The first time that I heard this expression, it came out of my niece Rachel’s mouth, who was 4 at the time. The question was – “do you want to go for a walk”? and her answer was “Shore!”, said in a very agreeable, solid, honest way. I thought, “oh, what a precocious niece I have!” And shore – she is! BUT – it was only a short while later that I realized that EVERYone in rural Maryland says “Shore!” instead of “yes” or “ok”.  Even at 4, she smartly picked up on a rural Maryland colloquialism. And here’s the thing. “Shore!” is so honest, and accommodating.  When someone says “Shore!”, it immediately sets a new tone, socially – real, sincere, direct – and flattens the playing field. I love it. And when I moved here from the loud city, I wanted to adopt in into my everyday language, but it was hard to fit.

So, this evening, I was ding-donging around Tilghman Island, and ended up at Knapps Narrows Marina – with a great western exposure to the water. No wind today made for flat water this evening. Mosquitos! Whoa! Who would have guessed?

I saw a guy fishing, and surreptitiously took a photo of him by a bent up “Erlich (for Governor)” sign, and had to wonder for a minute – waterman? Uh, yeah. The boots sort of give him away. Anyway, I walk around, taking pictures of stuff, and end up across from him, so I wave and ask – “OK if I take your picture?”

And he smiled, and said “Shore!” in such a loud, sincere, honest, lovely way….. I think it says as much about Tilghman Island as it does about this one guy in particular – the whole “shore!” willing, kind response. I’ve heard it a hundred times, and each time I feel more connected, in touch with rural Maryland, my new home.

~ by kbosin on November 3, 2010.

2 Responses to “Shore!”

  1. Aw! thanks for including my girl in your post. Shore! she’s got a county accent for sure, that’s certain.

  2. She is my favorite county gal.

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