Time to solve another linguistic mystery. You’re in a restaurant. You overhear a conversation at the next table. The woman says to her friend, “You know, I just love the taste of joe floggers.” And her dining companion replies enthusiastically, “Joe floggers? Oh, so don’t I!”

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Okay, so where would you likely to hear people talk about the joys of joe floggers?

Well, chances are you’d probably be in…New England, most likely coastal Massachusetts or Maine. There “joe flogger” is a name denoting a variety of culinary treats. It may be a pancake stuffed with plums, or it may be a kind of doughnut. They’re sometimes known as joe froggers or simply frogs. And, as is typical with many food names, “joe frogger” also does double duty as the term for yet another confection: a large, molasses-flavored cookie.

So how about the enthusiastic expression “So don’t I!“? This odd construction actually expresses agreement, not disagreement. For example, someone might say, “I like ice cream,” to which you’d reply, “So don’t I!” meaning “I do, too!”

It’s been called “the Massachusetts negative-positive.” But the truth is that “So don’t I!” is found in pockets throughout New England. And its origins remain a puzzle.

Speaking of puzzles, I’ll be back with another linguistic mystery next time. In the meantime, I’d love to know what regional expressions jumped out at you the first time you heard them. Email me at words@waywordradio.org.

Want to try baking your own batch of joe froggers? Here’s a recipe.

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  1. The egg in the center of a slice of bread was “toad in a hole” when my grandmother made them for me. She would carefully fry the cut-out circle as well, and use it as a little cover over the “toad.”

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