Montana is full of expressions with opposite meanings. These words and phrases are known as Oxymorons! We all know some Morons that probably took Oxy, but that is another story. Our pioneer state is famous for saying one thing and meaning another.
Big Sky Country could also be called Big Lie Country. The mining and natural resource businesses have said one thing and meant or did something opposite. Politicians and Government agencies are experts at labeling things in an opposite way. Military Intelligence, pretty ugly, bittersweet, deafening silence, working vacation, big baby, and Holy Hell.
Here are some common Montana Oxymorons!
Buffalo Wings No buffalo in Montana has wings but they can toss a tourist skyward that wish they had some!
Boneless Ribs Montana Beef and critters have fat ribs, until they are roadkill. Ribs are bones!
NA Beer Even NA beer has a little alcohol in it. The “NA” comes from the driver’s answer when asked if they were drinking and driving.
Chili As cold as Montana is, why would we eat something Chili? Now a hot and spicy chili works well but not until it’s heated up a bit.
Catch and Release Native people think C and R fishermen are nuts! Why go to all the expense and time to throw the dinner back? Then they take a cell phone selfie of their dinner that they are going to throw away. For Montana anglers, it’s often Catch and Release into the hot grease!
Tagging Out This is not a wrestling term in Montana. Tags are what you attach to your big game harvest. You don’t tag out because you tagged out. You just can’t tag anymore until the next hunting season.
Big Sky Country Rich landowners take this phrase seriously. If you try to corner cross at a 4-property intersection to another public section, the fence and boundary goes up into the Big Sky and heavens, “No Corner Crossing allowed”. What a stupid rule.
Jerky The best Montana jerky is tender, not chewy or jerky! If you don’t believe me, try the jerky at Deemo’s in West Yellowstone. Some “Jerks” do like their jerky tough and chewy, but they are not from Montana and have bad teeth.
Sip and Dip This Great Falls bar has a corner on the market. We have all had many sips but not taken as many dips. Montana waters are either frozen or cold. Take a Big Sip.
Rodeo My grandson calls them “Row De Does”. He has seen how the out of staters drive when in Montana, especially in the Winter.
Home Schooling As a retired teacher, I don’t understand Home Schooling except when it comes time to do “Homework”. Kids need to interact with other kids to learn so many of life’s important life lessons. Too many Montanans are stay at home learners. How do they get any school holidays? When do parents get a day off?
Montana Grant I get criticism that I am not a “Native Montanan”. Most Montanans are pioneers from other places. Their family heritage, like mine, is rooted in other places. Instead of a Conestoga wagon, we used a U Haul van. As a teacher, I always hung a Montana State flag in my classroom to remind me of where I would be heading each summer. I was born in the Appalachian Mountains of Maryland, but Montana has been my home for over 25 years. You know a great thing when you see it!
Like it or not, Montana is a place of many meanings. We live here by choice. We cherish our freedom. We carry weapons to protect our family and beliefs. We are clearly misunderstood.
Happy Big Sky Holidays!