

Mitch H. said...

I don't know what yinz are talking about. It's clearly 'needs worshed', at least in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. This 'warsh' business is nothing more than mis-configured orthography.

Unknown said...

It's an odd thing, but there's a LOT of telemarketing firms in Utah. One of the primary reasons why is because Utah really doesn't have a specific accent to cheese people off--how many people hate Joisey or New Yahk or the South, or like, whatever valley girl? Lots.

Utah's biggest vocal oddity (beside Pop; I think Utah lands on the Pop side of Pop versus Soda) is a tendency to say "Fork" as "Fawk" or "Farwk". Turning an O into an A sound is about it. We have a town called Orem. It's pronounced O-rem, a long O. Lots of people actually say it as if it rhymes with "arm".

But that's it, and only for the older types. It's rapidly dying out.

Linguistically, the truly most odd thing about Utah is that it is the most linguistically diverse place in the US: Practically every language of the world has speakers here. You want someone to translate into Farsi? Somalian? Northern Peruvian(if such exists)? Utah's your best bet.

It's quite ironic. BYU, likely the most "white bread" campus in the US; the most "stone cold sober" school, the polar opposite of Cal-Berkeley in every way, is also the place where you'll run across 5 or six people looking like they came from the farm next to Dorothy's in the Wizard of Oz, and they'll all be talking in Korean about some cafe in downtown Pusan that they all know and have been to; and then swap their favorite Kimchee recipe. The next table might have a group of people talking about their shared love of a small village in northern Italy. And so on.

There's a reason, after all, for Mormon overrepresentation in the CIA, NSA, and FBI and other security services.

The truly funny thing to me is that in many ways BYU and the Mormon population in Utah has far more diversity in actual practice than the Berkeley's of the world (I knew a blond bombshell girl who spent six months in a hut off of Costa Rica with no electricity or running water; she lived like a Native American had 2000 years ago --and the truly amazing thing was this was no big deal; lots of people had done things similar). Likely in part because of this diversity though, BYU is very conservative.

It's what happens when you focus on how people live; and try to actually change their lives for the better. The shallowness of leftist political philosophy and how barren it is becomes abundantly clear. Nothing cures a person of "Give all power to the government and they will help us" faster than helping people in the slums of some third world country.

So that's the two big Utahan linguistic oddities: the bland Americanness of our speech, and the highest by far amount of people with two or more languages. The colleges in Utah could and would easily provide translations for the entire UN if need be.

--Vance

jacksonjay said...

I was hoping for something like the car warshin scene in Cool Hand Luke. That there was some fine film makin!

Meade said...

"My father told me Indiana at one time had the greatest number of members of the KKK of any state in the union."

Yeah. 1925. But at that time, in Indiana and much of the Midwest, the Klan was more about fear of Catholics/immigration than fear of African-Americans.

Virgil Hilts said...

They come off as far more demure at their web site
http://www.birdcloudamerica.com/

BudBrown said...

Also pro temperance movement.

Fabi said...

Howzeryermommernim?

Fabi said...

How's your mother and them?

**

"Djeet?"

"Nah. Djoo?"

"Nah. Squeet!"

**

Did you eat? No. Did you? No. Let's go eat!

khematite said...

Harry Reasoner, a CBS news anchor in the 1960s and 1970s always said "Warshington." He grew up in the Midwest (Iowa, Minnesota), so I always assumed that was a Midwestern thing.

mockturtle said...

Misplaced reports: Agree. I'm a fourth generation Washingtonian and I only ever heard one family member say that ("Lake Warshington," shudder) and she married in.

From where, do you know?

Danno said...

My dad, has always lived in Minnesota and does the warshed/Warshington thing.

mockturtle said...

I'm fascinated by American regional accents much the same way that Professor Higgins was by those of England. I was once at a paper mill near the NC coast and some of the black workers started talking to me and, embarrassingly, I couldn't make out a thing they were saying. Researched it later and found it may have been a type of Gullah dialect but it was Greek to me.

Ralph L said...

The colleges in Utah could and would easily provide translations for the entire UN if need be.
Utah has a strong position in missionaries.

Fabi said...

Ralph L -- if you'd have said that Utah has a strong position in missionary you'd have won the thread.

MountainMan said...

My late mother-in-law from Missouri not only would "warsh" the clothes but she made sure she did a good job to "wrench" them out as well. And my late father-in-law would occasionally put new "tars" on his car.

Ralph L said...

Fabi, that would have been vulgar.

TwoAndAHalfCents said...

My Indiana raised mom was an English teacher for a number of years. She was a stickler for pronunciation and we definitely had the grammar police in our house. But she still said "warsh".

tcrosse said...

My Old Milwaukee relatives would pronounce 'water' and 'daughter' to rhyme with
'otter',

Fabi said...

So noted, Ralph L.

