10 Things Only a Massachusetts Mom Would Say

by Cheryl Maguire August 09, 2017

hand holding donut

Massachusetts moms are a hardy bunch of women. You could attribute it to the fact that they deal with shoveling two feet of snow in the winter, or maybe because they are descendants of the Pilgrims. Whatever the case, here are some quotes you can hear Massachusetts moms saying to their children.

1 | “It’s wicked cold out this morning. Make sure to wear a sweatshirt with a t-shirt underneath because it’s supposed to be 80 degrees this afternoon.”

New England weather is notorious for changing quickly. The same day can be both freezing and sweltering hot, especially in the spring or fall. Wearing layers of various types of clothing is one way to prepare for the unknown weather changes. For example, on July 20, 2017, the record high in Boston was 91 degrees and the record low five days later on July 25, 2017, was 56 degrees. A 35-degree difference.

Of course, throwing in the word “wicked” to emphasize the point is a must.

2 | “It’s Patriots Day, make sure to wear one of your Patriots shirts.”

Every Friday before a Patriots game, the children in school are required (okay, maybe it’s not required, more like strongly suggested) to wear Patriots paraphernalia to support the team. If for some strange reason you don’t own a Patriots shirt, your mom will frantically call friends and neighbors to borrow one. Patriots Day must be working, because the Patriots have won five Super Bowl games, including the most recent one.

3 | “Do you want an egg and cheese or the pink donut?”

There is a minimum of at least one Dunkin Donuts in every town in Massachusetts (most have five or six). The children in Massachusetts are raised eating Dunkin Donuts breakfasts (and sometimes lunch and dinner). Most kids love egg and cheese sandwiches or those colorful pink donuts. Dunkin Donuts first started in Quincy, Massachusetts, in 1950 and now is a worldwide phenomena.

4 | “Get a drink at the bubbler (pronounced bubblah). I’m not paying two dollars for a bottle of water (pronounced wadah) when you can get it for free.”

In Massachusetts, a drinking fountain offering free water is referred to as a bubbler. Most moms grew up drinking water for free so it kills them to pay for it. Harlan Huckleby designed the Bubbler in 1888, but his employer, Kohler Water Works, trademarked the name. It's speculated that landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted brought the Bubbler to Massachusetts when he designed academic campuses and parks.

5 | “Rub some dirt on it.”

This is said to a child when they are hurt or have a cut. It means, “toughen up” or “you're okay.” The saying has some real science behind it. Clay was commonly used to treat wounds in the 19th century.

6 | “We are headed down to the Vineyard to do some clamming.”

In Massachusetts, the Vineyard is referring to the island of Martha’s Vineyard instead of a place where they make wine. Clam digging (or clamming) is when you dig for clams during low tide. Another variation of this would be “headed down to the Cape” instead of saying “Cape Cod.”

7 | “Were you raised in a barn (pronounced baaaan with emphasis on the ‘a’)”?

Even though this is said in other states, no one else delivers the saying quite like a Massachusetts mom, removing the “r” sound and really pronouncing that “a” sound. This saying is used frequently by Mass Moms. Maybe it’s because their kids never remember to close the doors.

8 | “Who wants to play candlepin?”

In Massachusetts, most bowling alleys have candlepin bowling, which uses a small ball to knock down small candle-like pins. Candlepin was actually the first type of bowling and it was developed in Worcester, Massachusetts. If you want to go “regular” bowling, you need to ask for the “ten pin.”

9 | “Who wants a Hoodsies?”

A Hoodsies is a small cup of vanilla and chocolate ice cream eaten with a wooden spoon. It's served at all kids’ birthday parties, kids’ meals at restaurants, and even at school. Hoodsies were first introduced to Massachusetts over 70 years ago and are the official ice cream brand of the Boston Red Sox. The Hood company was originally in Charlestown, Mass.

10 | “We are having American Chop Suey for dinner tonight.”

This may sound like a meal you would order in a Chinese restaurant, but it actually has nothing to do with Chinese food. American Chop Suey is an easy-to-make and popular meal many Massachusetts moms cook for dinner.

What’s your favorite Massachusetts Mom saying?

Cheryl Maguire


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