Sunday, December 28, 2008

I Can't Remember What You Call It...

But, then again, you almost certainly call it something different than I do.

This morning, I was deciding what I wanted for breakfast and I decided I wanted that thing where you tear a hole in the middle of a slice of bread and fry an egg in the hole...and I couldn't, for the life of me, remember what the hell you call that. Still can't. On the one hand, it doesn't mean I can't have that thing where you tear a hole in the middle of a slice of bread and fry an egg in the hole. On the other hand, it means I can't tell you succinctly what it was I had for breakfast.

This is driving me nuts. So, the first assignment today is for you all to tell me what the fuck you call that thing where you tear a hole in the middle of a slice of bread and fry an egg in the hole. Odds are that due to regionalisms, you'll all have different answers and it's likely none of them will be whatever the hell I was taught to call that thing where you tear a hole in the middle of a slice of bread and fry an egg in the hole when I was little. (Growing up in Northern MN, Anon GF called it Indian Eyes.)

Anyway, this had got me thinking about regionalisms. We've discussed how I grew up in the South and everything carbonated was a Coke. You guys call it soda, or soda pop, or pop or whatever the hell. Where I grew up, every playground had a sliding board. Odds are some of you grew up calling it a slide...or something else even. I went to college with someone who called it a sliding pond! (First of all, I can't, for the life of me imagine where that comes from, and second...yes, the discussion of what to call the thing was fueled by things ingested.)

So, your second assignment is to tell me your favorite regionalisms. What odd term do you have for stuff that if you used it far from home, nobody would know what the hell you were talking about?

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BTW, I was just watching one of the Sunday morning news shows and they were interviewing Illinois' Lt. Governor. He was asked when he had last spoken to the Governor, he answered "August of 2007". Wow!

19 comments:

Random Michelle K said...

An off shoot of toad in the hole?

Jeri said...

Alaska has excellent regionalisms, but I'll leave that for Jim and Tania since I'm no longer really a resident, just an expat business associate.

I can't think of many for Washington. We're limousine liberals, foodies, tree-huggers, coffee snobs, primarily geeks and the birthplace of grunge rock. (Does the term 'limousine liberal' count? Probably not.)

We may have been the origin of the word 'permatemp' as it applied to Microsoft's long term, multi-year temp/contract employees.

Eric said...

There's a bit of a problem.

First, I looked in Joy Of Cooking, The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, Better Home And Gardens' New Cook Book (10th edition) and Betty Crocker's Cookbook (6th edition). None of these books, as far as I can tell, mention the dish you describe.

On the other hand, a Google search of Michelle's suggestion, "Toad In The Hole," brought me to this Wikipedia entry, which explains:

Egg in the basket or egg in a window (egg in the hole & "pirates eye" in Commonwealth countries and toad in the hole, Rocky Mountain toast, eggy toast, hobo toast, cave entrance, yolky pokey, o'johnnies, egg in a frame, nest egg, or bird's nest in many parts of the United States) refers to a chicken's egg fried in a hole of a slice of bread. It is a common comfort food, and is known by many names in various countries. For example, this dish is sometimes referred to as one eyed jack when the cut out section of bread is fried and then placed back on the yolk, like a pirate's eye patch. The dish is also portrayed in the movie V for Vendetta.

Furthermore, I also remember eating this dish at some point in time--however....

However, the problem is that it is well-known that both Wikipedia and my memory are very unreliable and inaccurate, and subject to unpredictable revisions by unknown parties that go unnoticed for extended periods of time until somebody accidentally stumbles across an alleged error, leading to a protracted "edit war," while the four cookbooks I consulted are all considered among the fundamental, cornerstone, essential home-cookbooks to be found in any halfway-decent kitchen.

Therefore, Nathan, I can only reach one conclusion: the dish you describe does not exist.

