Monday, October 16, 2006


Dale recently reminded me of another unique island expression that he "just came out with" sometime last week. Talking with his wife, Jaren, he mentioned someone "going on a wydge." Jaren is not originally from Ocracoke and she was completely dumbfounded. She'd never heard of a wydge. I'm guessing you haven't either, unless you're an old-time O'cocker.

Dale had no idea where the word came from, but he, of course, knew that it meant going on a trip. So, just like I've done so many times, he strolled over to cousin Blanche's and ran it by her. Lo and behold, she had the explanation that made perfect sense, if we'd just thought about it.

Years ago it was not uncommon for Outer Bankers to transpose Ws and Vs. For example, they'd say they were going into the willage to buy some potatoes. Or they might be taking some witamins for their health. It's not hard to see how they also might be undertaking a woyage. With a little bit of Ocracoke dialect thrown in, woyage, it would seem, almost effortlessly became wydge.

You can read our latest newsletter here. It's the story of the Community Store and other general stores on the island.

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