Cruising the Green of Second Avenue

Wild Child Publishing has issued the second volume of short stories in Cruising the Green of Second Avenue. The tales take up where Vol. I left off — bringing back Klein the Biker, Straight Charlie and Sammy the Madman while introducing new characters stumbling over life’s difficulties in the late 60s. Vol. II is an e-book published by Wild Child Publishing that you can download, save as a pdf (Adobe) file and print. Read both volumes and see that life isn't all that serious. Find it at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and other online book sellers.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Jersey Tawk

People not from the South Jersey shore probably think we talk—or tawk—funny. A long meat-filled sandwich is more often a hoagie (Jersey shore and South Philly) than a hero (New York dialect), sub (North Jersey), grinder (New England) or blimpie (commercial name). Similarly, the candies on an ice cream are jimmies instead of sprinkles and the tourists are bennies or shubies.

I was tawking with an in-law from Manahawkin last weekend, and he mentioned some of the shore towns have no parking areas. This is to discourage the shubies. Sometimes spelled shoobies, the word refers to visitors who used to bring their beach snacks in a shoe box. A bit farther north, say Point Pleasant, every kid knows the auslanders are bennies. The come, variously, to absorb the benefits of the Jersey shore or because they’re from Brooklyn Elizabeth, Newark and New York.

There’s even a language distinction that separates Ocean County from the hillier north counties. We call a truck with detachable trailer a tractor trailer, not a trailer truck. You fetch water in a bucket and not a pail.

As for the accent, there really is a Jersey-New York accent, according to Rutgers linguist Fay Yeager. Our accent lacks the “th” diphthong and the “r”, she says, very much like British English. And that was adopted in the 1920s by the upper—uppah—classes. “Finga” sounded classier than finger, apparently. If you’re still confused, give the Jersey speaker the finga. “We been true dis tree times awreddy.”

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