FEBRUARY, WITH ITS SHTIVERS, HAS ARRIVED, and soon March winds will be roaring over the hills and rattling your windows. And that is the time when you might hear a Pennsylvania Dutch person say, “I hope the wind lays itself overnight.” You can almost picture the wind curling into itself like a warm, contented cat, can you not?
Those March winds will bring April shar-ers, of course. If you’re not from rural Pennsylvania, it might wonder you — excuse me, you might wonder — what a shar-er is, until the sky erupts in great big drops of rain and your Dutchified neighbor says, “It wondered me if it would give a shar-er.”
April shar-ers will bring May flar-ers. Many gardeners grow competitive with their flar-er beds, wanting their tulips to be taller
than their neighbor’s. Or, as a Dutchified person might say it: to have more heighth. It may not be the correct word but you have to admit — length, width, heighth — it makes sense. Describing distance can be equally puzzling when talking to a Pennsylvania Dutch person. Is it farther, further, or futher? The family I’m neighbors with lives futher down the road. They sell flar-ers at their produce stand, which is a little futherer along, just past their house. If you go all the way to the futherest house on the road, they sell flar-ers, too. But theirs don’t have much heighth to them.
SHTIVERS - Snow squalls or flurries
I HOPE THE WIND LAYS ITSELF. - I hope the wind dies down.
SHAR-ERS - Showers
FLAR-ERS - Flowers
IT WONDERS ME. - I wonder.
HEIGHTH - Height
FUTHER - Farther or further
THIS HERE AND THAT THERE - This and that
WUNST - Once
Note: All spellings are phonetic.