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  • Writer's pictureJenna Stevens

Saying Words Differently


My whole life whether I was at school or talking with friends I have always been pestered that I say the word wash wrong. I say “warsh”. For the longest time, I thought this was the only word I have ever said differently than others. Recently after being around farmers from all across the state, I have realized we all refer to things a little differently. Even though some of us only live an hour or two away from each other, we all grew up referring to things differently. Some people like me grew up saying “warsh” not wash.

After a big rainfall, I was talking to one of my friends about checking our flood gates in a

pasture. She confusedly responded you mean creek gate stopper. I was shocked. I had no idea anyone ever referred to it any differently. Personally, I think the flood gate makes the most sense, but that is not the only word where farmers differ.

My older brother has a lot of college friends who farm on flat land. They were talking about

headlands and Brad was instantly confused. Soon he realized they meant end rows in their

fields. We farm in the hills. Headlands to us is a hay strip along the steep edge of the field.

Brad’s friends were calling our end rows a headland. They don’t have hay in their flat fields. End rows is another tricky term. We call end rows where we turn at the end of the field, the outside round is referred to as end rows. My other brother’s friends down south call them turn rows and grass waterways or hollers are called slews. I have never heard of a slew?

When talking to my grandpa from central Iowa during the spring season, I would always ask

how anhydrous was going over there and he would always respond with the word ammonia or the phrase, “putting on smoke.” I was always so confused. Who was sick? Who had pneumonia and who is smoking??

Another tricky term is how do you describe harvest? We go combining, others say picking, and some say shelling corn. It doesn’t matter what term you use or how you say it, we all understand eventually. It’s all having fun on the farm and living our best life. Enjoy every crazy minute! ~ Kesley Holdgrafer


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