Listening to Rural Midwestern Idioms/Folk Sayings

Author: Robert Bohlken, Ph.D.
Price: $10.95
ISBN: 9780930643348
Pages: 77
Book Type: softcover
Trim Size: 5.5 x 8.5
As seen in St. Joseph News-Press. . .

Have you ever “given anybody the boot?” Or “bitten off more than you can chew?” Or “gone hog wild over a project?” These are the kinds of sayings author Bob Bohlken has been collecting since he was “knee high to a grasshopper.”

Folk sayings, or idioms, reflect the events, objects, experiences, and lives of farm folks of the past. Many of these sayings have been lost to a new generation not familiar with threshing machines, hog butchering, butter churns, hay stacks, and hundreds of other terms relating to rural life of yesteryear.

While growing up author Bob Bohlken worked in a hardware store and a hatchery/produce store. Here he learned to understand the colorful talk of the local farmers. He found out it was not good to “count your chickens before they are hatched” and that “cream always rises to the top.” The local businesses were ideal places to “chew the fat”, “shoot the breeze”, or “spin a few yarns” about the olden days.

This collection of folk sayings relates to expressions used to describe feelings about neighbors, marriage, common sense, money, relationships, and many other situations. They are also about serious subjects such as death and dying. If one has “one foot in the grave” or is “living on borrowed time”, others know this is a dire condition.

This entertaining guide will have you chuckling as you recall expressions from an almost lost early rural culture. Some may appear to be crude and crass, but they are authentic.

The author, Bob Bohlken, Ph.D.,  is a noted storyteller and observer of the local folks. He is an astute scholar of rural Midwestern folk sayings.  He has lived his entire life in the Midwest, or as he likes to say, “in this neck of the woods.”  He retired after spending 42 years teaching. over 30 years were spent as an administrator and professor of communications at Northwest Missouri State university in Maryville, Missouri.  He is currently a columnist for the Nodaway News Leader and was recently inducted into the International Listening Association Hall of Fame. In this book he gives you a glimpse of sayings that may “ruffle your feathers,” but “he’s a hard dog to keep under the porch.”

Table of Contents

Sample Pages

What Others Are Saying

Listening to Rural Midwestern Idioms/Folk Sayings :