May 23, 2024
Man waving off a seagull on the bay

EAST MACHIAS, Maine — The tried-and-true Maine retort, “Frig Off,” celebrated its 100th anniversary this week, securing its enduring place in the annals of Downeast discourse as the state’s most popular comeback.

The phrase, known for its versatility and brevity, has long been a favorite amongst Mainers. Whether responding to nosy neighbors, squabbling siblings, or a pesky seagull eyeing your ham sandwich, a simple “Frig Off” does the trick every time.

Yet, as the iconic phrase marks its centenary, it finds itself under threat from a rising tide of modern retorts. Phrases like “Keep your pants on” and “Simmer down” are slowly encroaching on the turf of the good ol’ “Frig Off.”

East Machias, often considered the stronghold of the traditional comeback, held a town meeting to discuss the unsettling trend. Concerned resident Earl Potsdam voiced his opinion, “It’s just not right. ‘Frig Off’ has stood the test of time. These newfangled retorts don’t hold a friggin’ candle to it.”

Local historian, Martha Colburn, highlighted the deep cultural roots of the phrase. “When a Mainer says ‘Frig Off,’ it’s more than just a comeback. It’s a piece of our heritage, a verbal symbol of our sturdy independence and a timeless testament to our stubborn resolve.”

In the face of modern competition, many Mainers are rallying behind their beloved phrase. The anniversary has sparked a resurgence in its usage. One can now hear it ringing out even more frequently from the fishing docks of Rockland to the potato fields of Aroostook County.

Despite the encroaching retort revolution, it seems clear that “Frig Off” will remain a cherished part of Maine lingo for years to come. Because sometimes, the only proper response to change is a good old-fashioned “Frig Off.”

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