Saturday, April 28, 2012

Y is for Yes-Ma'am





I just love this one, don't you?

I've heard this expression used here by the driver of a car going over a bump or hitting a pothole, usually in chorus with the passengers.

I leave the connotation up to your imaginations.


yes-ma'am n Cp DAE thank-you-ma'am (1849-). Dip, bump or rut in a road; rut in snow, esp on a 'woods path.'
P 8-55 There was about twenty yes-ma'ams [in the snow] in the road. P 61-67 Yes-ma'ams [are] very quick dips in a road. C 75-146 ~ Gulch or hole in the snow. P 40-78 ~ A place where the snow has been worn out in a woods road in winter, causing problems for horsesleds travelling over it because the road dips too quickly in such places.

Today's post brought to you by the letter Y from The Dictionary of Newfoundland English in partnership with the rest of the alphabet beginning here.







14 comments:

  1. Now I was not expecting that meaning to go with the phrase.

    We have some wild potholes in the roads around Ireland, comeing on one of them unexpectedly from round a bend, can really shake the bones up.

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  2. I try to avoid those on my bike as they are quite painful to ride over. I swear under my breath if I do. Not very badly because I'm not used to swearing. I wasn't expecting them to be called "yes ma'ams." I wonder what it was instead of.

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  3. Hmmmmm ;-) Nice one!

    Not related to the ma'am there, but just generally - I find the use of ma'am endearing. It doesn't exist any more in the UK, but in the USA it has lingered. Occasionally, even Himself will respond to me by using it. And I recall the very first time I crossed the Atlantic - 1984 - to spend a vacation in Hawaii - a young man approached me to ask the time with a "ma'am" tacked on. I was enchanted. :-)

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  4. GM:
    Not to mention the poor old car, I've seen the bottoms scraped off of them here!
    XO
    WWW
    PS Should be No Ma'am....

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  5. Irene:
    I'm not too sure.
    On a bike would be pretty tough!
    XO
    WWW

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  6. T:
    Of course in England it is the queen who gets her ma'ams...
    I hear it abbreviated here to "mam", short a, which reminds me of Ireland and the many who call their mothers "Mam", as in short for "Mammy".
    My mother always insisted on "Mummy" which unbeknownst to her drew derision from the friends of her children and set us aside.
    When I hear mammy I think of Gone with the Wind and Al Jolson....:)
    XO
    WWW

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  7. We used to call those sudden dips and rises in the road "hold your tummies".

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  8. Is it me or are these getting weirder?

    I will be glad when you've come to the end, I don't think I can take much more. Are we on the same planet?

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  9. Friko:
    Newfoundland is in a planet all by its little self, including its own language.
    But you'll never have met a finer and more generous people in your life.
    Yes, one more!
    XO
    WWW

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  10. "Yes ma'am" sounds a bit iffy to me, the implication being you have to allow for something inconvenient or annoying, like the fair sex....

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  11. Nick:
    Only for knowing your sense of humour I could get right sniffy about this...:)
    XO
    WWW

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  12. Ramana:
    For what my good fellow?
    The end of the series, the bumps on the road or my fractured brain??
    :)
    XO
    WWW

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