Putter-Onner-Thingees, Hootises & Other Okie-isms

Okie heartWhen I was growing up in Norman, I didn’t realize that colloquialisms were invented by middle-aged people because they couldn’t remember what you called a … you know… a whatchamacallit.

As a public service to my fellow Okie Boomers, I offer this useful list of Okie-isms, mainly from my Dad’s cousin, Sonny, and my Mom.

Hootis (N):  \who-tiss\

Pretty much anything.

My Dad, the shade tree mechanic, and Sonny often had this conversation while Dad was halfway under the car and his cousin was “supervising”, i.e., looking down into the engine, drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes and offering helpful suggestions.

“Gene-o, you’re messing up if you don’t take off that hootis before you loosen the alternator belt. I’m just telling you.”

To which my exasperated Dad would respond: “BANG (sound of his wrench slipping off the bolt and bloodying his knuckles), followed by:  “Take your @#%&*# damn hootis and @#%#&”, at which point they would break for a…

Colorado Kool-aid  (N):  call\or\add\oh\koo\laid

The beverage of choice (Coors beer) that my Dad drank by the tanker load, especially after crunching his knuckles or whacking his bald head while doing mechanic work.

Putter-Onner-Thingee (N): \put\er\on\er\thing-ee\

A device that can be used to put one thing onto another thing.

While a hootis, or hootisses (plural), could be used to put anything onto anything else, or take anything off anything else, my Mom was not of the hootis school. 

She was more a putter-onner thingee kind of woman.  Mom kept her putter-onner-thingees in a specific kitchen drawer.

“Get the putter-onner-thingee and put the icing on the chocolate cake,” she’d tell my sisters. 

WhatIsIt? (N):  \what-is-it\

Mom had a trademark Mexican dish with “mystery ingredients” —  whatever was left in the kitchen cabinets and the fridge.

She would dig out her big ol’ Pyrex bowl, dump everything she had in it, cover with cheese, salsa and Doritos, and then bake at 350 degrees.  

The result was WhatIsIt, her best OkieTexMex dish that never included the same ingredients twice.

Fridge-imigator (N): \fridge\ih\muh\gay\tor\

The big fridge freezer in the kitchen (NOT to be confused with the big ol’ deep freezer in the garage).

“Put the Colorado Kool-aids in the fridge-imigator so they are nice and cold by the time I get through supervising your Dad,” Sonny would wisely tell me.

*Dooberable (N): \doo-burr-able\

An idiot high school football player: usually a senior.

When Gene Corrotto, Norman High’s legendary football coach, had had  enough of us, he’d make us take a knee.  Wearing his most puckered-up face, and slapping his ever-present white towel in disgust, he’d begin:

“Fellahs. What’s wroooong with you?  You’re acting like a bunch of *dooberables.  Is that how you want to go through life, with people thinking you’re a dooberable?  If you keep that up, why, somebody’s going to hit you right in the jewel box, and you won’t like that.”

Catiwonkus (D.O.) : cat-ee-won-kus\

A terrible state of disorder or brokenness.

“Gene-o, you don’t want to try to rewire that room by yourself.  Electrical is specialized, and if you try to do it yourself, it will go all catiwonkus.”

Puker-duker (N): \poo\ker\do\ker

A wonderfully active little boy.

“The neighbor’s toe-headed boy is quite a little puker-duker, always going 100 miles an hour.”

Abushelandapeck (N): \a bush-ul-and-a-peck\

A way to measure love, which must be sung by your Mom.

“I love you a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck, and a hug around the neck.”

It was a song that embarrassed you as a kid, but one that you’d pay any amount of money to hear your mom sing just one more time. 

Learn-ya-gooder (V): lern\ya\good\er 

An important life lesson.

“I told you you’d stub your toe if you let that neighbor boy pull you behind his car on your skateboard.  That’ll learn-ya-gooder,” my Mom said on more than one occasion.

Bukhum hole (N): \boo\kum\hole

That thing on your backside that you are never meant to see, but which you should always worry about.

“You need to be careful about lifting all those football weights.  If you lift too much, it’ll make your bukhum hole stick a way out.”


* Some years ago, I learned that Coach Corrotto was actually calling us something in German, but it sounded like “dooberable” to me back in the early seventies.    


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