Thursday, February 6, 2014

Merlin Dialect

The following post was originally put on And Rightly So during its first incarnation, and disappeared into cyber-oblivion when the site went down.  Fortunately, I had saved a copy of it on an old computer.
In the state where I live, we have our own way of talking.  While the state is known as "Maryland" in standard English, in the local dialect, it's called "Merlin".  Thus, "Maryland" is what you might call our "full fake name".

Merlin Dialect differs from standard in English in several ways, some of which are:

1.  Some vowels are shortened, most often in unaccented syllables.  For example, "ee" as in "seen" becomes "i" as in "sin".  This is in common with some dialects of upstate New York.  The long "i" before an "r" becomes "a" as in "car".  This is in common with some dialects in eastern Kentucky.

2:  The dipthong "ow" as in "cow" becomes "a" as in "cat".  This is similar to Australian English.

3.  An "r" is inserted after "a" in some standard English words.  This is in common with some dialects in central Texas.

4.  Syllables that sound like "air" in standard English sound like the "er" in "her".  This may be spelled either "er" or "ur".

5.  Consonants within groups thereof can disappear.

Some Geographic Terms:

Merlin - The name of our state, located between Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvania.
Merliner - A person who lives in Merlin.
Balmer - The largest city in Merlin.
Naplis - The capital of Merlin.
Canny - Any of the administrative sections into which Merlin is divided.
Canny Sit - The location of the administrative offices of a particular canny.
Chest Peak Bay - The body of water that almost separates Merlin into two parts.
Amerka - The country of which Merlin is a part.
Amerkin - 1. Of, from or pertaining to Amerka.  2. A citizen of Amerka.
Warshnin - 1. The capital of Amerka, which is partially surrounded by, but not part of Merlin.  2. A canny in western Merlin.  3.  A state on the west coast of Amerka, immediately north of Organ.
Klumya - 1. A district coextensive with Warshnin (def. 1).  2. The capitol of Sath Curlina.  3. A city in Merlin, about halfway between Balmer and Warshnin.  4. A country in Sath Amerka.
Allanic Oshin - The large body of water to the east of Amerka.
Yerp - A continent on the other side of the Allanic Oshin.

Some General Vocabulary:

arn - 1. The metallic element having the atomic number 26.  2. A device for removing wrinkles from clothing.  3.  To use such a device to remove such wrinkles.
aspern - A drug used to relieve headaches.
bull (rhymes with standard English "dull") - 1. To heat a liquid to a temperature hot enough for it to slowly vaporize.  2. To use such heated liquid to cook food.
Calf Lick - A Christian who recognizes the Pope as the highest religious authority on Earth.
crick - 1. A body of flowing water not large enough to be a river.  2. A sound caused by friction between adjoining pieces of metal or wood.
curl - A song sung during the Christmas season.
dan - The opposite of "up".
dantan - The center, and often the oldest part, of a city.
far - A chemical reaction that consumes oxygen.
farmin - People whose job is to extinguish unwanted fars.
flare - 1. The brightly colored reproductive parts of a plant.  2. A plant having such colored parts.  3.  One of the ingredients for making bread or other baked goods.
ford - The opposite of "backwards".
forn - Of, from, or pertaining to any place outside of Amerka.
forner - A person from outside of Amerka.
hass - 1. A dwelling, usually not connected to other dwellings.  2. (Cap) Part of Congress.
Hi Hon - The general greeting in Merlin.
ignernt - Unaware of something.
meer - A flat reflective surface.
more - A machine used for cutting grass.
Orals - The major league baseball team in Balmer.
plooshin - Substances or materials that harm the environment.
pare - 1. In physics, the amount of work done per unit time.  2.  The right or ability, especially of a government, to impose its will.  3. Electricity flowing through wires.
pohleese - Law enforcement officers.
sarn - A noise-making device on vehicles used by pohleese and farmin.
Sem Elem - A convenience store.
share - 1. A bathroom fixture that sprays water on a standing person.  2. To use such as fixture to clean oneself.  3. A gift-giving party, in preparation for a wedding or in celebration of a birth.  4.  A period of rainfall.
tar - 1. The rubber part of a vehicular wheel.  2. To become worn out.
warsh - To remove dirt or stains from clothes, dishes or oneself.
warter - The liquid form of dihydrogen monoxide, often used to warsh, share, or extinguish fars.
youz - The plural of "you".

A Few Historical Figures:

Calf Leen Tanzin - Recent lieutenant governor of Merlin, related to the Kennedy family.
Purse Glen-Deng - Governor of Merlin during much of the nineties.
Eln Sare-Bury - Unsuccessful candidate for governor, who twice lost to Glen-Deng.
Boog Pal - Orals first basemen, MVP of the American League in 1970.
Egraln Poe - Famous poet who lived in Balmer
Charles Curl of Curlton - The Calf Lick Merliner who signed the Declaration of Independence.
The Merlin dialect has some internal variation.  The city of Balmer, for example, is also called Ball Tee More, and the baseball team is called the Oreos as well as the Orals.  For more information, go here and here.

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