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   Yesterday I was talking with a great friend of mine. He has lived here in South Central Idaho all of his life and is well steeped in the colloquialisms of this area. These bits of local lingo are what I wish to discuss today.

 

   During our conversation there was a reoccurring phrase that kept popping up.

A linguistic “catch all” if you will. Words that helped to link thoughts together and keep his speech flowing smoothly. The phrase he kept injecting into our conversation was “an at”. Abbreviations of the two words “and” and “that”. Shortened enunciations of those two words to ensure a silky smooth cadence. Here is an example of how he would place this phraseology. “We went down to the river an at, and we decided to unload the boat an at. Then once we got to the fishing hole we got out our rods an at.”.

 

  This friend does not have a monopoly on the usage of this conversation piece. I have multiple friends that use it with just as much conversational dexterity as he does. Please don’t mistake this article as denunciation of the usage of this unique jargon. Quite the contrary, I find it very intriguing and remarkable. It seems to draw me further into the conversation. A vocal hypnotization that incarcerates my attention waiting for the next “an at” to come.

 

  I have been all over this country and I have found that South Central Idaho is the sole region to possess this grammatical phenomenon. It is just one example of the many things that give us our unique charm and set us apart from the rest of the country. It’s an illustration of why South Central Idaho is one of, if not the greatest places in the world to live.