The Wisconsonian "yet"

I used to work with a guy from LaCrosse who would drop the word “yet” in at (or near) the end of sentences, in a manner that seemed random but somewhat adverbial. I’d assumed it was his personal idiosyncrasy until I was in Chicago recently at a dinner table with a couple from upper Wisconsin, and they both did it too. So first of all, is that something others have encountered? And if so, 1. would I also hear it in say Milwaukee, and 2. what function is that “yet” performing in the sentence?

It gets dropped into sentences here by some folks as a synonym for “still.”

“Boy, it’s hot out there yet.”

I have a feeling that it’s influenced by a large number of people with a Polish heritage in the Ottawa valley, but I could be completely mistaken on that. Could that be the reason in Wisconsin?

Ufdah. I don’t hear yet randomly thrown into sentences in central Wisconsin. There are buckets of ums being used by some people. You’re likely sensitized to yet thanks to the that one person and always picking up on the few people that do that.

We’re not there yet.
Instead of:
We’re not there.

Yet can imply shut up already.:
We’re not there. Shut up already.

Yes. My favorite is the redundant use. “We still have time yet.” I had to get used to all kinds of weirdisms when I moved to the Midwest. This use of “yet” is also common in Minnesota. Don’t get me started on the borrow/loan debacle.

Is it anything like the bring/take debacle? :wink:

i don’t think it is a debacle.

i read that is a consequence of Germanic language. there is some word in some Germanic language usage that can mean either and has to be taken in context.

I didn’t realize this was limited to the Midwest. I thought it was some urban thing, as it’s used in Chicago, too (at least among my peers who grew up on the Southwest Side of the city). But it looks to me, Googling around, that the construction is mostly pervasive in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Oddly enough, borrow/loan doesn’t bother me at all (and I’ll use it when I talk to my Old Neighborhood friends), but imply/infer does.

Polish, too.

Pożycz mi dolara
Lend me a dollar.

Pożycz od niego dolara!
Borrow a dollar from him!

Couple-two-tree: Vaguely more than one; as in “Jake and me drank a couple-two-tree beers.”

Un-thaw: to defrost.

En-so?: a word used as a substitute for “right?” or “correct?” “You and Marlene are coming over for supper tonight, en-so?”

QtM, born in Shpoygn.

In the more cultured Buffalo, New York, we omit the clearly redundant “two” and just ask for a couple-three.

Sigh. What rubes you all are, hey-though.

It could be German influence. There is a German word, “noch”, which is used in exactly this way.

Doesn’t that sound like the opposite of what it should mean?

“Yet” used that way is slightly redundant, I’ll concede, but I hear it all the time (born and raised in NE Ohio).

In recent years I’ve noticed “anymore” used in lieu of “these days,” like so:

Gas prices are so high anymore.
It’s gotten so hot anymore.
Anymore, it’s like Frank isn’t even trying.

That’s the point of writing that. I’ve heard it many times as written.

What’s up with:

“What not”

And then there is “once” as in
“give me a beer once while you’re up yet”

(originally from Kaukauna, WI)

Another Wisconsinism:

“We’re leaving. Wanna come with?”

perhaps from Polish? Maybe. But this one sure is:


In my experience growing up in MN, many people also throw “then” on the end of sentences. Seems similar to the WI “yet.”

“So, we’re gonna go to the store then.”
"What do you think the point of this piece is then?
“Do you want to ride with Jim or Sue then?”
“I guess that’s the end of the movie then.”

Is this common outside the upper Midwest?

It’s common in England.

Yeah, that one falls in my pet peeve category.

Also, in Minnesota, there’s a tendency see to end some sentences with a 'dangling but", as in…

“Yah, we were catching a few crappies, and there was some size to 'em…but…”
and then make some sort of dismissal wave of the hand.

It’s like we’re afraid to even appear to be bragging…but…