Titus said...

You never really hear much about Indianapolis. I went there as a child on vacation with my parents-which was a weekend. We saw the race track and Churchill Downs in Kentucky. I remember not be impressed at the time. I wanted more! I was like 8.

Feste said...

"My father told me Indiana at one time had the greatest number of members of the KKK of any state in the union."

If you’re black-like-me (I’m not - just sayin’), don’t pull off the road in Martinsville. After dark. For “gas.” Detour to Bloomington. Fill up there. Safety, being an ecological. Since the early-day KKK didn’t scare off all the Catholics (tough son's-a-bitches, Irish) Mike Pence may have made things a little safer. Maybe - not everywhere.

Except for Touchdown Jesus. That Guy is always 'safe'? Oh wait, where has that Guy been, lately?

Maybe those local Catholics need a Black Touchdown Jesus?

Sorta keep things, real?

"And, if Providence ever drops in my lap another chance like that ... I may have radio malfunction again." ~ Brigadier General Frank Savage

CStanley said...

I think I add some "r" to my "a" when I say "water." I can hear it, but no one ever has said to me: Hey, you're one of those people who say "warter," because I don't hit it that hard. It's a subtle thing. I only noticed it about myself when I was quite old.

When I was 8 years old we moved from NJ to CT. Several kids at the new school surrounded me at the lunch table and made me repeat sentences containing the word "water" over and over.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...


"People from Washington state often pronounce the state name as Warshington"

My whole family does thanks to our Midwest-raised parents. It's not uncommon but perhaps I'm listening for it and so hear it consciously.

Titus said...

Indy is certainly not a gay destination, but what would make it hot? Give it a little sizzle? It is hurt terribly by being right in the middle of the country-we need beaches.

mikeski said...

My dad, has always lived in Minnesota and does the warshed/Warshington thing.

I have lived in Minnesota for 30+ years, and I don't "warsh" anything. Nor have I heard anyone else add R's like that. And I've lived in the northwest, central ("Fargo" movie accent, oh yaaah, shure), and Minneapolis areas of MN.

Is it maybe an Iron Range (northeast MN) thing, where old rust-belt-ian folks from further east might have brought it in?

mockturtle said...

Titus asks: but what would make it hot? Give it a little sizzle?

I thought that was what the Indy 500 was about. ;-)

David Smith said...

In NW Indiana (Rolling Prairie) we'd warsh up for dinner, not so much for supper, 'cus like as not we'd eat that on the run. You didn't have to wrench good to get all the soap off 'cus the water's pretty hard.

Rick Turley said...

Lived in Central Indiana - home of the largest KKK konclave in history - during my formative years. It took many years to wash "warsh" out of my vocabulary.

Michael said...

I grew up in the Twin Cities, but my Dad was from "down along the Wabash" in southern IL and IN. He always said "woished" and "Woishington," which I think is pretty limited to that area. "Warsh" is from a wider area, though. I was well into grade school before I figured out that the father of our country wasn't George Warshington. Dad also said Hawaya, as in Honolulu, and "mylch" (from cows) for some reason.

Unknown said...

Ha, and they make fun of us Boston accent speaking folk!

Big Mike said...

I looked up this duo on some country music web sites. One of the web sites described this video as "un-unseeable." Sums it up neatly.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"I need ta warsh muh uff some Worcestershire sauce that Arshly splarshed on muh."

Bruce Hayden said...

"These peoples ancestors had come over from Ohio, pre-railroad, across the plains on covered wagons."

I picked this one out to respond to, instead of some of the later comments, because my mother's family came out of Ohio in the 1850s, moving into the woods of MI. I am often accused of coming from the Midwest, and this is one of the reasons. I clearly picked it up from my mother, who grew up in Chicago, after her father moved down from MI to find work after WW I. But I think I may have also picked it up some from my father, whose parents moved from OK to Denver about that same time. The accent thing is funny, because I have spent most of my life in the mountain west, west of I-25, east of the Pacific states, border to border, except for 5 years in Austin and 5 in DC. Never closer than maybe 700 miles from the Midwest. And, yet, people guess that I am from the Midwest, time after time.

My partner, on the other hand, has no Midwestern roots, whatsoever, and tries to correct my Midwest mispronunciation of "wash" whenever she hears it. She says that I sound ignorant. Right. Despite her eidactic memory, my working vocabulary is several times hers. The difference between having four college educated grandparents, versus none, in her case. She understands the words that I use - just doesn't use them herself.

Finally, as to the Utah Pop/Soda thing. The regional boundaries there would be interesting. I grew up in the next state east of there (CO), and "soda" marked you as an easterner. Not that much anymore, of course. Here in NW MT, it is, again, almost exclusively "pop".

funsize said...

If someone pronounces it Warshington, they are emphatically not from here. (state. I cannot speak for DC)