The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Going Dutch

March 5, 2014

Evil spirits or just fehunst? - Part 1

- — Most languages have an expression for messing up, as in the English, “flubbed,” “goofed up,” or the ever-cool, “my bad.” In Pennsylvania Dutch, however, a situation can be either fehunst or fehexed (and yes, I’m spelling phonetically. If anyone knows the proper spellings, let me have them). One word describes a mess while the other suggests you’re under some sort of a curse, and deciding which to use in a situation takes a little educating.

So, to borrow a routine from comedian Jeff Foxworthy …  If you’re bobbing for apples at a Halloween party and you lean on the edge of the tub and spill water all over yourself, ruining your make-up and the fake hair of your witch’s costume, you might be fehunst. If, however, you manage to snag an apple and proudly shoot up from the water with your fake hair plastered all over your face and a shiny red apple clenched lopsided in your teeth at the exact same time the cutest vampire in the place happens to be looking for a partner for the haunted hay ride, and chooses the curvy girl in the Cleopatra costume standing in line behind you with her stylishly dry hair and sexy dark lipstick, you might be fehexed. See the difference?

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