Monday, June 2, 2008

Pat and Charlie--answer to previous post!!

According to me (and the Dictionary of American Regional English), "pat and charlie" refers to one's own legs.

For example, "I can't get a ride, so I guess I'll have to take pat and charlie."

Or, "If you don't get your act together, I'll pull this car over and put you out, then you'll have to depend on pat and charlie to get you to the mall"

Here's the story behind this "pat and charlie" discussion.

Pat and charlie came up in the car the other night. Jacob has a new game he likes to play in the car. We spend lots of time in the car. "Fake Raleigh" is at least 10 minutes from everything. Jacob's school is a 25 minute trip one-way. My parents live an hour away. As you can imagine, the car game is of vital importance.

Anyway, we were playing the list game. It's based on the Kid's Almanac and the Book of Lists. Jacob made it up. One person finds a list in one of the books and the others in the car must name half of the items on the list. For example, "Name 5 of the 10 largest cities in the US." And because I know someone, mostly my dad, will want to know, those cities are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, Dallas, San Antonio, and Detroit.

On the way home from my parents' on Saturday, it was dark, which makes the books kinda unusable, so we were making up the questions. I said, "Name 7 modes of transportation." After Jacob did so, I mentioned "pat and charlie." Matt gave me the you-must-have-made-that-up-look. It was the same look he gave me those times when I said "chock-ows" and "pneumonia-cure."

I assured Matt that "pat and charlie" is a common phrase and everybody knows what it means. Matt assured me that I am crazy.

Having now seen the comments and done the googling, I know that it's a regional phrase, much like "mash that button" or "cut the TV off" or "knee-high to a grasshopper." I also know that I am not crazy (or at least I keep telling myself that...wait...does talking to yourself make you crazy??...oh, nevermind)!!

And that my friends, is the story of the "pat and charlie" debate. Thanks for putting up with it!!

*Matt's Entry for clarification--

Chock-ows are also known as Brown Mules... Here's a link to see what I'm talking about.

Pneumonia-cure is also known as Vicks VapoRub. Here's a link to prove that to those of you that "know" pneumonia-cure as "pneumonia-cure".

Here's my favorite "southern" term, AND it applies to you if your vocabulary contains chock-ows and/or pneumonia-cure.

"Bless your little heart!"


Anonymous said...

I'm right at home with that chat! Being a small town girl I know all those words and more. Can't think of any right this minute though. Oh, just forget the whole thing!!!
Love you,

The Eckerts said...

I've been wondering every since you posted that what it really was about. I had absolutely no idea what it could have been! It's so funny to see how there's a lingo for all different parts of the country.