15 Words That Mean Something Else When You Live in a Small Town

tractor paradeIt could be said that small towns have a language all their own. It’s not that the words we use are unfamiliar to our city peers but that we use them in such different ways.

Not sure what I’m talking about? Allow me to offer up a few words that mean something a little different when you live in a small town:

1. Cow – Animal for which you’ve stopped your car to shoo it out of the road.

2. Next-door neighbor – Person whose house may be 3 miles from your own but whose property abuts yours.

3. Toothbrush – Item invented in the next town over because, say it with me now, if it was invented anywhere else, it would have been called a “teethbrush.”

4. Relatives – Half the town.

More From Inside Out: Life in a Small Town Is What You Make of It

5. Traffic jam – What happens when the farmer down the road has to move something from one field to the other.

6. Road – Pathway that may or may not be passable during mud season.

7. Mud – A verb.

8. Italian food – Pizza.

9. Shopping – A day-long excursion best saved for a rainy weekend when you can’t get anything else done so you can afford to drive an hour one way to the mall.

10. Football coach – Teacher by day.

11. Tractor – Your first driving experience.

12. Hunting – The way some families plan to eat this winter.

13. Fair – Word always preceded by “the,” and something the kids wait for all year.

14. Car – The only way to get around.

15. Privacy – What is that?

Add your own in comments!!


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  1. Terri Ward says:

    Firewood: What you use to heat your home. Not just for campfires.
    Muck Boots: What you wear in the barn to wade through… well… muck. Not something you wear to make a fashion statement.
    Pond: Swimming pool.
    Chickens: What is pecking around your backyard, not what you order at McDonalds.


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