The new national divide...
September 12, 2002 1:34 PM   Subscribe

The new national divide... In my high school town of Davis CA. it was "Coke". In the rest of California it seemed to be "Soda". Until I moved to the Northwest I always had an extreme hick-ish image of folks who say "Pop" and to a certain extent still do.

Where do you live and what do you say?
posted by aaronscool (317 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
When I was little, it used to bug me when people said "couch" instead of "sofa."
posted by donkeyschlong at 1:38 PM on September 12, 2002


In Chicago, it's "pop" all the way. Anybody says any different gets "popped". Dems da breaks.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 1:40 PM on September 12, 2002


chesterfield not sofa...pop always
posted by riley370 at 1:40 PM on September 12, 2002


The words "trousers" and "slacks", and the pronounciation of coupon as "cue-pon" really bug me. But I'm just an oversensitive jerk.
posted by interrobang at 1:41 PM on September 12, 2002


Also, I agree with the woman in the CNN article that described the word "pop" as "creepy".
posted by interrobang at 1:42 PM on September 12, 2002


Southerners say "egg" like "ayg" and "lawyer" like "liar".

This caused me some problems when I went west, young man.
posted by WolfDaddy at 1:42 PM on September 12, 2002


Coke and sofa. It always wound me up as a barman the number of stupid, unintelligible names punters came up with for drinks. A pint of 'Tortoise'? Get out of my pub!
posted by RokkitNite at 1:44 PM on September 12, 2002


Not sure what its locally, but in Windsor ON it was called pop. There was even the Pop Shoppe, which had inexpensive knock offs of popular brands. They even had a Golden Gingerale which was a knockoff of Vernor's
posted by substrate at 1:44 PM on September 12, 2002


My parents are both New Yorkers, accent and all, and I grew up my whole life in Mass. I always called it "soda", and alot of kids at school talked about drinking something called "tonic". For the longest time I wondered why they were putting something in their mouths that was supposed to go into your hair...

I can't stand the anomaly of calling everything "Coke" in the South, though... "What kind of Coke do you want?" "Pepsi". Uh?
posted by jozxyqk at 1:44 PM on September 12, 2002


I say "soda pop".

Actually, I say "Coke", but that's because that's all I drink, soda pop-wise.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:45 PM on September 12, 2002


Well, if we're going off on a pronunciation tangent, let me just register my objection to ask=axe and nuclear=nukiller.
posted by donkeyschlong at 1:45 PM on September 12, 2002


"Davenport" is the worst. I hated that as a kid. My babysitter always said it.

Oh, and pop. Definitely.

Minneapolis in da house.
posted by triggerfinger at 1:45 PM on September 12, 2002


I can never decide if it's Fark or MetaFilter, myself.
posted by yhbc at 1:45 PM on September 12, 2002


For me pants and trousers are the same thing. For most of the UK 'pants' are underpants. This was a serious bar on understanding a lot of BBC comedy.
posted by vbfg at 1:46 PM on September 12, 2002


I can't stand the anomaly of calling everything "Coke" in the South, though... "What kind of Coke do you want?" "Pepsi". Uh?

It's like they've all been hypnotized into permanent, unconscious brand-loyalty, or something. Strikes me as kind of grody.
posted by interrobang at 1:47 PM on September 12, 2002


Flashbacks of freshman linguistics here... Practicing linguists take note of these regional differences and mark them on maps with lines called "isoglosses" (like the isotherms on weather maps). There are a lot more of these than just soda/pop (I say "soda", being Californian) - bucket/pail, dragonfly/darning needle... There's a book out there consisting of nothing but isogloss maps, but I can't recall its name offhand.

(On preview, I agree that ask="axe" is utterly abominable.)
posted by wanderingmind at 1:48 PM on September 12, 2002


When my kids come to the midwest from Long (with a hard 'g') Island and call for pizza and try to order a "pie with a soda" they get the "we don't sell pie, we sell pizza and what kind of pop you want."
posted by mss at 1:49 PM on September 12, 2002


Growing up in Bakersfield and environs, it was "Coke." "Soda" seems to be taking over, tho; is it possible that "Coke" was imported to the Central Valley along with so many other southern/southwestern cultural bits during the depression?
posted by hob at 1:50 PM on September 12, 2002


Born in NJ, raised in PA , now in DC - and it's soda all the way.

I am still somewhat humiliated when my father refers to "jeans" as "dungarees" in public.
posted by JoanArkham at 1:50 PM on September 12, 2002


"darning needle" would be a great metafilter handle.
posted by interrobang at 1:51 PM on September 12, 2002


Wow. I can't believe you actually found a link for this thread.

More pernicious, to me, is this little-known enclave of Minnesota racism: That game in which children sit on the floor in a circle while one of them touches each other participant on the head before instigating a vigorous lap of tag? Everyone out there is thinking, "Yeah, Duck Duck Goose," except for those misbegotten Minnesotans, who know it as "Duck Duck Gray Duck." A childhood game grounded in celebrating the diversity of Earth species -- because we value ducks and geese pretty equally -- becomes a whirling dervish of racism (picking on ducks because of their color) or sexism (because gray ducks are female ducks; the brightly colored males are designed to draw predators away from the camouflaged mom and the 'lings).

The "Gray Duck" thing seems to end at the Minnesota state line; I used to live on the Wisconsin side, and the natives knew the goose version (as do most everyone else in every other state), but cross the border and "Guy Guy Black G..." -- I mean, "Duck Duck Gray Duck" prevailed.

On preview: triggerfinger, can I get a witness?
posted by blueshammer at 1:52 PM on September 12, 2002 [1 favorite]


This was a serious bar on understanding a lot of BBC comedy.

I had trouble with little cultural things like why Scotsmen and Blancmanges were so funny.
posted by vacapinta at 1:54 PM on September 12, 2002


In Glasgow it's ginger.
posted by the cuban at 1:55 PM on September 12, 2002


Coke out here in the middle of the Pacific. There's almost a sense of ritual when I go, "Can I have a coke?" And the server asks, "Sure. Is Pepsi all right?" Of course, since I love Coke, if I feel like being a smartass, I get to say, "No, that's why I asked for a Coke." (As if the server could hear the capitalization.)

We also say "couch" in my family, but I hear a lot of "sofa." My wife, from Florida, is definitely from a "sofa" region, and for a while we'd jokingly argue about it. Then we got a futon.
posted by pzarquon at 1:55 PM on September 12, 2002


How about "eggspecially" in place of "especially"? Ughh.
Seems to be indigenous to sports talk radio hosts.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 1:56 PM on September 12, 2002


I generally ask for a Cola when I'm out eating. Not out of a random choice or habit, but a conscious decision to be clear.

I want a cola, doesn't really matter Coke or Pepsi, whatever their brand loyalty is. I say it hoping to avoid the, "Is (the alternative to what I've asked for) okay?" questions, though invariably I end up getting a confused look anyway.

Hopefully with any luck after this survey they'll do the followup, "Hoagie, grinder, sub, hero, wedge" debate.
posted by KnitWit at 1:57 PM on September 12, 2002


Here in Pittsburgh, it's pop. We also say gumbands (rubber bands), hoagies (submarine sandwiches), yunz (you all), Stillers (NFL Team), cubbard (store things in), aht (opposite of in), dahntahn (opposite of uptown), Hauscome (way to ask why?), and jimmies (sprinkles). Most of the time no one has any idea what we're talking about.
posted by ALongDecember at 1:57 PM on September 12, 2002 [1 favorite]


Here in Portland they also say 'acrosst', as in, "You can buy pop acrosst the street." That and 'tooken' will drive me to an early grave.
posted by Tacodog at 1:57 PM on September 12, 2002


is it possible that "Coke" was imported to the Central Valley

And here I thought crank was the drug of choice there ;-)
posted by WolfDaddy at 1:58 PM on September 12, 2002


Me, I like to sit on the divan and have tonic with my sub.
posted by madamjujujive at 1:58 PM on September 12, 2002


triggerfinger, can I get a witness?

Please tell me that you also have relatives who eat "hotdish" and add "so" to the beginning and "then" to the end of every sentence.

"So, you like your hotdish then?"

Oh, and "supposably". Though I don't think that's just a Minnesota thing.
posted by triggerfinger at 1:58 PM on September 12, 2002


Here in Memphis, TN we generally use the terms soda and coke. The latter I've only heard to describe the cola beverages (i.e. Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, never anything fruity.) Soda is the more usual term to hear.

The word "pop" happens to be one of my pet peeves. I think it has to do with those times when my cousins from Chicago would come down to visit. Remembering the way that they say pop still sends chills down my spine. With the northern accent, it sounds like the quack a duck would produce if it were being beaten to death with a broken red brick.
posted by bunnytricks at 1:59 PM on September 12, 2002


darning needle and dragon fly are the same thing?! Actually, the last time, the only time I've ever heard darning need was in the late 1960's at age six or so, from a neighbor with a Bronx accent. I thought it was "Dining Needle."
posted by ParisParamus at 2:01 PM on September 12, 2002


It really comes down to: is it argle-bargle? Or foofarah?
posted by interrobang at 2:01 PM on September 12, 2002


I just want to point out that Metafilter spellchecked my "supposebly" to "supposably".

Administrator, hope me!
posted by triggerfinger at 2:01 PM on September 12, 2002


Growing up in Arkansas, like the rest of the South, everything was a "coke." As in:

Person 1: I'm going to the break room; do you want a coke?

Person 2: Yeah, a coke sounds good right now.

Person 1: What kind?

Person 2: I'll take a 7 Up.

