Sunday, January 15, 2012

Prairie Expressions That Are New To Me

The number of cultural expressions specific to different regions of the same country always fascinate me.  In the past few years I have learned that even within the boundaries of this one province where I reside there are some very different names and expressions for various things.  Here are two that have captured my interest:

1.  Storm Stayed:  when the winter snow, ice and winds combine to make leaving home nearly impossible.  The only expression I have been conscious of using for similar conditions, or any other conditions that make leaving the house nearly impossible is "house bound".  But "storm stayed" is very specific.  It doesn't apply to being stuck at home due to illness or injury or agorophobia or pure laziness the way "house bound" does.  Anyone born and raised in this part of our province doesn't have to ask what "storm stayed" means.  Into the mind comes instantly a picture of deep snow, impassable drifts, thick ice, howling winds, late summer's pounding hailstorms, and general weather induced misery. 

2.  Bunny Hugs:  aka "hoodies" to the rest of the known world.  The first few times I heard that expression I had no idea what was being discussed.  I was too embarrassed to admit my ignorance so spent several months smiling and nodding when "bunny hugs" were being talked about. Finally I figured out that "bunny hugs" are actually the familiar fleece lined "hoodies" that most people wear nowadays either to stay warm during the pre- and post- winter coat wearing seasons, or to try to act all "cool" and "understandin' o' da 'hood" ( said in my best white trash way).  I understand the expression "hoodies", if for no other reason that they usually do have actual head warming hoods attached to them. But "bunny hugs"????  Have you ever tried to get a decent hug from an actual bunny??  Their little front legs can barely encircle the circumference of a newborn baby, let alone an adult.  "Bunny hugs" eh?  Sorry, I really don't understand this one....but the expression does have a cozy feeling of cutsie about it. Saying it gets me all giggly......  


chris e. said...

Having had a bunny who really would hug me...she would put her front legs around my neck, then rub her nose on my chin. Sweet, but i don't see the connection with a 'hoody'--a garment that in 70's Southern Ontario-speak was referred to as a 'Roo Jacket.' Now THAT makes sense!

Susan said...

Hi Chris e.: thanks for the good comment. Nice you have had a true bunny hug! I love ROO jacket and it does make a lot of sense!