I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Actually in a suburb of Milwaukee called… South Milwaukee, but we didn’t move there until I was ten, so I am SE Wisconsin through and through. It’s funny, when people think of Wisconsin, they think of cows and cheese and beer and the Packers, and all of those are true, but then they also think of the heavy “Yooper” accent that you hear in the movie “Fargo.” Now that we live in St. Louis, I do get jabbed a bit about my accent… usually it’s on words with long vowels, “motorboat” is one that comes to mind, but other than the supposed accent there are other ways to tell if someone is not just from Wisconsin, but from Milwaukee.
Are they from the “Cream City?” They might be if:
10. They can recognize the smell of yeast from years of smelling it on I-94 W.
9. The Freeway in “The Blues Brothers,” The Stadium in “Major League” and most of “Transformers 3” look really familiar.
8. They refer to any tied arch bridge as looking like “The Hoan Bridge.” (little FYI, this was the bridge and freeway that was used in “The Blues Brothers.” The “Illinois Nazis” didn’t fare too well on the unfinished project.)
7. They get a wistful look in their eyes if you mention “SummerFest” and remember when Ernest Borgnine was the Grand Marshal and a fantastic clown in The Great Circus Parade. (Ahem, 4 years of marching in that parade with the “Patriotic Band” does make me hold the Circus Parade close to my heart. But not “The Washington Post March.” After 5 miles of playing ONLY that song… oy.)
6. They know the words to “Roll Out the Barrel”… and they know that it’s about beer. (After all, the song is called “the Beer Barrel Polka.)
5. They know what Alewives are and how they smell.
4. The word “Ambrosia” makes them think of Chocolate… or Dahmer. (Seriously, he worked there.)
3. They are sad that every Major League Baseball game DOESN’T include racing sausages unless it’s at Miller Park.
2. They pronounce the word “Milwaukee” thusly: “ma-WAU-key” and the words “Kinnickinnic,” “Wauwautosa,” or “Oconomowoc” are no problems at all. (For more Wisconsin pronunciation fun, check out: Miss Pronouncer!)
1. They know that’s it’s called a “Bubbler” and aren’t afraid to prove it!
**ETA: It was brought to my attention that I forgot one very important Wisconsin/ Milwaukee-ism and it’s one that I still use quite frequently and I still get crazy looks for: The Tyme Machine. And I don’t mean a TARDIS.**
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