My mom always called them "soft drinks," the black kids would call them "pop," and nobody used the term "soda."
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 2:02 PM on September 12, 2002


That question has already been answered...
posted by statusquo at 2:04 PM on September 12, 2002


All I wanted was a pepsi and they wouldn't give me one...
posted by thomcatspike at 2:04 PM on September 12, 2002


It's soda and anyone who say differently is a deviant and should be arrested and flogged.
posted by xmutex at 2:05 PM on September 12, 2002


A lot of older folks around Ontario call 'em soft drinks... guess that durn must be from da old days when everything but pop was hard... ?? I got nothing...
posted by FiveFrozenFish at 2:05 PM on September 12, 2002


at least it's taking a bit longer these days for the blort to get farked onto metafilter.
posted by quonsar at 2:06 PM on September 12, 2002


What a great thread! POP, of course, in southern Ohio. When I first moved east I was flabbergasted by people using the term reserved for an ice-cream drink to refer to soft drinks. I would try to explain to my new friends that our (Ohio's) system was obviously superior, because we had two clearly delineated words for two different things, whereas they had one word (pop) that meant nothing, and another (soda) that could mean one of two different things. Later I realized I was just intellectualizing a meaningless regionalism, so I've stopped ... until NOW! POP all the way, just as the conclusion of the survey says!
posted by soyjoy at 2:08 PM on September 12, 2002


In Wisconsin, we refer to water fountains as "bubblers." I don't think bubbler is used anywhere else. Always thought it had a nice onomatopoetic sound to it and wondered why it never caught on elsewhere.
posted by rtimmel at 2:08 PM on September 12, 2002


It's not generically "coke" ALL over the south -- I grew up in VA and NC, and my relatives are all in NW Florida, and all I ever heard was "soda" or "cola." "coke" meant "Coke."

Does anybody else say "might could"? As in "Would you lend me 5 bucks?" "Yeah, I might could do that." I also hear myself say "used to could" when discussing something I used to be able to do. Oh, and the one I really get laughed at about is "fixin' to" as in "I was just fixin' to go upstairs." Oh well, at least I don't say "pop."
posted by JanetLand at 2:08 PM on September 12, 2002


A childhood game grounded in celebrating the diversity of Earth species -- because we value ducks and geese pretty equally -- becomes a whirling dervish of racism (picking on ducks because of their color) or sexism (because gray ducks are female ducks; the brightly colored males are designed to draw predators away from the camouflaged mom and the 'lings).

Folks, I think we have a winner for "Most Strained Example of Racism/Sexism"!

In Michigan it's "pop." And for me it's "couch." A "sofa" is the formal thing in the living room that nobody's supposed to sit on.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:09 PM on September 12, 2002


As far as "Coke" being predominant in the South, I always thought it might be due to the fact that Coca-Cola has been headquartered in Atlanta since 1886. Haven't come up with any support for that yet, but still looking.
posted by whatzit at 2:09 PM on September 12, 2002


When I grew up in the Philadelphia area people "went to the shore" for a seaside vacation. Here in the Baltimore area they go "down the ocean" but its pronounced (of course) "downy ocean".

"We're goin' downy ocean, hon!"
posted by krtzmrk at 2:09 PM on September 12, 2002


It surprises me that aaronscool said "Coke" in Davis; I'm just next door, in Sacramento, and around here everyone says "soda." Years ago I knew a family of transplanted Southerners who always asked for Coke at my grandmother's house, when they knew the only carbonated beverage she ever purchased was 7-Up. Bugged the heck out of me. I always tried to correct them, and they always looked at me like I was crazy. Oh--and "pop" just sounds dorky, to my ears.

Another pet peeve: my mother is a real estate broker (no, wait, that's not the peeve), and my stepfather consistently pronounces "realtor" as "real-a-tor." And of course he also says "nuke-yoo-ler."
posted by Acetylene at 2:10 PM on September 12, 2002


I can't stand the anomaly of calling everything "Coke" in the South

Speaking from over a decade of experience, this has been blown a little bit out of proportion. People do refer to specific brand names when ordering a drink. If it comes up in a restaurant, the server asks "would you like something to drink," and patron responds, 7-Up, Sprite, Coke, etc. No one ever asks "What kind of Coke would you like."

On the other hand, "coke" is the generic term for soda, pop, what have you, in most of the south. But again, I don't see what the big deal is. Coke vs "carbonated soft drink," Hi-Liter vs "flourescent referrence marker," Wite-Out vs "liquid correction fluid," Band-Aid vs "adhesive bandage" . . . see what I'm getting at?
posted by mikrophon at 2:10 PM on September 12, 2002


You people in the midwest are freaks.
posted by xmutex at 2:12 PM on September 12, 2002


I'm from Nashville, and it was nice to see in the survey results that, statistically, the entire South says "Coke" as a generic. I'd never even heard "pop," outside of vintage 50s TV, until I started travelling to Chicago and Iowa for debate in high school. The divide became a big topic of discussion at those tournaments (what else ya gonna talk about; "jeez, I don't play football, so theater and debate were kinda it for me").

Then I went to Europe and all my English friends laughed when I talked about wearing pants and suspenders (a garter belt, over here). Now there's a way to get yourself into trouble real quick - go ask a sales lady in Britain if she has pants and suspenders.
posted by risenc at 2:14 PM on September 12, 2002


New York to Seattle 20 months ago, now downtown Bellevue

Soda and couch for me, pop and whatever for everyone else around Seattle from what I can tell. Definitely keeping my pants on, though.
posted by Ryvar at 2:14 PM on September 12, 2002


Ohio here. Pop all the way. In college there was a big debate over cap & hat, sneakers & tennis shoes. A sofa is nicer than a couch, and a davenport is in the sun room.
I could never figure out the difference between nylons and hose (alas, there is no difference). I've always hated it when someone called a vacuum cleaner a "sweeper". You sweep with a broom and vacuum with a vacuum cleaner.
posted by sadie01221975 at 2:15 PM on September 12, 2002


Growing up in Maine, it was always soda, but when I moved to Mass, it became tonic. Also, the Italian people here refer to their spaghetti sauce as "gravy". I always thought gravy was brown. Who knew?
posted by reidfleming at 2:16 PM on September 12, 2002


growing up in Chicago and later northern Wisconsin, it was always pop. when i moved to NYC it was soda; in NY, a Pop was considered an alcoholic beverage (as in "i could use a pop"), at least among my circle of friends. i'm now in northern california, where it's also called soda. i've noticed here that some will call any kind of carbonated water a "Calistoga", which is similar to having a "Coke" in the south (and sooo wrong imo) i suppose.

also: davenport, duck-duck-goose, and pants (growing up).

Slacks, Panties, and Hotdish are all embarassingly bad words.

oh, and i had never heard the term "wedgie" until i moved to the east coast. we proudly called this grand rite of childhood a "grundy pull".
posted by modge at 2:17 PM on September 12, 2002


wanderingmind: Such books are usually called "linguistic atlases"; a bunch of them are listed here. But if you've taken linguistics you should know that axe for ask isn't abominable, it's dialect.
posted by languagehat at 2:17 PM on September 12, 2002


Coke vs "carbonated soft drink," Hi-Liter vs "flourescent referrence marker," Wite-Out vs "liquid correction fluid," Band-Aid vs "adhesive bandage" . . .

Yes, but companies don't like that when that happens, because they become subject to losing their trademark. For example, Xerox wants you to buy ONLY Xerox copiers. But if "xerox" becomes the generic term for photocopying, then somebody could make a very good case for calling THEIR machine a Xerox, and suddenly Xerox is screwed. This happened early in the century with "escalator." And this is why waitresses ask you if Pepsi is okay -- the Pepsi distributers often require it.
posted by JanetLand at 2:17 PM on September 12, 2002


One of my freshman comp classes called me on this one. I'm from Southern California, so I say "soda." I was informed firmly that here in Western NY, it's "pop," thank you very much. To make matters worse, when drinking my soda (pop!) out of a can, I use...gasp...a straw. Apparently, that's a major breach of etiquette. Or something.
posted by thomas j wise at 2:18 PM on September 12, 2002


So is it only in Northern New York that people say 'Geesem Crow' as an exclamation,

"Geesem crow! That's one big tractor!"
posted by KnitWit at 2:22 PM on September 12, 2002


Soda. Always soda. My roommate last year was from Iowa and kept asking me to fix her computer after she'd spilled "diet pop" on the keyboard. Maybe it was augmented by my intense dislike of her, but nothing ever grated worse on ears than her "pop".

The other main linguistic irritation around here is "where you at?"
posted by casarkos at 2:22 PM on September 12, 2002


Even areas that share the same general terms have weird anomalies. In Wisconsin its soda, unless you are ordering a drink. Scotch and Soda is scotch and carbonated water. I was in Boston where the general term was also soda, but when I ordered a Scotch and Soda I received scotch and 7-UP. I was told that the "proper" order was scotch and seltzer.

Unless, of course, the bartender was just screwing with me.
posted by rtimmel at 2:22 PM on September 12, 2002


I forgot, indecisions.........
I live in coke land, sniff sniff........pepsi is the safe land.
Pop goes the weasel.........
posted by thomcatspike at 2:23 PM on September 12, 2002


Oh, forgot: South Florida.
posted by casarkos at 2:25 PM on September 12, 2002


As long as you still call it vodka, it's ok with me, linguists.
posted by Kafkaesque at 2:26 PM on September 12, 2002


Don't be fooled by rtimmel. The water-fountain-as-bubbler thing is not a Wisconsin thing; it's a Milwaukee-and-surrounding-area thing. And, OK, so that's the most populous part of the state, but if you travel out of that rarified atmosphere and start talking about bubblers, you'll get nothing but funny looks except from those folks who have already had to school some brewers on proper terminology.
posted by blueshammer at 2:28 PM on September 12, 2002


Does anybody else say "might could"?

