Wednesday, October 15, 2014
The Word Backards
The word backwards only has one definition in the dictionary but it can mean lots of things. It also can be spelled anyway ya like and mean whatever ya want it too.
Example, “she fell backwards when she busted her hind end” or “she’s backwards when it comes to meeting people”. But the one I grew up hearing all the time and sayin was spelled b-a-c-k-a-r-d-s .
The older generation used the word backards all the time. My mama used to say, “uns younguns act plum backards sometimes”, or she’d say, “ya’ll are so backards it’s a wonder ya don’t crawl under the bed when someone comes to the door”. And the one I always liked the most, ‘ uns younguns have drove me so crazy everything I try to do is backards”. Mama sure knew how to use the word backards and used it quite often.
I’ll never forget when I was a young sprout and we got our first phone. It was an ole wall phone and none of us had any experience talkin on one. The first time it rung I ran and answered it backards. I tried to talk into the ear piece. I kept sayin hello, hello and no one answered. One of my know it all brothers said, “turn it around ya got it plum backards”. I asked him how he got so smart all of a sudden.
Even when I got old enough to go out with boys I was backards as they come. I tried to pay my own way into the movies one time. Ole backards me didn’t know ya suppose to let the gentleman pay ya way. I felt like crawlin under a rock and stayin there.
I’ve come a long ways from being backards since I found out I had a mouth. Sometimes what I say may come out backards. That’s why I’ve told my family many times over the years to take me at what I mean, not what I say. I think the most of em have me figured out by now.
My daddy used to say I’d talk to the president if I ever run up with him and he wasn’t any different, the pot callin the kettle black. I can just hear daddy now, “being backards ain’t gonna get ya nowhere in life”.
There was nothing backards about daddy and everyone he ever came in contact with can attest to that.
But I do recall one incident of him being backards. He was plantin okra one spring and run out of seed before he got to the end of the row. He stuck a little stick in the ground where he left off at and when he came back to the row with more seed he started plantin it backards. He’d forgot which end of the row he started first. Mama told him, you’re plantin it backards and he wouldn’t listen. When that okra came up he had the prettiest and thickest half row of okra ya ever seen. Of course, he had to get down on his knees and crawl through the middle backards to thin it some.
I can honestly say I still feel backards when it comes to getting my picture taken. I’m not ashamed of what I look like but I fell kinda backards admiting it and I do look plum backards in most of em. I've either got my mouth wide open or my hair looks like it hasn’t been combed since a week from Sunday.
I’m my own worse critic about my clothes too, and if they don’t fit to a Tee I feel backards out in public.
So I guess I’ll have to admit that being backards is a hard nut to crack. It rears its ugly head when ya least expect it. But one thing I’ve learned, ya can go around backards all ya life and jump through hoops backards and it doesn’t really matter to anyone but you. There’s a lot more backards people in the world than we know. I can’t count how many times I’ve done stuff backards or said the word backards instead of backwards. Yep, that’s me, just ole backards.
© Susie Swanson, 2014