A-B | C-D | E-F | G-H | I-J | K-L | M-N | O-P | Q-R | S-T | U-Z

Ova the bridge

The rest of the world, to a Gloucester resident. Refers to the A. Piatt Andrew Bridge, which connects Cape Ann to North America: "You gotta be kiddin', you actually expect him to go ova the bridge to find a job?!?"
W. Olson


People's Republic, the

Another name for Cambridge, the only community in Massachusetts to ever hire a full-time peace commissioner (presumably to keep the city out of any nuclear exchanges). In 1997, somebody posted signs reading "Welcome to the People's Republic of Cambridge. Passport control next right" at the end of a bridge into the city.

The term was sometimes also used to refer to Brookline, especially after it erected a wall in the mid-1980s to keep out Brighton residents, but that town has since become more conservative and you rarely hear it described that way any more.

Meanwhile, Cambridge itself now has the notoriety of having the nation's highest per-capita concentration of million-dollar homes.

Still, Chameleon Tatoo and Body Piercing is proud to be the "First and Finest licensed Tattoo and Body Piercing shop of the People's Republic of Cambridge, Massachusetts."

Kim writes:

As I was driving home yesterday, I saw a billboard about a block from where I work, with the words "Legalize and Tax Marijuana" in six-foot-high big block letters. I am so happy to be in the People's Republic of Cambridge.


Perambulate the bounds

Perambulating the bounds in Boston in 1896.Perambulating the bounds of Boston in 1896. More.

Ancient tradition - and legal requirement - in which officials of neighboring towns meet once every five years to walk their town boundaries to ensure nobody has moved the boundary stones. Usually done early on a Saturday morning with a couple of bottles of liquor for company.


Police Take Notice

Ambiguous coda to "No Trespassing" signs - is it a warning (i.e., the police're gonna getcha) or a request (i.e., "please, Mr. Policeman, apprehend the miscreants on my lawn")? In fact, it's the latter. Massachusetts state law requires property owners to "post" their property to keep hunters off; so "Police Take Notice" is telling the police that the property is off limits and could they please do something about all those people with rifles or whatever.


Potty platta

You go downna Stah deli counta to order one of these when you're having a potty. Yes, yes, it's really "pahty platta," but darnit, if you're not from around here, the first time you ever hear somebody say it, it sounds like "potty platta." Joanie Wexler, a Chicago native, still recalls in amazement the first time somebody invited her to "go potty."



What you get when you want to wear earrings.

Reuven Brauner submits the following similar examples: We saw BSNDS at the zoo in Franklin Park. We bought it at CS and Roebuck's. Mother always said, "Don't forget to wash behind your ES." The Boos and GS got to Mantle. PS are a juicy fruit. Crying causes TS. This car VS to the left.



A down comforter or any comforter for a bed.

Joan French writes:

I used it all the time with my kids. When we moved out to Colorado, my kids said their friends had no idea what they were talking about.