Thursday, January 28, 2010

Nocturne in Blue ~ The Dooryard at Night

Processed in blue, View on Black and View on Black

Dooryard is one of my favorite Mainer expressions. Two little words stitched together creating a mental image of home, toys in the yard, interrupted chores and a glimpse of regional life in our state. Doah yahd, " The Wicked Good Guide to Mainah English" defines dooryard:

n., The front lawn or front of the house.
~ Submitted by Russ Clavette ~

I doubt you will find this word in the OED. What a pity since they added unfriend as the word of the year, 2009. Unfriend is the internet equivalent of the cold shoulder, of being dropped or locked out of a site and all this is accomplished with a surgical and precise click. The OED defines it this way:

unfriend - verb - To remove someone as a 'friend' on a social networking site such as facebook.
As in " I decided to unfriend my roommate on facebook after we had a fight."

It sounds so unforgiving! As words go, I prefer the welcoming hodge podge of life in a Maine dooryard. 


  1. What? They don't say dooryard out in America? It's an expression I couldn't live without

  2. Pronounced: "doorya-d". Love the electric photographs.

  3. Down East Dilettante ~ I hope Maine will retain exclusive rights to "dooryard"!

    JCB ~ Thanks dear one.

  4. Beautiful pictures! And, I love the word "dooryard." I don't believe I've heard it'; we just say "front yard" or "back yard" down here in Alabama!

  5. Walt Whitman has, of course, immortalized this forgotten word with "When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom'd." The most American of poets chose not front yard or back yard. I'm sticking with Whitman.

  6. Fancy Horse ~ Isn't it wonderful how every region has its own colloquialisms to give us a window into the soul of a place!

    home before dark ~ Thank you for your gentle reminder of Walt Whitman's much loved line. In June, there will be a profusion of lilacs in many a Maine dooryard!


Older posts you might enjoy....