I do, Janetland. But I have no idea where I picked it up. I don't think it came from Michigan, where I grew up. I think I started using it as an affectation and it took root. Now it just comes right out.
posted by ursus_comiter at 2:29 PM on September 12, 2002


Yep. Called it soda growin' up in St. Louis, moved to Denver and started calling it pop so's I could fit in with the natives.

But I'll tell you what bugs the shit out of me...when traffic copter guys get on the radio and tell me they're "working an accident" on the highway, or, almost even worse about "an accident working on the corner of..." ?!?! How did that usage get off the ground?
posted by kozad at 2:33 PM on September 12, 2002


I mapped this phenomenon a couple years ago for my old weblog, apparently because I had nothing else to do.
posted by iceberg273 at 2:33 PM on September 12, 2002


I have used all three -- soda, pop, coke -- interchangeably here in Chicago. Nobody has ever looked at me strangely for using any of them. We must just be more cultured than y'all.

Back in college, I stumbled into the middle of a conversation comparing the pronounciation of the words "don" and "dawn" -- a group of Appalachians didn't distinguish between the two, while the citified among us did...but that's a whole different thread.
posted by me3dia at 2:36 PM on September 12, 2002


I grew up in Augusta, Illinois (a thousand points to anyone who's even heard of Augusta, Illinois) and said pop for years and years. Interstingly enough, I heard all three (pop, soda, Coke) used on a regular basis there - we used to get into fights about it as kids. Now for some reason I always say "soda". It's probably my husband's fault - he's from Chicago.

On preview: Does anybody else say "might could"?
I do, on occasion - learned it from my grandparents, along with "crick" (creek) and "pertnear" (pretty near, used in place of "almost").
posted by ctartchick at 2:37 PM on September 12, 2002


start talking about bubblers, you'll get nothing but funny looks
My teachers in the early mid 70's & early 80's called it that in Los Angeles, yet I have no clue where they grew up, as most adults I met were not native. Maybe a generation thing...

and Bubble Up, was a soda pop ;P
posted by thomcatspike at 2:39 PM on September 12, 2002


In Russia and the former Soviet Union all carbonated beverages are called "Lemon Aid".
posted by filchyboy at 2:39 PM on September 12, 2002


For those of you who want to see what was said about this the last time it was discussed. Not that the discussion seems too different this time.
posted by piskycritter at 2:40 PM on September 12, 2002


Raised in NH, I drink soda, I sit on a couch (unless it's really nice, then it's a sofa), and I eat subs.

Also, my mother's sister is my aunt, not my "ant".
posted by Miss Beth at 2:41 PM on September 12, 2002


Oddly enough, where I am in the South, I never hear "Coke" used as a generic for soda.

[lame humor attempt]

Friend of mine from the Midwest was down here being touristy, asked me where the "pop machine" was. My response was, "Down the hall, turn left, go out the west entrance, go to the garage, get in your car, turn left on Church Street, pick up the Interstate and drive back to Ohio, you freak. And bring me back a soda."

[/lame humor attempt]
posted by ebarker at 2:43 PM on September 12, 2002


Also, said friend from Ohio looked askance at me for putting peanuts in my Coke.

Damn foreigners, I swear.
posted by ebarker at 2:48 PM on September 12, 2002


I spent my childhood thinking what my friend's family called the davenport was their word for tv room. Duh, the thing we were sitting on to watch tv was the davenport!

SHEDule instead of SKEDule always gets my goat.
posted by Woolcott'sKindredGal at 2:52 PM on September 12, 2002


We are from New Mexico and say "soda" but here in Texas most say "coke." Even though most are drinking Dr. Pepper.

This was a serious bar on understanding a lot of BBC comedy.
I had serious issues with all the "fag" references until my mother pulled me out of my adolescent indignation by explaining it was another word for "cigarette." And then there's "pissed" for "drunk," too. duh.

Which reminds me: is it "duh," "der," or "doi"?
posted by whatnot at 2:53 PM on September 12, 2002


Upstait Noo Yawk: when I was in college, back in the days of punk rock, the bubbly stuff was known as finish.
posted by Smart Dalek at 2:53 PM on September 12, 2002


It's pop for most of us in Madison, Wis. But we also say "bubbler" when we're talking about a drinking fountain.
posted by schmedeman at 2:53 PM on September 12, 2002


Just so we are clear, servers likely don't ask you if Pepsi is okay instead of Coke, or if Mr. Pibb is acceptable over Dr. Pepper, because they have to. Smart servers work smart, not hard--if they don't ask the patron will undoubtedly notice the difference in taste and send it back.
posted by brittney at 2:56 PM on September 12, 2002


You're right whatnot, most texans do say "coke". Me, I'm a pop guy. And according to my central american girlfriend, it's "doi".
posted by Ufez Jones at 2:57 PM on September 12, 2002


Another New Hampshire-ite here! I grew up saying soda, but my grandmother said tonic (and she was from Massachusetts so I guess it's peculiar to that state). We also had sofas and not couches, cellars, never basements, and we went "downstreet" instead of downtown. Another great thing you'll hear in NH (at least among the older residents) is people saying "yonder" in all seriousness. Only it's "yawn-dah," of course. "Dahnstreet? It's yawn-dah a mile ah so..."

And word on "aunt" vs. "ant." I myself have two aunties.
posted by hilatron at 2:58 PM on September 12, 2002


Another word for the record..ambulance. In Washington, DC, they emphasize the first and last syllables: "AM-byoo-LANCE." It makes the person sound like Felix did on "The Odd Couple," when he had a sinus problem.
posted by datawrangler at 2:59 PM on September 12, 2002


just one pepsi!
posted by adampsyche at 3:00 PM on September 12, 2002


NYC: soda, couch, wedge when I was little in The Bronx, but hero now....i wonder about the foyer-entryway-hallway thing too...

My relatives in Atlanta call every soda a co-cola (i was surprised that didn't come up here)
posted by amberglow at 3:01 PM on September 12, 2002


Ebarker, try (shelled and skinned) peanuts in a cup of hot tea. Happiness incarnate.
posted by datawrangler at 3:01 PM on September 12, 2002


knit wit - i can vouch for its use as far downstate as dutchess county and as far west as tompkins, but I assumed that it was shpelt jeesum crow.

a texan goes to harvard - and axes a fellow student "d' y'all know where the library's at" the student looks down his nose, and says, "at haaavard we don't end a sentance with a preposition" the texan says, "huh", and thinks, and then says: "d'yall know where the library's at, asshole"
posted by goneill at 3:02 PM on September 12, 2002


Er...Coke is Coke...7 Up is 7 Up...etc. In England we like to keep things simple ;)
posted by Orange Goblin at 3:05 PM on September 12, 2002


I just wish all you American waiting staff would learn how to hear the 'T' in water ;-)
posted by i_cola at 3:07 PM on September 12, 2002


Orange Goblin: Irn Bru would cause problems over there...
posted by i_cola at 3:09 PM on September 12, 2002


I grew up in Wichita, KS, where I grew up hearing "pop." Interestingly enough, in high school I noticed more and more kids saying "soda." They'd all been raised saying pop, but rejected it in favor of the more intellectual soda.

Yeah, really.

When I was in Texas a couple years ago, the old ladies in a state park gift shop called it "soda water."
posted by katieinshoes at 3:13 PM on September 12, 2002


I use...gasp...a straw. Apparently, that's a major breach of etiquette. Or something.

no, it's a freakin' anachronism.

anyhow, i hope it's a bendy.

but if you travel out of that rarified atmosphere and start talking about bubblers, you'll get nothing but funny looks

around here i think you'd have people looking around for the bong. ah, CA.

also: we hella rule.
posted by fishfucker at 3:16 PM on September 12, 2002


madamjujujive: I sat on the "divan" as a child, as well. I didn't realize for a while that everyone else had sofas. I suppose I just chalked it up to the same ominous powers that supplied us with a "bidet" and "patio". Also, I am very lucky to have been able to exile the word "warsh" from my vocabulary. Nothing reeks of slovenly pronounciation skills to me quite as much as extra r's in the middle of words where they have no business appearing.
posted by redsparkler at 3:18 PM on September 12, 2002


Since many people mentioned Minnesota, I'll mention the little study (about 100 people) I did in college. I suspected that Minnesotans used the word "borrow" to mean both loan and borrow. So, we would say: "I borrowed him my book" instead of "I loaned him my book." (I was an English major and did it all the time...I had to do the study to get my self-respect back.) I found that the Minneosta-native students at my college couldn't distinguish when to use borrow or loan. In sharp contrast the people from other states and countries had no problem picking out the improper uses of borrow. I then did some digging and found that in Swedish (a prominent ancestry in MN) there is one word (lanar) for both borrow and loan. Same thing for German (ausleihen)...also a prominent ancestry in MN.
posted by cholstro at 3:24 PM on September 12, 2002


in elementary school, one of my teachers, mr. mccutcheon, had a couch in the classroom and he'd just loose it at you if you didn't call it a davenport. later, in high school in a different city (but not very far away), my football coach was mr. davenport. i used to call him "coach couch" and just laugh and laugh; everybody else thought i was on drugs. well, i mean, i was, but...
posted by hob at 3:25 PM on September 12, 2002


"Down the hall, turn left, go out the west entrance, go to the garage, get in your car, turn left on Church Street, pick up the Interstate and drive back to Ohio, you freak. And bring me back a soda."

I almost spewed my soda on the keyboard...

To Acetylene:
Yeah I noticed really small strip of "Coke" people down the central valley in California. Like I said it was in High School and for all I know could have just be a school thing. I just remember it due to the fact that my school served no Coke but had Pepsi products.

