Okay, I hear this is a Midwestern thing (not just Cincinnati), but I swear I’ve only heard it here. While tromping through Jungle Jim’s on Saturday (with a camera; apparently the Bonominis have given up and are allowing cameras inside– all the better, as it’s free promotion for them, right?) I spotted this sign:
I took a picture, very much confusing The Better Half. “What’s so special about that sign?”
“Oh, ha ha, haven’t you heard locals call green peppers mangoes? That’s why they had to make the distinction– a fruit mango.”
I think that this is more common with older folk, but my grandmother made “stuffed mangoes” (stuffed green bell peppers) for dinner fairly often. I really dislike them. My mother still calls green peppers “mangoes”– a little internet digging revealed that this is because the first mangoes (fruit) were transported from tropical regions as a pickle. Eventually, it became a catch-all word for many pickled things: a mango– “a mango of cucumber”, “a mango of peaches”. A very popular version was a green pepper stuffed with cabbage and pickled, so the word evolved to mean a pickled or unpickled green pepper (thanks to The Word Detective for that explanation).
So, transplants: have you heard this one before? Natives, did your parents or grandparents use this term? I’m very curious!