Accordingly, please do not tell us whether or not you actually consumed this imaginary culinary treat or whether or not you pretended it was good or compelled your girlfriend to share your tasty illusion washed down with orange juice or accompanied by a tasty side dish. The cognitive dissonance would simply be unbearable.

Nathan said...

At the risk of, in any way upsetting you, I must report that ROCKY MOUNTAIN TOAST is the name that was escaping me this morning.

And it was both comforting and delicious. (P.S. I just toss the cut out holes.)

Eric said...

::head explodes from cognitive dissonance::

Janiece Murphy said...

Nathan, you are correct.

It's called "Rocky Mountain Toast," or "Eggie in a Basket."

Jeff Hentosz said...

Akron has one word peculiar to it which is actually rather famous in regionalism circles: the piece of lawn in front of a house, located between the sidewalk and the street, which I've heard called a "tree lawn" elsewhere, is called the "devil's strip" or just "devil-strip." No one can reliably tell you why.

The toast thing is called "rat on a raft", or "the 'one' ball in the side pocket." Both are popular regionalisms here in my office and have been known for at least 15 minutes.

Nathan said...

Jeff,

I never knew there was a word for a "devil's strip" anywhere and tree lawn just sounds retarded.

I like one-ball in the side pocket.

vince said...

When I lived in Mississippi, sub sandwiches (subs) were called "po' boys", or sometimes "hoagies."

Anne C. said...

The weird thing is, I think we used to call it a sliding board too. I'm not positive, but I get the same feeling when I hear it as when my sister said "weighing machine" recently. It felt familiar and odd at the same time. Of course, she got teased for not saying "scale" but then a couple days later my mum said the same phrase, "weighing machine." So, that's where we heard it before! :D

Konstantin said...

That may not hold true anymore. In New York when I wanted sparkling water i called for Seltzer or Perrier in the bars. Here in Chicago its Club Soda.

Nathan said...

Disclaimer: Coke only referred to flavored carbonated drinks. But Seltzer or sparkling water is only for water flavored carbonated water.

Club soda has salt added. Don't know why.

Nathan said...

Seltzer or sparkling water is only for water flavored carbonated water.

I meant there's no flavor for seltzer.

D'oh

Todd Wheeler said...

"Toad in the hole" is what I'm familiar with, though not sure if it's used in this region.

Boston drivers are notoriously bad, especially around rotaries (aka traffic circles). We don't always use our blinkers, are slow to switch off the brights, and when faced with a red octagon at the end of the street, we practice MRS: Massachusetts Rolling Stop.

Nathan said...

Todd,

If memory serves, it's perfectly legal to drive the wrong way down a one-way street in Boston as far as you'd like...as long as you do it in reverse.

Jim Wright said...

"Bird in a nest" or "Toad in a hole" are the two terms I'm familiar with.

and I though "devil's strip" was something else... usually used in Mexican strip clubs...

Tom said...

We called it "Egg 'n' a Hat" where the "'n'" was short for "and", not "in" as you might think. That was because we fried the hole and put it back on top of the egg.

And that part of the front yard had a name, like curb-strip, but it currently 'scapes my mind. I don't have one with my current house. No sidewalk. If they tried to put in a sidewalk, it would have to be routed around my neighbor's tree, which is almost on the road, any my tree, which is about a sidewalk's width from the road, so one or the other of those trees would te in the way of any standardized path. I guess they could meander the hypothetical sidewalk, but that wouldn't leave room for a curb-strip. Course I don't have a curb, either. Oh well.

Unknown Party said...

*swoops in*

*unpredictably rearranges the implosion fragments of Eric's brain*

*swoops out*

MWT said...

Jeri said: We may have been the origin of the word 'permatemp' as it applied to Microsoft's long term, multi-year temp/contract employees.

The federal government is also chock full of those. It's their way of getting around having to pay the extra benefits of having permanent employees. So the permatemps have to reapply for their jobs every few years (and you can tell the job ad is one of those if it says "must live within commuting distance" as one of the requirements).