On a similar note I've heard this twice now and am completely at a loss to it's meaning: "Pissah" as some kind of exclamation as to your state of being. I think it's some kind of Boston slang maybe even British but I don't think it means the same as "Pissed" which other than meaning mad also means drunk.

posted by aaronscool at 3:26 PM on September 12, 2002


In Wisconsin, we refer to water fountains as "bubblers."

So don't we ova heah in Boston! I've always wondered about that weird Wisconsin/Boston connection.

But back on topic, Bostonians spit on both "soda" and "pop." We drink tawnic, um, tonic, and we like it, dammit!
posted by agaffin at 3:26 PM on September 12, 2002


he'd just loose it at you if you didn't call it a davenport

also, "loose" for "lose".
posted by interrobang at 3:30 PM on September 12, 2002


"Soda" here in Milwaukee.

rtimmel: If I remember correctly, the reason people around here started calling drinking fountains "bubblers" was because the word "bubbler" was actually on them somewhere. The fountains were essentially just a bowl with water that bubbled up from the middle. My guess is that it was a brand.

(Yeah. I'm just a wealth of useless information about this town.)
posted by aine42 at 3:31 PM on September 12, 2002


Cincinnati, Ohio here.

Redsparkler's right, but the truth hurts. "Warsh" is the hardest Cincinnati imprint to banish. Number 2 is ceasing to begin every conversation with either "Excuse me" or "I'm sorry."
posted by merlinmann at 3:32 PM on September 12, 2002


Er...I should say Cincinnati, emeritus; in San Francisco hissing is the preferred form of communication. ;-)
posted by merlinmann at 3:34 PM on September 12, 2002


I think the saddest part is that I used to say "Warshington". You know, the state right above Oregon. I blame my parents.
posted by redsparkler at 3:35 PM on September 12, 2002


aaronscool, "pissah" is pisser and means excellent (or "wicked good" --another boston term)

"I went to the springsteen concert last night--It was a pisser!"
posted by amberglow at 3:36 PM on September 12, 2002


Another NH-ite (who just moved back after living in Mass. for a couple years) and I call it soda... well, actually, sod-er with the accent.
posted by MediaMan at 3:38 PM on September 12, 2002


I wrote about this site when I did a Weblog for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and the next day, the poll had totally slanted towards the "pop" side. Heh.

I find it hilarious that people around Coke's headquarters call everything a Coke. I'm from Minnesota but I don't call all cities Minneapolis.
posted by GaelFC at 3:40 PM on September 12, 2002


a college friend of mine from Indianapolis calls vacuums "sweepers." and though i initially scoffed at the overuse of the construction "where's so-and-so at?" at said school, i eventually incorporated it into my own vernacular, first jokingly then unconsciously.

it wasn't until a year or two ago that i became religious about not ending a sentence with a preposition, only to find out that it's really not as bad as grammarians used to think.
posted by brigita at 3:41 PM on September 12, 2002


I just say soda. But for beer, I say Frosty! My friends and I used to call them "Frosty Millenniums" when we'd drink Bud. How bout just... "a cold one".

BTW... Where's the survey(study) for beer??
posted by Gargantuan at 3:42 PM on September 12, 2002


For those that want to know more about the Boston slang (including "Pissa", soda and "tawnic") check out The Wicked Good Guide to Boston English.
posted by MediaMan at 3:43 PM on September 12, 2002


I'm from Michigan where Faygo is the local drink and it's labeled "Pop"
posted by MaddCutty at 3:43 PM on September 12, 2002


Oh, plus that MSNBC link in the original post? I was the producer who grabbed that off the wire and put it up, and added the poll. Wild to see it turn up here. (And how insulting are the anti-pop quotes AP found? Who calls the word pop creepy? Golly gee whilikers yourself, girl!)
posted by GaelFC at 3:44 PM on September 12, 2002


OK, and Bostonians who really want to proclaim something ne plus ultra call it "wicked pissa."
posted by agaffin at 3:44 PM on September 12, 2002


amberglow: How old are your relatives? Co-Cola is what my grandmother (who died in her '90s almost a decade ago) used? Seemed to pass on with her generation, mostly. It's something I still use in a joking, intentionally ridiculous retro way on occasion. A friend from Michigan used this with me in a jocular way at a restaurant recently. I wondered if he'd been hanging out in Birmingham (where he lives) nursing homes, or other people who use it for retro fun, or if he heard it from me in an unguarded moment, or what, exactly. I never heard a clear answer.
posted by raysmj at 3:46 PM on September 12, 2002


Buffalo, NY is a pop city. We also stick to "couch," "sub" (instead of hoagie, etc), and "hockey" (what's that basketball' thing that everyone else keeps talking about?).

But I'll be the first to admit we talk funny here. Our strange patterns of speech combine with the fact that we have one of the most unpleasant accents in the Northeast.
Everyone sounds like they have a cold, all the time, and everything-is-said-as-fast-as-you-can-without-passing-out-from-lack-of-air.
I really feel bad for people from out of town who've had to listen to me talk. It must be horrifying. Nearly every phone call I get at work from someone out of the area involves them saying "what? can you slow down? wow, you must be looking forward to the end of allergy season."

On preview: Fago rocks! I'll pick that over most major brands any day (well, other than Dr. Pepper). I think when I move my family will be forced to mail me Fago, vernors, and Aunt Rosie's Loganberry since they seem to be rare out of this area.
posted by Kellydamnit at 3:50 PM on September 12, 2002 [1 favorite]


Aha! History of Bubblers.

I'll stop obsessing now.
posted by aine42 at 3:51 PM on September 12, 2002


On a similar note I've heard this twice now and am completely at a loss to it's meaning: "Pissah" as some kind of exclamation as to your state of being

aaronscool, "pissah" is pisser and means excellent (or "wicked good" --another boston term)

"I went to the springsteen concert last night--It was a pisser!"


In Illinois/Indiana, I frequently hear it used to mean the exact opposite, something or someone that is annoying, inconvenient or obnoxious:

"Oh, man, I can't believe your car died - that's a real pisser!" OR

"I hate that kid, he's a real little pisser!"
posted by ctartchick at 3:51 PM on September 12, 2002


How about "turn signals" vs. "blinkers." The latter implies you know what it does but not what it's for.

And when did people start calling remote controls "clickers"? That's even worse, because they don't click!
posted by kindall at 3:51 PM on September 12, 2002


my aunt and uncle are in their early 70s (they're transplants from NY 30+ years ago, so maybe they adopted it to try to fit in--they never picked up southern accents though)...I kinda like it--has a nice rhythm! And from reading all these responses, it's much better than just "coke" for every soda...
posted by amberglow at 3:52 PM on September 12, 2002


In Austin, "Coke" is predominately used to refer to a soft drink. The term "soda" is also common.

The History of Pop.

I miss Orange Crush.
posted by quam at 3:53 PM on September 12, 2002


ctartchick--that's so funny--it's like Indiana uses it to mean someone or something they want to piss on, and Boston uses it to talk about something so good it made them want to piss!
posted by amberglow at 3:56 PM on September 12, 2002


In Illinois/Indiana, I frequently hear it used to mean the exact opposite, something or someone that is annoying, inconvenient or obnoxious:

Same here. A quick office poll confirms that pisser means "bad."
posted by hob at 3:57 PM on September 12, 2002


I won't name any names, but my girlfriend from Vermont (who grew up somewhere in New York) uses "wagon" instead of "shopping cart" and "standing on line" instead of "standing in line." I'm also amused by the different words for a large sandwich. Regionally, I've heard "hoagie," "sub," and "grinder." Finally, I've noticed people from the West say "I went to prom" instead of "I went to the prom." That last one drives me nuts. As a New Mexican who has lived in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New York, I think I've lost any regional flavor.
posted by hyperizer at 4:00 PM on September 12, 2002


cholstro: Hey, cool. Also: Får jag låna telefonen? - May I use your telephone?

Yes, one day you will all speak swedish. Spreading like wildfire; smörgåsbord, ombudsman... lånar.

So, the swedish word for "soda" and "pop" is läsk. Feel free to use it in everyday conversation.

[/off topic]
posted by soundofsuburbia at 4:03 PM on September 12, 2002


My family calls the remote control "the muter". It took me a while to break that habit, as well. My mother always called horses "haybags", and deer are perpetually referred to as "Bambis". Unfortunately, since they lived in several parts of the country before settling down and raising me, I have no way to tell if the words are colloquialisms or just verbal tics of some sort. I might have to go with verbal tics, though, since they also quote Jar Jar Binks on a near daily basis, and reference an old beer commercial quite often. "Bad Doggie". (used to denote something that's very good, but in a decadent or forbidden way.)
posted by redsparkler at 4:03 PM on September 12, 2002


I've lived in a variety of places--spent my childhood in Virginia, my adolescence in Michigan, moved to Nebraska in my 20's, and I've just moved to Delaware. I say soda or pop interchangebly, depending on who I'm talking to. Either couch or sofa is fine, my grandma calls it a davenport. She also says "warsh" (and she has lived her entire life in northern Michigan). My mother was from Boston, and while she used to tell us that they called carbonated beverages "tonic", I have never heard a Bostonite call it that (I still have family in the area; and my mother never lost her acent, despite not livingi n Boston for the last 20 years of her life). I have managed to pick up the use of "wicked" as an intensifier from my cousins, though.

