Rugged

an excerpt from Maine Lingo: Boiled Owls, Billdads, & Wazzats by John Gould

RUGGED: Pronounced rug-gid. A favorite word throughout Maine in the usual dictionary meanings but with a great deal of additional verve and color. The physical condition and state of health which makes a man well set up and powerful establishes him as rug-gid, but a ten-year-old boy who is rug-gid may be merely chubby. A rug-gid meal would be ample of meat, potatoes, and pie, with over-indulgence. The word is transferred, as when a man or horse might be considered rug-gid, but instead the word is applied to the load: “He carries a real rug-gid packsack.” A rug-gid disposition often means a short fuse on a temper. A rug-gid weekend is exhausting. Rug-gid weather is not necessarily severe, but mean enough so you don’t enjoy it. When used with typical Maine down-play, rug-gid has a lovely quality, as when the old town of Flagstaff was flooded out by a dam and the cemetery there was moved over to high ground in Eustis. Parker Dalrymple, then in his eighties, went over to see his great-great-grandmother exhumed, and he took a peek at the old lady. Somebody asked Parker how she looked, and he said, “Not too rug-gid.”