Jodi Lea Stewart

Loving and Writing About the Southwest and the South

The Land of Ish

Personally, I don’t see how we can survive these days without the Land of Ish.

I mean, think about it. You’re due in a meeting at work at a certain time, say nine o’clock. You did everything you should have done to be there on time – got up early, out the door on time, filled your gas tank the night before.

What you didn’t do is inherit a magic wand to control all the elements of life. Things like a sick child. The traffic flow. The weather.

You arrive at your meeting at 9:16. The boss looks at her watch when you enter. She nods. You give her a thumbs up.

Why? Because you arrived at 9-ish!

Another scenario: It was all fun and games to talk about your age for the first thirty or so years of your life. Now, pushing forty (or fifty, or *horrors* sixty+), you wonder if the promotion you’re panting after will go to someone younger. What about a part in a play or a chance to sing or to give a speech?

Will the powers that be choose you over your younger counterparts?

You certainly don’t look or feel your age. In fact, you’re downright ridiculously youthful. Is it your fault the world lusts after youth and beauty? Of course not!

When it comes time to spill the beans about your age (providing no one knows already), will you 1) tell the truth right out, and the results be hanged, or 2) bestow upon the inquirer a glorious smile and a shrug and say, oh, 30-ish, or 40-ish, or . . . well, you get the picture.

It’s not a lie.

It’s the Land of Ish at your service!

Ish serves us in other ways, too. Chech out these remarks:

Don’t bother to go to that restaurant. It’s too cheap-ish.

My blind date was freak-ish.

I can’t join a group of such child-ish people.

My husband’s boy-ish smile gives me stomach flutters.

She wasn’t at all standoff-ish.

He got the job because he seemed the least amateur-ish.

Your kid was fever-ish this morning, too?

My new car is kind of blue-ish.

Whew! The Land of Ish is a busy place!

Ish is a descriptive suffix that:

  • makes comrades of strangers,
  • knits friends tighter, and
  • gives all of us something to nod our heads about in agreement.

I’m not suggesting the Land of Ish should run for president or anything, but it might make a good senator.

After all, it’s not priggish, squeamish or mulish.

It’s simply stylish!

Hooray for the Land of Ish!

I love to hear from you!


Jodi Lea Stewart is the author of a contemporary trilogy set in the Navajo Nation and two historical adventure-mysteries. More are on the way!

Trouble sneaks in one Oklahoma afternoon in 1934 like an oily twister. A beloved neighbor is murdered, and a single piece of evidence sends the sheriff to arrest a black man Biddy, a sharecropper’s daughter, knows is innocent. Hauntingly terrifying sounds seeping from the woods lead Biddy into even deeper mysteries and despair and finally into the shocking truths of that fateful summer.

“Beyond the humor and entertaining antics of the main character, Biddy Woodson, BLACKBERRY ROAD has depth and meaning as it explores stirring universal themes that we expect in great literature” ~ D.B. Jackson, acclaimed Historical and Western author

BLACKBERRY ROAD is engaging, entertaining, and a book that is sure to linger with you . . . the trip is well worth the time ~ Cyrus Webb, Host of ConversationsLIVE, president of Conversations Radio Network, tv show host, author, and publicist



A beautiful display of culture . . . I thoroughly enjoyed Silki, The Girl of Many Scarves. As a Middle School Spanish teacher, I am always excited to find culturally and linguistically relevant literature for our youth. You will fall in love with the characters, and appreciate how authentically the Navajo language and traditions are conveyed. This trilogy is a must read! ~ Tara Moore

Just for fun . . .

This Big Country isn’t nearly as interesting as The Land of Ish!





24 thoughts on “The Land of Ish

  1. What a great post! I was laughing and nodding my head the entire time. And your book sounds great – I DO love the Southwest and quirky characters that make you laugh out loud, so I am on my way to check it out now!

    1. April, you crack me up! You are transparent in all the right places.I think you’ll really like Silki (my protagonist). She’s a little dust devil, for sure. Thanks for visiting!

  2. Bahahaha … Not only do I love this post, but realize that if I ever attempt to take the “ish” out of my own lingo, I’ll actually be speechless! I’m a big “ish-er.” It’s so often the perfect fit, and allows me to keep things flexible when necessary (aka, A LOT!).

    1. Barbara, I’d never arrive at any destination if not for “ish!” Just ask the good folks at my beauty salon, doctors’ offices, dentist, etc. But heck, I think ish takes some of the bitter out of life’s pressure pills. So glad to know a fellow “ish-er.” Ish right back here soon, okay?

        1. So nice of you to drop by, Mom! You’re right…no one knows what suits me more than my own mother. Now get off here and make us a pie! Lol! Come back soon!

  3. Great post! My mother had to have been a charter member of the land of ish! Unfortunately, I inherited her ish-ability, much to the frustration of my husband. Just downloaded your book – it sounds delightful and I’m looking forward to reading it.

    1. “Ish-ability”… I like that! I’m excited that you’re reading my novel. I know you’ll love Silki; she’s a little pistol.

    1. Yes, Danzier. It’s right across the island from El Pais del MaÑana. How did you know? 😀 Come back often!

  4. LOVED this post! Today hasn’t been a good one and this was just the laugh I needed. Thanks for reminding me to treat myself to a little ish every now and then.

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