And I'm having a hell of a time understanding the accents of people native to this area I'm now living in. I'm not sure what the issue is there. And what is UP with calling the beach the shore? I so don't get it.
posted by eilatan at 4:04 PM on September 12, 2002


In California, "Pisser" means good and bad, depending on the usage and inflection. If you are about to be set upon by thugs, for example, you would cry "Pis-SER!" meaning, "Please do not bust my chops, wicked thugs! I am but a humble drinkers of bubbly sugar water! Let us eschew the imminent beating for good natured quaffing!"

If they agreed, you could all then go to your local soda vending machine for pop. If the soda vending machine gave you extra double pop, you would yell "PIS-ser!" meaning "Yay! Free carbonated liquid! I am enthused, my brothers!"

You see?
posted by Kafkaesque at 4:06 PM on September 12, 2002


Besides regional differences, generational differences can be fascinating. My mom calls high school yearboooks "annuals," and you'll find that reference all over books and newspapers from her era.
posted by GaelFC at 4:06 PM on September 12, 2002


My girlfriend's family is from Chicago; she came here young enough to now speak like a proper Californian, but her parents still have the Chicago accents and occasionally lapse into Chicago slang--especially soon after they've gone there to visit relatives. One quirk they've never managed to lose, however, is "the show" for what I'd call a movie. Around here, you go to the theater (or theatre) to see a movie (or film, if you're in an arty mood). A show, to me, is what you watch on TV--more specifically, it implies a recurring, episodic sort of thing, not a one-off production.

I don't know why that grates on my nerves so much.

Oh yeah--and it's always "sub." Not hoagie, grinder, hero, or--shudder--"spuckie."

"A pisser," while infrequently used, is definitely something bad here. As in, "I just got laid off." "Damn, that's a pisser."

Most of these observations were prompted by a browse of MediaMan's Boston English link, which also reminded me of the following joke:
A man visiting Boston for the first time asked his cabbie, "Excuse me, but do you know where I can get scrod around here?"

The cabbie replied, "I musta heard that question a thousand times, but never before in the pluperfect subjunctive."
posted by Acetylene at 4:06 PM on September 12, 2002


I miss Orange Crush

You can buy it (and almost any other drink) here.
posted by triggerfinger at 4:07 PM on September 12, 2002


And when did people start calling remote controls "clickers"? That's even worse, because they don't click!
I am personally on a one-woman crusade to change the common term to "buttons." So far my husband is the only person who understands when I say "hey, pass me the buttons, I want to watch the Simpsons now."

I miss Orange Crush.
Is it no longer available in some areas? Still seems pretty common here. Grape isn't quite as easy to find, but that's around, too.
posted by Kellydamnit at 4:07 PM on September 12, 2002


soundof: I can't believe you guys still have Tab! cool! You can make Mary Tyler Moores--rum and Tab!

hyperizer: I've been standing on line my whole life--everyone who grew up here does...
posted by amberglow at 4:08 PM on September 12, 2002


A quick office poll confirms that pisser means "bad."
Did you mean bad meaning bad or bad or bad meaning good?
posted by aaronscool at 4:10 PM on September 12, 2002


New Mexico here - unlike whatnot's experience above, I've noticed that people around here (Socorro) generally say "Coke", as in:

"Can you get me a Coke?"
"Sure, what kind?"

People always said "Coke" where I grew up, too (Las Vegas, NV).

And it's couch, pants, tennis shoes, dragonfly, bucket, pizza, rubber bands, Duck Duck Goose, and a sub sandwich.

The only major New Mexican English anomaly I've found is that those asking for "chili" at a restaurant will be asked, "Red or Green?" or simply get green chile (either in stew form or alone). The beans-and-meat-soup stuff that's "chili" elsewhere is "Texas-style chili" or "Tex-Mex chili" here.

Someone could write a dissertation on New Mexican Spanish dialect, though ^__^
posted by vorfeed at 4:12 PM on September 12, 2002


Also, I agree with the woman in the CNN article that described the word "pop" as "creepy".

Agreed -- "pop" sounds like the sort of thing they'd drink in Pleasantville, not out here in the real world with us soda drinkers. However, are we floowing the lead of our Southern coke-drinking friends and now using "CNN" to refer to any news site?

From the article: "We're learning that half of Florida is a Southern state and the other half is people who moved in from the North." This, of course, is common knowledge among those who live there; north Florida is the South, south Florida is the North.
posted by jjg at 4:13 PM on September 12, 2002


"my grandma calls it a davenport"

Clearly she's insane and needs to be committed.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:15 PM on September 12, 2002


Hysterical thread! :-D

risenc: try asking a salesperson stateside for a garter belt to hold up your pants...

:-)

Soda, couch, sub, pants, Western Mass.

Dubbya on Saddam Hussein, rebroadcast on NPR this morning (quoted verbatim): "The first time we may be completely certain he has a noo-kyoo-ler weapons is when...God forbids, he uses one."

But my pet peeve is the heinous misuse of the various flavors of the English past tense -- people are beginning to think this is proper grammar, as even news anchors have begun to employ same or similar phrases:

"I had went to... [finish as you will]"
posted by mirla at 4:16 PM on September 12, 2002


I've always said soda, in Rhode Island and Pennsylvania.... I'm surprised no one has mentioned "cabinets", a weird Rhode Island way of saying milkshake (although we're moving towards Awful Awfuls now, thanks to Newport Creamery).

I've also heard both water fountain and bubbler in RI, and I can remember a time when some friends labelled one "the bubblah" when we were at a conference in Detroit.

Oh, and for anyone who's looking for Vernors, I've found that looking in Beer/Soda shops (that's what they're called in PA, at least) will normally carry at least a few cases worth...
posted by Syrinx at 4:20 PM on September 12, 2002


Are ice cream sodas the same as floats? (as in coke floats?)
or shakes?
posted by amberglow at 4:24 PM on September 12, 2002 [1 favorite]


I'm with you on the past tense issue, mirla. People around have a very strong tendency to overuse "would have." As in, "Well, if I would have known that . . . "
posted by Acetylene at 4:25 PM on September 12, 2002


Davenport ... Soda ... Milwaukee
Aparently Milwaukee is isolated amongst the Midwest "pop" heads.

We also call a water fountain a "bubbler".
posted by Dillenger69 at 4:32 PM on September 12, 2002


Something else odd I remember... my grandmother and mother (and occasionally my younger sister) say "sanG-wich" instead of "sandwich," and it drives me up the wall. But, I think that may be because my family is insane more than anything, as I don't recall ever hearing anyone else say that. What can you expect from a bunch of people who cover their new couch with old bedsheets "so it will stay nice."
posted by Kellydamnit at 4:33 PM on September 12, 2002


How about "turn signals" vs. "blinkers." The latter implies you know what it does but not what it's for.

Good point kindall. That sure explains a lot about how many people drive.

And when did people start calling remote controls "clickers"? That's even worse, because they don't click!

Apparently, remote controls were commonly referred to as "clickers" because "the noise made by these early mechanical remotes also lent the device its enduring nickname - 'the clicker'."
posted by crystalblue at 4:34 PM on September 12, 2002


Growing up in New Britain, Conn., the word for a sub sandwich was "grinder". Where the heck did that come from??
posted by entrustNoOne at 4:35 PM on September 12, 2002


my grandmother and mother (and occasionally my younger sister) say "sanG-wich" instead of "sandwich"

They are vampires, and quite possibly wish to sample your tasty flesh.
posted by Kafkaesque at 4:35 PM on September 12, 2002


And when did people start calling remote controls "clickers"? That's even worse, because they don't click!

They don't now, but they used to. One of the original wireless remotes was called the Zenith Space Command, it used a percussion device to strike a small piece of metal that emitted an ultrasonic chirp that would tell the TV to change channels.

They discontinued it after discovering that the chirp irritated animals and some people, and that other noises like clinking glass or dog tags could cause the TV to change spontaneously.

So to sum up, the click was caused by the hammer hitting the piece of metal.

And in Milwaukee it is indeed called soda.
posted by quin at 4:36 PM on September 12, 2002


I moved from "pop" to "rc cola" when I was a young'un. The spouse said the correct term is: "liqueur."
posted by ?! at 4:38 PM on September 12, 2002


I drink soda in Chicago, but I think that's an oddity.

So what is, a cran or a cray-on?
posted by MeetMegan at 4:40 PM on September 12, 2002 [1 favorite]


iowa, and I used to say pop, but I kind of think it sounds silly. I try to refer to a specific brand.

couch.

i hate casserole.

has anyone ever heard of 'chipped beef on toast' ? mmmmm-mmmm.
posted by trioperative at 4:41 PM on September 12, 2002


you mean $#+! on a Shingle, trio? i have many less-than-fond memories of said dish, prepared by my midwestern born 'n bred mother. bleh.
posted by brigita at 4:43 PM on September 12, 2002


Growing up in New Britain, Conn., the word for a sub sandwich was "grinder". Where the heck did that come from??
Ack. I can't even stand seeing that on the mult-regional bags some places around here put their subs into. It seems like using a word meaning "something that will reduce to powder or small fragments" for a food item is bad planning.
posted by Kellydamnit at 4:45 PM on September 12, 2002


brigita: i don't know why, but I love the stuff. I just remembered eating it as a kid and made some for myself today. I like it extra salty.

