Only in York County

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I didn’t mean to say it

Next in an ongoing series on York County-isms

This Yorkism was totally an accident. It’s one of those four-letter words I’ve been desperately trying to avoid. But since I said it the other day, I figure I might as well put it out there for public debate.

What could be so bad, you ask?

Well, it’s ain’t.

But not ain’t in place of isn’t (for example, “That ain’t mine!”)

No, this is that ain’t’s hillbilly cousin once removed.

This “ain’t” is another phrase thrown on to the end of a sentence, like quick or awhile or that old favorite, “once” (or wunst), which I’ll post about later.

The offending conversation was as follows:

Coworker friend Rose says something. I forget about what. But I agree wholeheartedly. So I nod seriously and say, “Ain’t!”

Rose, heaven help her, grew up one town up the road from me. She knew what I meant. And she didn’t laugh too hard. But that’s one I’d hoped not to fall into.

It mostly acts like the rhetorical “isn’t it?” at the end of a sentence. The closest translation I can come up with is the old-fashioned phrase “And how!” Anyone familiar with that one, please comment so at least I know I’m not (or maybe I should say I ain’t) alone.

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