UFF-DA! Wherefore Art Thou, Shakespeare?


If the Bard was born a Badger.

Our Wisconsin home is nicknamed The Badger State for 1830s lead miners who lived in caves carved into hillsides. (Today those caves would have swimming pools and condo fees.) The badger, not an attractive beast, was adopted as the state animal in 1957.

Across the pond is Lands’ End UK. In England, home of Shakespeare. Stratford-on-Avon. Driving on the wrong side. And when our UK coworkers visit Wisconsin, they don’t always comprehend what we’re talking about, due to the local dialect.

Which made us wonder: had their bard been born in one of our barns, what might he have written?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 “Beware the Ides of March and whatnot.”

 “Holy Buckets! What light through yonder window breaks?”

 “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. How’s by you?”

 “Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?”
“I am pulled over up at the wayside by the stop-and-go lights.”

 “A man can die but once, in a roundabout.”

 “UFF-DA! If you prick us, do we not bleed?”

 “Once more, once more into the breech dear friends…. but first I need to stop at the bubbler!”

 “Now is the winter of our discontent – ain’t that a whoopensocker!”

 “A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse! I got to go Up Nort’!”

 “Off with his head! Cheechet?”

 “Sugar alone does not sweeten the coffee, it’s the stirring that makes it so, don’t ya know.”

 “Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand?” “Ya tink, ‘er no?”

 “Et tu, Brute?” “You betcha’.”

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Wayside:  Rest area
Stop-and-go lights:  Stoplights
Roundabout:  Traffic rotary (often smaller)
UFF-DA!:  Norwegian expression of sensory overload. Think, Holy Cow!
Bubbler:  Water fountain
Whoopensocker:  Something extraordinary of its kind
Cheechet:  Contraction of “Did you eat yet?”

Footnote: After half a century, the “Dictionary of American Regional English” was completed in 2012, just up the road from us at the University of Wisconsin.

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