Sunday, November 25, 2018

Mexico City: The Midwestern Wope

Ball on roof, Picacho Street, Las Cruces, NM. July 2013.

We sat at the dining room table in the guesthouse's communal sala, or living room.

Three of us English-speakers were at the table: me + two guesthouse volunteers. "Bo," of Minnesota and Wisconsin origin, was talking to another volunteer, I don't remember who.

I was probably busy eating lunch.

But my radar blipped at something Bo said to the other volunteer, which was: "Midwesterners have a special word they use: ope." He elaborated on the alleged lingustic factoid, saying that we midwesterners utter this word when we bump into something or someone or drop something or suffer some other minor spatial accident or near-accident.

My knee-jerk reaction was: "Maybe that's true in Minnesota, but that's not something we say in Missouri." (Hopefully, I didn't say this out loud, but I may have.)

LESS THAN 24 HOURS LATER, I was in the communal kitchen, at the stove, where I dropped something and I said, "Wope!"

Jesus, it hit me. We Missourians say this ALL THE TIME.

There are variations:

Bo, I'm sorry I doubted ye.

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