The Rhode Island lexicon is filled with words and phrases rarely spoken outside of Providence Plantations. These include: “Not for nothin’” (also the name for a popular blog on Rhode Island politics). “You’re killing me” (the standard answer when anybody asks you to do anything). And “no duh” (the appropriate response to someone stating the obvious – and acceptable as an epitaph).
Yet despite the frequent use of double negatives, Rhode Islanders are quick to praise – especially when we can stick a “wicked” in front of the word. In fact, it’s no duh to suggest that any adjective sounds better with a “wicked” introducing it.
What I’m working up to here is the official highest praise of Rhode Island. I mean, not for nothin’, but there’s a linguistic hierarchy to these things.
“Wicked good.” As in “Most Rhode Islanders think Barack Obama will be a wicked good president.”
“Wicked excellent.” As in “Heath Ledger was wicked excellent in ‘The Dark Knight.’”
“Wicked awesome.” As in “Did you see the wicked beat-down Milan Lucic gave Komisarek last night in the Bruins game? That was wicked awesome!”
But the absolute wicked highest official praise of Rhode Island is the phrase:
“Wicked pissah.” As in “That chowdah was wicked pissah” or “That lobstah was wicked pissah” or “That Flip Wilson … he was wicked pissah.”
So let the world have its Nobel Prizes. If there were an award for the highest acclaim, accolade or achievement in Rhode Island, it’s no duh what we’d call it: The Wicked Pissahs. In fact, let’s start one now. Send all Wicked Pissah-worthy nominations to Blog on the Half Shell.
As for this week’s question: Not for nothin,’ but what wicked Rhode Island expression do youze use most often?