What I Learned on My Summer Vacation

Summer VacationMy family and I recently visited my native town of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. During the trip, we returned to my grandmother’s house, which has been standing empty since she passed away last year. As we were leaving the property, I struggled to close the garden gate. My cousin kindly called out: “just pull her to.”

I obeyed and the gate slid easily into the latch. Thanks.

Wait. What did she just say? And why did I understand?

I later consulted my entourage of Maritimers who concurred that the expression was perfectly fine. There was no clearer way to say that I should pull the gate “toward myself.” Even though I wanted to protest against the incorrectness of what she had said, my editor instinct was overtaken by a wave of nostalgia. I suppose if I still lived in Lunenburg, I would have said that too.

At my day job, hearing an object referred to as “she” would have me up in arms, but in Nova Scotia it seemed as fitting as clam chowder and sou’westers. Never in a million years would you hear a Maritimer refer to a ship as “it.”

That day I was happy to take a break from all the grammar rules and just enjoy being with people who spoke my language. It is, after all, part of who I am.

Have any regionalisms that you’re fond of? Share your story!

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