This is the link to a dialect quiz from The New York Times and it just knocked my socks off! I took the test and it said my dialect matched Amarillo and Lubbock, Texas, (and Shreveport, LA because I say y'all and the NYTimes says people in Shreveport say y'all. I don't know if they do or not).
Well, that is just goofy----everyone in the Texas panhandle says y'all and all of y'all. More than 2 people would be y'all and a bunch of you would be all of y'all.... as in y'all come inside now, or do all of y'all have a ride home?
But back to the test...out of the entire country my answers indicated my dialect matched my city, Amarillo, Texas. Lubbock is 122 miles due south of town, so I am not surprised I match them as well. How amazing is that!?? My oldest son took it and it matched him to Amarillo, Lubbock an Oklahoma City. I am emailing the link to my youngest son that moved to Seattle last August and see what his test indicates. Tomorrow I will get my 2 daughters to take the test when they come to my house. They were all raised here in Amarillo.
I think I have no accent at all. I think I talk just like everyone else, but perhaps I have a slight accent. I can't hear it, but possibly a Texas twang or a southern drawl, or combination of the two. A dozen or so years ago I had a part time job. I worked at the library from 9 to 6 and then 7 to midnight at an Xcel Energy call center. I took calls from northern Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota and the Dakotas. Often customers would say "where are you from?" One year I went on vacation to Utah and more than a couple of people there asked me where I was from, which amazed me because I am sure I sounded just like them. It was not an "oh, you are visiting our state, and where do you live?" but more like I opened my mouth and then they said "where are you from?"
I know we have phrases that are regional. I have used them, but very seldom. Ohkay, sometimes I have been know to say them. "I'm fixin' to" is something I say all the time, as in I'm fixin' to go to the store, meaning I am about to leave. I have been known to say "I feel like I have been rode hard and put up wet" which means you are just exhausted, like a horse ridden hard.
"Close enough for government work" means that will do or that's good enough (we would say that at work all the time). "You can't beat that with a stick" means that is pretty darn good. Uh, yes, I say that fairly often. "I wouldn't trust him any farther than I could throw him" means I think he is dishonest. I said that several times just this week.
"You would argue with a wood post" is something I often said to my kids when they were being argumentative. I've said "don't get your panties in a wad" a million times to my daughter when she would get ballistic over something as a teenager. LOL! I often said, when talking to my kids, "let me tell you what, I 'm gonna tell you how the cow ate the cabbage" meaning I am fixin' to straighten you out and tell you what's what.
I would say to my kids "we are burnin' daylight" meaning we are wasting time here. Whenever something good happens or things are going right I say "We are in high cotton." If someone is telling me something I already know I say "you are preaching to the choir."
Dr Phil uses phrases that are pretty common here where I live. (He was raised in Oklahoma and north Texas) Dr Phil often says "that dog won't hunt" which means that idea will not work. When he says "this isn't my first rodeo" he means "he didn't just fall off the turnip truck" or that he has some experience in whatever he is discussing. "All hat and no cattle" means someone is all talk, or trying to act like something they are not.
Our local grocery store chain uses this one in their radio advertisements... "You can put your boots in the oven but that don't make 'em biscuits." That would be a response to someone who is saying something contrary to the facts. "You can bet the farm on it", "you can take that to the bank" or "you can hang your hat on it means "that is the truth."
If you take the test, it is maybe 25 questions, please let me know if it matched you as closely as it did me. That just knocked my socks off! (and if y'all don't say that, it means it surprised me big time).