Recently, I was talking to a friend and I mentioned that I had a stack of utility bills about yogie tall. Now my friend is a city person, and an engineer to boot. So when you add the two, you can understand why he looked at me like I walked in the kitchen without cleaning the barnyard off my boots.
For that reason, I figure it’s time us country folks let everyone in on our method of measuring.
“Yogie” is a meaningless term unless accompanied by some form of visual cue that demonstrates just how yogie something is. Example: “I have a stack of bills yogie tall.” The height is illustrated by the distance between your extended index finger and thumb.
Another example would be: “That new calf is about yogie tall.” This would be illustrated with an outstretched arm indicating the calf’s height.
“Tad” is used when asking for something to be moved or shifted. Example: “Homer, take that come-along up a tad.” Homer, knowing that a tad is more than a scoosh, tightens up the come-along just enough so that increased tension on the come-along will not break whatever is being come-alonged.
A “scoosh” is less than a tad. If you move something a scoosh, you are probably right at the point where you moved it too far and now have to move it back a tad. Example: “Ruben, move that timber a scoosh so’s I can nail it. WHOA!!! Too far, bring ’er back a tad.”
Less than a tad, approaching a hair. Example: “Let off on that rope a tad bit, I don’t want that calf choking to death while I mark his ear.”
The term “hair” is used when a tad is way too much. Example: Farmer giving directions to a worker as they move a grain elevator into place. “Bring ’er back a scoosh … come on back … tad more … WHOA!!! OK … Back just a hair more!” And with those instructions, the worker backs the grain elevator between two grain bins, maneuvers around the broken gate, and puts the elevator right where it’s supposed to be. Simple, huh?
“Couple” is used to give some numeric value to an unknown. Example: “Carl, better plan on digging a couple of post holes west of the barn after breakfast.” Now Carl does not like to dig post holes, so he stops at two. However, when Carl’s wife asks him, “How many beers did you have at the bar last night?” Carl will answer, “Well … couple, I guess.”
“Several” is more than a couple, but again, it is used to give a numeric value to an unknown. Example: “I’ll be needin’ several of those free seed corn hats.”
The term “a piece” is used to confuse city folks asking for directions. Example: Tourist asking farmer how to get to Aunt Martha’s Bed and Breakfast. “Well, you need to go down this road a piece ’til you get to the Old Hermann Place. Take a right where his mailbox used to be, then go down that road a piece ’til you see Gib Wankle’s place. Gib sold out a few years ago, so you will need to watch for that. Take a left at Gib’s barn, well, what used to be his barn, and then you need to stay on that road a piece ’til you hit Martha’s. By the way, when you get there, tell Martha I said howdy!”
“Yonder” is used in the same way as “a piece” but can be even more confusing when giving directions. The reason is that there is a required preface to yonder: There is up yonder, down yonder and over yonder. Example: Same tourist as before, only now he is five miles farther from Aunt Martha’s.
“Let’s see … Go up yonder a piece ’til you see where I usually park my hay wagon, then go over yonder a couple miles ’til you see where we put my oldest boy on a deer stand. Then go down yonder ’til you see Gib Wankle’s barn. Gib sold out a few years back, so you need to watch for that. Take a left at Gib’s barn, well, what used to be his barn, and go down yonder ’til you hit Martha’s. By the way, when you get there, tell Martha I said howdy!”
Richard Husby, a freelance writer, lives a tad bit from Aubrey and a scoosh down the road from Krugerville, north of Dallas.