[/heart attack]
posted by trioperative at 4:47 PM on September 12, 2002


My wife is from NW Indiana. I'm a native Californian. We frequently have a discussion involving the pronunciation of root, roof and route. I say, "you don't get your kicks on Raowt 66". She says "You don't administer a Cisco rooter" or, "A dog, when queried, doesn't indicate the exterior topside of a house is a roof (pronounced with the same sound as in kanga-roo), he says 'ruff'". When it comes down to it, Californians use more of the "u" vowel sound in those three words, while folks from NW Indiana tend to use a sound more akin to the "u" in "rut". These interesting regional variations amuse us for good- natured-yet-argumentative hours.
posted by gnz2001 at 4:51 PM on September 12, 2002


Trioperative and brigita: be sure to try the vegetarian version sometime.
posted by Acetylene at 4:52 PM on September 12, 2002


Tsk, tsk. Obviously, soda ain't tonic unless it contains quinine.
And people in this thread who are chafed by 'pop' would just flip at Fizzy Drink.
And worse than "would have" is the ubiquitous "would of". That's almost as annoying as folks who don't appreciate the difference between "bought" and "brought".
posted by Catch at 4:52 PM on September 12, 2002


The only thing that bothers me--and it does upset me even to the point of violence--is when I hear people from the east coast pronounce the state directly south of Washington "Ore-Gone". GAAAAAHHH! Shutupshutupshutup!
posted by Hildago at 4:57 PM on September 12, 2002


"Warshington" is worse.
posted by GaelFC at 5:00 PM on September 12, 2002


Hildalgo, how's it pronounced? (I say "ora-ghin")
posted by amberglow at 5:07 PM on September 12, 2002


Heh. In Portuguese any flavoured, carbonated non-alcoholic drinks are refrigerantes, because they're supposed to cool you down. It would make a good name for a band of ice-cold vigilantes. Which is OK because refrigerator is frigorífico. Magnífico, right?

I remember older English friends of my parents referring to "soda" (i.e. carbonated water; seltzer; "club soda") as "charged water".
posted by MiguelCardoso at 5:14 PM on September 12, 2002


Jackson, Mississippi: Coke. Example: "What kind of Coke do you want?" "I'll take a Dr. Pepper."
posted by broomeman at 5:14 PM on September 12, 2002


So, how *do* you pronounce the name of the largest city in Louisiana (or, for that matter, Louisiana)?

Somebody mentioned cabinets in Rhode Island (not to be confused with coffee milk), so I feel compelled to bring up Boston frappes.
posted by agaffin at 5:18 PM on September 12, 2002


For whiskey a lot of us here use exactly this Austrian siphon bottle. They last several lifetimes and work out much cheaper than Perrier, which is nothing but carbonated mineral water. The carbonation is almost equal. They're also a lot of fun and great to make spritzers, etc.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 5:19 PM on September 12, 2002


agaffin reminded me we forgot po-boys and muffalettas!

yum!
posted by amberglow at 5:21 PM on September 12, 2002


Coke, couch, trousers.

And muffalettas kick po-boys in the ass anyday.
posted by justgary at 5:29 PM on September 12, 2002


thanks, Acetylene! my veggie compatriots and i salute you!
posted by brigita at 5:31 PM on September 12, 2002


If you liked that article, you'll love the quiz!

Take a dialect survey from the folks who brought you the pop-coke-soda report. It's good beans although ya'll mentioned a lot of stuff that's not on there.

Potato bugs my ass! They're rolly-pollies!
posted by jengod at 5:31 PM on September 12, 2002


I move around a lot, so I can't remember just where I picked up most of the choices presented here. However, I can pinpoint (and curse):

"couple three" as in "give me a couple three bars" from South Dakota (probably leaked across the border from Minnesota along with the bars)

"everwho" as in "Everwho took my football better give it back" from south Texas.

From a pretentious headmaster in England: "Skedjool" is the piece of paper with the dates and times; "shedyule" is that abstract something you're running ahead of or behind. (I still use both in that manner. That and "soda pop" gets me beaten up everywhere in the lower 48.)

For some reason, a drinking fountain is the box-shaped metal thing while a water fountain is just the bowl-with-handle.

I have bathrooms (with toilets) in my house but I use a commode in a restroom while out in public.

If your mom kept it covered in plastic until guests arrived, it was a divan. Otherwise it was a sofa unless you could lay down with your feet up on it, in which case it was a couch.

Trashcans are made out of metal. They are wastepaper baskets if they are made of anything else unless you put garbage in them in which case they become trashcans (or garbagecans) again.

If it has a door, it's a cupboard above the counter and a cabinet below. Without a door, it's a kitchen shelf.

Kindall: I've never heard "clicker" for remote control, but I imagine they're called that for the same reason people "dial" a number on their cellphone
posted by joaquim at 5:58 PM on September 12, 2002


Ottawa's a pop kinda town. It's also the only place I know of where you can order a "combination" pizza, which I believe has pepperoni, green olives, and mushrooms.

If we're still griping, I hate:

"expresso"

"yoos"

"ki-LAW-mitters" instead of "kilo-MEETERS". There is no such unit of measure as a "mitter". It's a "metre". Although we're all guilty of this one.
posted by Succa at 5:58 PM on September 12, 2002


my grandmother and mother (and occasionally my younger sister) say "sanG-wich" instead of "sandwich"

Well, if we're going into odd family eccentricities, then I have to mention that my very own father pronounces breakfast "brekwist." I'm not sure where that comes from.

Dad is also, I gather, the reason I was unfamiliar with the fact that early remote controls did in fact click. "We already have a remote control. Watch. Jerry, get up and change the TV to channel 4." The parents didn't get their first TV with real remote until both my sister and I had moved out -- ditto for a dishwasher.
posted by kindall at 6:03 PM on September 12, 2002


In my high school town of Davis CA. it was "soda". You'd probably use "Coke" as a generic for "cola", but not as a generic for "sugary carbonated-water product". At least my mid-to-late-80's peers and I didn't.
posted by Guy Smiley at 6:03 PM on September 12, 2002


Born, raised and currently live in Hawaii. Nothing but soda out here...and I grew up sitting on the sofa watching tv.

Do people anywhere else say "shut the light" when speaking about turning off a light fixture? We always got scoldings when leaving the house: "EH! Try shut da light! No waste da electricity!"

That and always griping about the rubbish (not garbage or trash).

My grandma in Wisconsin always said pop though...
posted by Blaze_01 at 6:03 PM on September 12, 2002


Is "hot dago" (any kind of Italian sausage sandwich served hot) a usage limited to Minnesota? I always wondered if only frostbitten Scandinavian-Americans who subsist on lutefisk and lefse could come up with a term like that.

(Incidentally, some restaurants in the Twin Cities are rephrasing that menu item...)
posted by PlainLayne at 6:06 PM on September 12, 2002


I grew up in California with parents from Chicago and very close neighbors from St. Paul...so you could say I had multi-lingual upbringing. The one expression of my mother's that horrified me as a child was calling Brazil nuts "nigger toes".

Now that I've moved to the South, I have a lot of trouble remembering to call the patio "the porch". And I have to make sure I don't get "sweet tea" when I ask for ice tea.

As for the British confusion, I could never understand why Bertie Wooster always got in trouble for sneaking downstairs to steal biscuits...until I found out they were actually cookies.

On Preview: Now wait! Potato bugs and rolly pollies are two different critters. Potato Bugs are fierce, ugly beetles of white and purple the size of a quarter while rolly pollies are gentle, little wood lice beloved by by children.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:12 PM on September 12, 2002


When I was a pre-teen, growing up in Chicago and Indianapolis, I always used to call it soda or pop. When we moved to Delaware when I hit my teens, I asked for pop and got looked at strangely. I asked for a soda and I was informed that sodas are something with seltzer and ice cream.

When I asked for a Coke, I was asked what kind, Coke or Pepsi. Now I just drink Black Cherry Wishniak.

On another topic. Down in Delaware, we call them sub sandwiches. Up in Philly they are sometimes called hoagies (supposedly named that because they were the sandwiches of choice for workers on Hog Island). Up in New York they're called Heros. What do you call them?
posted by MAYORBOB at 6:14 PM on September 12, 2002


Subs, and are there any areas that still refer to a midday meal as "dinner" and an evening one as "supper"?
posted by casarkos at 6:21 PM on September 12, 2002


And what is UP with calling the beach the shore? I so don't get it.

We don't call all beaches the "shore", just the ones in the mid-atlantic area, mainly NJ and Delaware, and I've also heard it in Maryland. When growing up in Jersey, the "shore" meant just the Jersey shore, if I were going to Cape Cod or out to the west coast, I'd be going to the "beach". Beats me as to why.

Now here in Boston I lay awake trying to figure out how to keep my future children from talking as if they'd grown up in Boston.
posted by jalexei at 6:23 PM on September 12, 2002


Please tell me that you also have relatives who eat "hotdish" and add "so" to the beginning and "then" to the end of every sentence.

"So, you like your hotdish then?"


i know what hotdish is! but we called it "hotplate" when i was little.

my grandma calls it a davenport"

as does mine, but that's because we're norwegian (and therefore, obviously from minnesota, lol)

a college friend of mine from Indianapolis calls vacuums "sweepers." and though i initially scoffed at the overuse of the construction "where's so-and-so at?" at said school, i eventually incorporated it into my own vernacular, first jokingly then unconsciously.

i live in southern indiana now and i despise the people that say "sweeper". also the parents that teach their children to call their grandparents "mamaw" and "papaw". that is a HUGE pet peeve of mine.

i definitely end a lot of my sentences with "at" and stuff like that.

i also pronounce the word "both" like "bolth"

and it's POP! :)
posted by mabelcolby at 6:28 PM on September 12, 2002


Where do people fall on the bag vs. sack debate?
posted by turaho at 6:29 PM on September 12, 2002


it's a bag
posted by mabelcolby at 6:33 PM on September 12, 2002


Definitely bag, not sack, around here. This may be partly due to the fact that "Sac" is the abbreviation for Sacramento. The two blocks alongside the river are referred to--with a straight face, mind you--as "Old Sac." No one seems to mind.
posted by Acetylene at 6:34 PM on September 12, 2002


Since I'm from Atlanta anything carbonated is a Coke.

