Still one of those darn Yankees

Published 10:02 am Thursday, March 31, 2011

“Forty percent (Yankee). A definitive Yankee.”

There, the evidence was on my computer screen.

Those six words popped up on my computer screen after I completed the Yankee or Dixie quiz…the latest junk e-mail floating around.

After answering a few questions about how I pronounce words like “aunt” and “caught,” and answering questions like: “What is that bubbly carbonated drink?” (SODA!) and “How do you address a group of people?”(You all/You guys); my results were calculated.

I hate to break the news (especially to my editor Cal Bryant), but according to the results and despite living and working for a while in northeast North Carolina and being adopted by the News-Herald staff as “one of us,” I am still in fact a Yankee.

The results really don’t surprise me; after all I’ve spent only a handful of years here in North Carolina compared to the 20 plus I spent in New York State.

Yep, you can take the girl out of the North, but you can’t take the North out of the girl.

However, there are days I can tell a difference in how I hear Northerners.

For example, when I visited New York last October for my cousin’s wedding there was definitely a bit of culture shock. Despite the fact that the majority of those in attendance were relatives or friends that have been a huge part of my life, it was hard not to hear the ever-so noticeable accent.

My uncle saying “cah wah-sh” and my mom saying “caulled.” I never really paid it any attention before as upstate New Yorkers don’t have any of the five borough accents that you commonly hear in New York City and in counties near the city. Yet there it was, peppered in conversation.

Then there was that time I met a few fellow Yankees on while on an assignment in Hertford County.

I actually made the mistake of hitching a ride with one of them so I could get back to my car, err, cah.

Guaranteed, the woman I got the lift from was from the Mid-Great Lakes area (Ohio, Illinois, Indiana), not really the “kind” of Yankee I’m accustomed to.

By the end of the short drive, I couldn’t help but feel I had had a brush with that MADtv character Lorraine Swanson with a big piece of chewing gum in her mouth.

“Sooo whaa ya do around here for wirk?” she asked me. “Oh, yeh, a reportah, (gum snaps) ha, that’sss gatta be fun, huh?”

Yeah, I had just about enough at the end of that conversation. Nice lady, with a migraine inducing accent.

For a moment after my 40 percent Yankee results popped up, I was somewhat in denial. If I’m only 40 percent Yankee…what the heck is the other 60 percent? But then I read on the web page: “0% is pure Yankee and 100% is pure Dixie.” The lower your score the more of a Yankee you are.

And what of the last little fragment of the results: “A definitive Yankee.” Well, I guess I can’t get out of this one.

Amanda VanDerBroek is a Staff Writer for the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. For comments and column suggestions email: or call (252) 332-7209.