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That Particular Noise the Class Makes When a Classmate Gets in Trouble

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Katie in Greenville, South Carolina, reports that when she was growing up in rural Montana, if one of her classmates was caught doing something wrong or reprimanded by a teacher, the rest of the children would say a ver, drawing out the syllables with an ominous rising in pitch. Years ago, a caller from Albuquerque, New Mexico reported something similar, although the expression sounded more like umbers. Since then, we’ve heard lots of different versions, such as umberand uh ver, primarily from Western States. It’s possible that the term is a version Spanish a ver, which can mean a number of things along the lines of “Let’s see” or “I’ll find out.” This is part of a complete episode.

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