And I'd like to know why grits aren't served at any restaurants above the Mason-Dixon line? And why in the world can't I get sweet ice tea in New York, St Louis, or Los Angeles?
posted by oh posey at 6:36 PM on September 12, 2002


I've found that looking in Beer/Soda shops (that's what they're called in PA, at least)

In Michigan, they're called Party Stores.


And you put something in a bag. If you're tough and brazen, you've got sack.
posted by ursus_comiter at 6:36 PM on September 12, 2002


Portland, Maine here (although I grew up in the rural northern part of the state):

Soda; Couch; Cellar; Italian Sandwich; Elastics, Frappe or {milk}Shake (depending on the thickness); Bag (Paper or Plastic?) and we eat Breakfast, Dinner, and Supper ....

Also, in the town where I grew up "Basement" was the word for "Bathroom" Hey! Mrs. Cote! I gotta go t'the Basement!! Has anyone else ever heard of that?

I'm saddened but not surprised to find that our Boston-area friends are trying to appropriate "Wicked" ("Whicked Good") and "Pissah" as their own ... everyone knows those are Yankee Mainer words. They even wrote a book about it.
posted by anastasiav at 6:40 PM on September 12, 2002


We always called rolly pollies 'pill bugs' which, upon doing some research, i just discovered are not actually bugs at all but crustaceans.

That, my friends, is just weird.
posted by quin at 6:43 PM on September 12, 2002


Speaking of bags....in California I carried a purse, but here in NC it's my pocketbook.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:45 PM on September 12, 2002


I agree with mikrophon. The southern coke/soda thing is a little exaggerated. I always say "soda" and that's mostly what I hear, too. In my experience, at least in South Carolina, only older or more rural southerners (like my grandmother) use the words "coke" or "co-cola" generically. I lived in the northeast as a kid though, and I remember my friends asking for "pop." I also thought "beef-on-wicks" were hilariously funny.

And note to South Carolina visitors: those huge disgusting roach-like creatures aren't cockroaches, they're palmetto bugs ...
posted by octobersurprise at 6:47 PM on September 12, 2002


I grew up pretty much everywhere in the US except the northern central states. From Hawaii to California to Mississippi to Boston, and several in-between. "Coke," "pop," and "soda" all sound okay to me (pop slightly less so, but I don't find it creepy), but soda is the way I say it. I lived in Boston and never heard "tonic." Between the west, south and Hawaii I got "sub," "poboy," "grinder," "hoagie," and "gyro," but I just say "sandwich." A straw in a can of soda is wrong.

"sofa"/"couch," "sneakers"/"tennis shoes," and "hat"/"cap" have always been interchangable to me.

My favorit from Hawaii is "stink eye," which is a dirty look.
posted by Nothing at 6:48 PM on September 12, 2002


On the bag v. sack tip, I recall a grade school English textbook saying "poke" was a popular regional synonym for "bag."

Have you ever heard anyone use "poke" other than in the caveat emptor cliche about pigs? If so, where's the region in question?

Seems sort of old-timey, like calling the radio a "wireless" or pot "tea."
posted by merlinmann at 6:54 PM on September 12, 2002


brendan fraser said "stink eye" in the movie monkeybone. damn near ruined the phrase for me.
posted by adampsyche at 6:58 PM on September 12, 2002


"My favorit from Hawaii is "stink eye," which is a dirty look."

I have to go with Dave Letterman on this one, and call it "skunk-eye", as in "I shot him the skunk-eye."
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:59 PM on September 12, 2002


I went a little haphazard with the quote marks, didn't I? Oh well. Another Hawaii one: chanty = toilet.
posted by Nothing at 7:01 PM on September 12, 2002


I had to hit my dad the other day for saying "rucksack" in public.
posted by Succa at 7:03 PM on September 12, 2002


I think most people say "soft drink" here in Australia, or use the name of their poison of choice (7-up, Coke, etc.). "Soda" would get you tonic water (with quinine), "pop" would get you a funny look unless you said it in an American accent ("pARp"), in which case "Oh, you mean soft drink? What flavour?".

Offtopic, sorta: Catch, why in hell can't I get L&P over here?
posted by sennoma at 7:03 PM on September 12, 2002


A divan, when I was growing up, was what we now call a sofa bed. If I want to drink dissolved sugar in water with bubbles, I would be craving a soft drink but, if I wanted just water, I might go to a bubbler if one was nearby. If I ask for a Coke that is exactly what I get (unless I get told "sorry, we only carry Pepsi"). If I added icecream to my soft drink, I would end up with a spider, not an ice cream soda.

A couch and a sofa are different things and I am always getting in trouble at home for mixing up the two. When I sit on either, I use the zapper to change the TV channels. I wear my pants over my underpants and runners on my feet, not sneakers or tennis shoes (although some people refer to shoes made specifically for tennis as 'tennies"). Slacks are something that your father would wear if he was really uncool.

When I want to tell someone which way I am turning while driving, I use my indicators. I wish everyone did. If I have too much to drink, I end up pissed (or even pissed as a fart, or maybe legless).
posted by dg at 7:04 PM on September 12, 2002


For future reference, Florida stops being the South just south of New Smyrna Beach, I think. There are no signs, you just know. :)

As far as getting grits and sweet tea in "foreign lands": Trip 3 years ago to NYC, I wish I could remember the name of this place, small hole in the wall in TriBeCa. I had been away from home for a week, and as much a second home as Manhanttan is, I was feeling homesick. Walked in and the place had shrimp and grits, cornbread, and sweet tea that was The Nectar Of The Gods.

Turns out the chef was a transplant from Charleston as well, and did this a couple times a week. Manna, sheer manna.
posted by ebarker at 7:05 PM on September 12, 2002


But apparently manna doesn't teach you to spell. :)
posted by ebarker at 7:07 PM on September 12, 2002


this thread is so interesting...

grew up in various parts of eastern and southern Ontario

Pop, couch, sub...sometimes pop and couch get substituted with soda and sofa, but not often. A sub is a sub is a sub.

My grandma called it a chesterfield so I figured chesterfields were old and usually have crocheted afghan blankets on them (like hers)

Succa, I hear you on the kilometers and youse pronunciations in the Ottawa area - drove me crazy too.

My parents called going to the movies "going to the show"

Pisser is bad, wicked is good.

bag not sack (unless it's a knapsack and even then it's iffy)
posted by melissa at 7:10 PM on September 12, 2002


That and "soda pop" gets me beaten up everywhere in the lower 48.)

At least I'm not the only one. Growing up in Alaska, it was mostly pop with the occasional soda. My dad's from upstate New York and always referred to it as pop and my mom's from Missouri (Missoura!) and always called it sodie. Eventually a compromise was reached and we became a "sodie pop" household. I've lived in Colorado the past three years and despite the prevalence of pop and Coke, I still call it sodie pop.

And it was slacks (in this awful duck-quacking accent), duffel bags, clickers and blinkers all the way.

Incidentally, Alaskans refer to the lower 48 and Hawaii as "Outside". I found myself telling someone last week that I'd lived Outside for several years now. I got the strangest look.
posted by littlegirlblue at 7:13 PM on September 12, 2002


Wasn't gonna post this far down a thread, but it seems no one else has contributed these choice nuggets, so here goes:

1) It's "pop" in almost all of Canada (though my father, who's from the Ottawa Valley, says "soft drink")

2) In India, it's "colddrink," said like that, as a single word. And no, colddrink does not refer to any chilled beverage, only to carbonated ones.
posted by gompa at 7:15 PM on September 12, 2002


If anyone arks here without being pacific it's a soft drink
posted by johnny7 at 7:26 PM on September 12, 2002


dg
I bet when you go on hols to the relos you pack a port
posted by johnny7 at 7:31 PM on September 12, 2002


We always called rolly pollies 'pill bugs' which, upon doing some research, i just discovered are not actually bugs at all but crustaceans.

We called them water bugs growing up. The things everyone else seems to call water bugs, the spidery things that skate on the water, we called boatmen.
posted by ctartchick at 7:31 PM on September 12, 2002


i simply refuse to believe this thread has more comments than the 9/11 remembrance. fark me.
posted by quonsar at 7:33 PM on September 12, 2002


ok, it's a sack if it's made out of fabric, like a flour sack or a laundry sack. If it's paper or plastic, it's a bag.

vorfeed, amen on the chile thing. You might be interested in Cobos's A Dictionary of New Mexico and Southern Colorado Spanish--we used it far more than our run-of-the mill Spanish/English dictionary.

Which reminds me of something else--here in TX, all spanish words are pronounced english/phonetically (e.g "Llano" pronounced "lann-oh" instead of "yah-no"). It sounds so ugly after you get used to other areas of the southwest that at least try to remain true to the original spanish pronunciations. In fact, we took it as a subtle form of racism (remember the alamo, right?), until we realized that all the Tejanos were using the crappy pronunciations, too. Except that they call themselves "Tay-ha-nos," not "Tay-jaw-noes."

(on preview: the rolie-polies in "A Bug's Life" are called "pill bugs" too.)
posted by whatnot at 7:33 PM on September 12, 2002


"Offtopic, sorta: Catch, why in hell can't I get L&P over here?"
Because it is the only thing that stands between our tiny but plucky population and the might of the Roman Empire. By Toutatis.
I know where the Post Office is, though. Feel free to email me if you desperately need anything.
posted by Catch at 7:34 PM on September 12, 2002


I try to say 'drink' nowadays when I think about it. I used to use 'soda', 'cola', 'pop' and 'coke' interchangeably, rarely meaning Coca-Cola when I said coke. I was born in the south, lived in the north for a large chunk of my childhood, then moved back down to Texas. So I've heard it all. In my youth, the color and taste didn't matter so long as it was cold and didn't cause me to barf. As I got older I found myself forced to be more deliberate and specific in my request for a drink. There are some things I simply can't drink now, for medical purposes. Nowadays I generally try to avoid anything carbonated. "Earl Grey tea. Hot."

