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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » "Ish" - MN word or myth

   
Author Topic: "Ish" - MN word or myth
LadyDove
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A friend of mine is MN born and raised. He swears that "ish" is the MN word for gross.

I've never heard the word before. Has anyone else heard or used this expression before?

[ May 01, 2008, 12:47 PM: Message edited by: LadyDove ]

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DevilDreamt
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? ummm... I use ish as a sort of catch all suffix that means "the previous information or idea is generally accepted as being a loose ballpark estimate, if we consider all of reality to be the ballpark, and then allow some elbow room for hyperbole." For example, "I'll be there around tenish..." or "I don't really know, officer, I think I was going sixtyish," or "This car looks newish."

I have never heard or known anyone to use it to mean "gross." Perhaps it's a very regional thing?

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EmpSquared
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Around my parts, "ish" is used as a more polite synonym for "sh**".

Like, "cut that ish out." Or "get that ish out of my face."

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Lyrhawn
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What parts are those?
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ElJay
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I am MN born and raised, and I might say "Ish" instead of saying "Ick" as a reaction to seeing something gross. I would not use it in a sentence, however, like "that is really ish" instead of "that is really gross." I might say "that is really ishy," I guess.
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dkw
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^
|
|

What she said. An exclamation, yes. A word used in a sentence, never.

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steven
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I'm from North Carolina, and I actually use "ish" in exactly that way, as an exclamation meaning "gross". I have no idea where I picked it up, though, maybe music camp.
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advice for robots
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I grew up in MN and have definitely heard "ish" used in that manner. I wouldn't say it's the official MN way of saying gross, however.
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kmbboots
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I am from Wisconsin and will use a word more like "yeesh" or "yish" instead of "ick".

But not in a sentence.

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King of Men
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My father will occasionally exclaim 'isj' (pronounced 'ish') for disgust. I would not expect a Norwegian of my own generation to do so, though, at least not in the south. Perhaps it's both regional and generational? My understanding is that the Norwegian (and presumably influences thereof) spoken by the Minnesota communities is fairly archaic, frozen somewhere around 1900-1920.

[ May 01, 2008, 12:10 PM: Message edited by: King of Men ]

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Shanna
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In my area/generation/circle of friends, "ish" is treated as a replacement for "stuff" and the like. Kind of like "etc." Or, I guess it could substitute for sh**.

Like: "I'll meet you later, I just gotta grab my bags and ish."

Or: "Tomorrow is going to be busy, I have to go get groceries, workout, and ish."

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advice for robots
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quote:
Originally posted by Shanna:
In my area/generation/circle of friends, "ish" is treated as a replacement for "stuff" and the like. Kind of like "etc." Or, I guess it could substitute for sh**.

Like: "I'll meet you later, I just gotta grab my bags and ish."

Or: "Tomorrow is going to be busy, I have to go get groceries, workout, and ish."

I love that. I'm going to start saying that.
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dkw
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KoM, thanks. It makes sense that an expression common in MN would have come through Norwegian, but I never knew that was the origin.
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LadyDove
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Very interesting. I thought it might be related to "ick" but it's cool to learn more of the history and uses.

More please [Smile]

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BlueWizard
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Right, being from Minnesota and being of Scandinavian heritage, I too am familiar with the word 'ish' as an exclaimation, but as others have pointed out, never in a sentence.

"Ish! What did you step in?"

"Ish! This milk tastes sour."

"Ish! I hate lutefisk." [It's in the dictionary, if your curious.]

Though one might under some circumstance be able to work it into a sentence as in -

"Oh! That is so ishy."

As hinted at by others, this likely stems from Norwegian but I don't know the exact word it stands for. Both 'isj' and 'ish' do not translate using on-line language translators.

In any case, it is very much a regional substitution for 'ick' or 'icky'.

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EmpSquared
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http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=ish

I must have picked it up during high school.

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King of Men
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On an unrelated note, my work is going very 'ish' today. I made a bad mistake in coding about a week ago, noticed it today, and everything looks much worse with correct code.
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LadyDove
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Sorry to hear about your 'ish' day, KoM.
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Pegasus
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quote:
Originally posted by DevilDreamt:
? ummm... I use ish as a sort of catch all suffix that means "the previous information or idea is generally accepted as being a loose ballpark estimate, if we consider all of reality to be the ballpark, and then allow some elbow room for hyperbole." For example, "I'll be there around tenish..." or "I don't really know, officer, I think I was going sixtyish," or "This car looks newish."

I have never heard or known anyone to use it to mean "gross." Perhaps it's a very regional thing?

This is the only way that it is used where I am from. It's an official term at my workplace. We will sometimes append it to a deadline for an order to indicate that the deadline is flexible.
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