TOPEKA (KSNT) – Kansas is the 15th largest state by size and has multiple different dialects across the state.
Here are some words or sayings you may hear in the Sunflower State.
A polite greeting that is derived from a short form of ‘how you doing’.
Meaning a place over there. Typically within sight.
“You see that house over yonder?”
A chant to celebrate the University of Kansas’ sports teams. When a person says ‘Rock Chalk’ the appropriate response is ‘Jayhawks!’
In 1886, the chant was ‘rah, rah, Jayhawk KU’ but an English professor suggested swapping the ‘rahs’ to ‘Rock Chalk’ after a limestone outcropping at Mount Oread, according to distractify.com.
If you’re in Kansas, you should keep an eye out for ‘naders. Short for Tornado.
A person may say “kreek,” but if you meet someone from rural Kansas they will tell you it’s a “crick”.
Meaning adjacent to or diagonally opposite. According to the Washington State University, three spellings are acceptable: “catty,” “cater” or “kitty.”
Short form for ‘you all.’ Y’all is used to describe a group of people.
Puppy chow is a snack found in southern states usually made with cereal, peanut butter, melted chocolate and powdered sugar. The treat can be found at gas stations, certain supermarkets and special events.
Gully-washer is a term used to describe a heavy rainstorm. These are typically very heavy rains that last a short amount of time.
Typically meant to be in disarray, disorder or askew, according to Meriam-Webster.
Cattywampus has had various meanings over the last two centuries. The first dictionary reference to a similar word ‘catawamptiously’ was in the 1848 version of the Dictionary of Americanisms. The dictionary described it as ‘completely demolished’ or ‘utterly defeated’.
A sodbuster is a person or thing that breaks topsoil, according to Merriam-Webster. An example of a sodbuster could be a farmer breaking the top layer of sod to prepare their crop.
A word to describe anger, surprise, pleasure or annoyance.
Merriam-Webster defines doggone as ‘deserving of one’s condemnation or displeasure.’
“There’s another doggone problem with the television.”
To walk in a slow or leisurely way. Very similar to the word saunter.
“John moseyed around the general store.”
If we’re missing any local terms let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.