The use of "coke" as a synonym of soda pop is similar to the use of 'xerox' for photocopy. It's the ultimate success of a commercial product, and also threatens to weaken that product's patent rights. The society seems to innately try to take possession of the most successful personal properties that defy being public.

A black woman who was an employee at a shopping mall store once used "axe" in a conversation with me at least a dozen times. It was completely innocent, but I couldn't help thinking that behind her eyes she was meaning "axe the white boy" deliberately. I shook it off, but sometimes I think maybe the bastardization of the word "ask" among some African-Americans is not by mistake. "Ah axe ya, ah axe ya now.." Creepy. To me the battle for equality is long over, but some in both sides of the crayon box just won't let it go, and some were wanting more than equality.

To me it's always "couch" unless I'm in a fancy posh place. "Sofas" are for the upper middle class. Couches are for sitting. Sofas are for looking.

"Trousers" and "slacks"? I prefer "pants" but I think in England that means underwear. Those darn Europeans have a different word for everything.

I say "cue-pon" for coupon.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:40 PM on September 12, 2002


"cue pon" here too. also, i live in texas, here everything is coke, and a dr. pepper machine is a coke machine that sells dr. pepper. "i'm goin' to get cokes, whatcha want?" is not an uncommon occurrence.
posted by JessicaRose at 7:47 PM on September 12, 2002


A few thoughts (most of my phrases have already been spoken for, so to speak) ... Coke, like all colas, used to be regional. A "grinder" may refer to the machine that is used to create the meat that is put inside. My favorite Chicagoism is "the Jewel {grocery chain}", as in, pick up some pop at the Jewel. My favorite American regionalism, for no good reason, is Pittsburgh's "needs {to be} done", as in "This project needs done right away." The only regionalism that's ever completely flummoxed me is NYC "draw" for "drawer". If you learn about consonant shifts, things like "ax" for "ask" bother you less. And I'm going to miss the niche ones like "tonic" when they're gone.
posted by dhartung at 7:47 PM on September 12, 2002


My god. 205 responses for pop vs soda. Clearly this needs to be the UN's major concern, not all that silly stuff about Iraq. THIS! This matters. Hilarious.
posted by Salmonberry at 7:47 PM on September 12, 2002


But, is it jimmies or sprinkles?
posted by MediaMan at 7:48 PM on September 12, 2002


If anyone arks here without being pacific

Nnnnnggggghhhhhhh! Two of my peevingest pet peeves right there, johnny7; are you in Queensland by any chance? Others: "if I would of [done such-and-such]", "fillum" for "film" (were there pallum t rees in this fillum?), "know-EN" for "known", "triathAlon" for "triathlon".

On preview: Catch, that's very kind of you but I fly through Auckland every now and then, often enough to get my L&P fix. (For those playing along at home: L&P.) Also, I found while googling for that link that I can get L&P from NZ Ice Cream Co outlets, woo-hoo!§
posted by sennoma at 7:51 PM on September 12, 2002


I can't believe I'm starting to think like quonsar. What does that say about my tenous grip on reality?

Ah, the hell with it.

Coke, sofa, sub, roly-poly, bag, jimmies. Only the last is a concession to living in New England after being raised in the south. I still drink coffee black, though, as God intended - damn yankees won't ever get me to fill it up with sugar and milk and call it "regular".
posted by yhbc at 7:53 PM on September 12, 2002


Suppose you are stuck in a traffic jam because everyone is slowing down to stare at the horrible accident in the other direction.

In New York, this is rubbernecking.
In Washington, this is a "curiosity delay". (how proper!)
In Chicago, this is gaper's block.
In Boston, I've heard variants of all these (as well as the apochryphal "gawker blocker", said only to elicit the pronounciation "gahhkah blahhkah.")
posted by PrinceValium at 7:56 PM on September 12, 2002


I say both "soda" and "pop", but "pop" seems to be the most common of the two here in Saskatchewan. Usually we just say cola, rootbeer, ginger ale or specify the brand. Tonic is always tonic water (with quinine) and in a bar, soda is club soda.

What about hooded sweatshirts? In Saskatchewan its a "bunny hug" which drives my BC friend crazy. "It's not a bunny hug. It's a hoodie!"

Another one is the slang term for underpants. I've heard "gitch", "gotch", "ginch" and "gonch". Everyone I know swears their childhood term is correct and the other three are just weird. I'm originally from England so I say "pants" and confuse them all.
posted by Monk at 7:56 PM on September 12, 2002


yhbc: I always thought jimmies were chocolate and sprinkles were "rainbow". I also only use grinder when qualified by "meatball".

Hot damn, 200 comments?!
posted by PrinceValium at 7:58 PM on September 12, 2002


They can't be jimmies, or you could cover them with a jimmy hat, which, as we all know, is something else entirely.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:58 PM on September 12, 2002


Some people call sprinkles "jimmies"? To me, jimmies will always be what my grandmother made with extra pie dough. Flatten it, coat it with butter, cinnamon, and sugar, roll it up, slice it into rounds, and bake 'em at 350 until they smell done (this last step, incidentally, works for nearly everything you'll ever need to cook). Do this before you bake the pie, because you'll want to much on them while waiting for the pie to finish baking (at 350, until it smells done).
posted by Acetylene at 7:59 PM on September 12, 2002


are there any areas that still refer to a midday meal as "dinner" and an evening one as "supper"?

Dinner is the main meal regardless of when you eat it, the one you sit down with your family to eat, especially if it involves a good amount of preparation rather than just thawing out something from the freezer, or if it involves dressing up in any way, or company coming over. So dinner can be an afternoon or evening meal. Supper is always an evening meal and can be dinner as well depending on how formal it is.

I had never even realized that sprinkles could be called jimmies.
posted by kindall at 8:04 PM on September 12, 2002


While were on insects (or insect-like crustaceans) where are the firefly - lightning bug lines drawn. My father was from Kentucky and my mother from Wisconsin. One used one and one the other and so I will use them interchangeably.

Everyone seems to understand both, there isn't the darning needle confusion. (I also will used both roly-poly and pill bug so maybe their use is split roughly done the same lines, though I like roly-poly better).

Also Crayfish - crawdads
posted by rtimmel at 8:05 PM on September 12, 2002


To me, jimmies will always be what my grandmother made with extra pie dough. Flatten it, coat it with butter, cinnamon, and sugar, roll it up, slice it into rounds, and bake 'em at 350 until they smell done

No, those are pinwheels. I don't know how you could ever use the name "Jimmy" for something you eat. Too damn close to cannibalism for my taste.
posted by kindall at 8:05 PM on September 12, 2002


No, kindall, those are snails.

Sheesh. You people all talk goofy.

:)
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:11 PM on September 12, 2002


I've heard "gitch", "gotch", "ginch" and "gonch".

Those are all weird. We call 'em "undies", or "jocks" (from "jockey shorts"). Hence "jock rot", an unfortunate consequence of tropical weather and insufficient personal hygiene which often afflicts immigrants from cooler climes until they get used to living with the heat.

Mr_crash_davis: terms for those are another can of worms entirely. F'rinstance, we erase ("rub out") mistakes made in pencil with "rubbers"...
posted by sennoma at 8:11 PM on September 12, 2002


I don't know, Kindall, I think I have to stand by my usage here. A Google search reveals that most people seem to use "pinwheels" to refer to savory snacks (generally involving tortillas, cream cheese, and meats), whereas the recipes that show up for "jimmies" are generally sweet. Cannibalistic it may be, but it seems to be the consensus nevertheless.
posted by Acetylene at 8:12 PM on September 12, 2002


I never wanna hear "Jimmy" and "pie dough" together again. Hey, there's this movie I saw...
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 8:16 PM on September 12, 2002


Around Delaware, a grinder is a sub or a hoagie that's heated in the oven.

Is it stand on line or stand in line where you come from?
posted by MAYORBOB at 8:18 PM on September 12, 2002


We don't stand in or on lines in Massachusetts. No linguistic issue here.

"I can help the next person in line" is translated to Masshole ears as "I'm open now, everyone trample each other to get to the front first."
posted by yhbc at 8:28 PM on September 12, 2002


In line at the supermarket; online, at home in front of my computer, right now. That way there's no confusion. And I suppose if you have dial-up service and have to keep redialing in order to connect, you could say you're waiting in line to get online.
posted by Acetylene at 8:29 PM on September 12, 2002


re bugs: Roly-poly/pillbug = "doodlebugs" to me. Water boatmen are water boatmen, whirligigs are whirligigs, and "water bugs" are big evil cockroach-sized fuckers that'll bite your arm off. Haven't looked for one since I was a kid though. No such thing as locusts: if it sings it's a cicada and if it's a plague it's grasshoppers. Them glowy things is fireflies.

Spent most of my life in Dallas.

As far as the coke thing goes, the way I work is, if it's brown soda it's coke (unless it's root beer) and if it's clear it's sprite.

Oh, and:
I shook it off, but sometimes I think maybe the bastardization of the word "ask" among some African-Americans is not by mistake.

For anyone else here did the video for Tribe's "I Left My Wallet in El Segundo" spring to mind?
posted by furiousthought at 8:33 PM on September 12, 2002


sprinkles!
But cherry dip is better.

Also, I'm partial to KOO-pon, kil-AH-mitters (I live just over the US/Canada border, so Toronto's a day trip for people out here), potato bugs, and purse or bag. Sack is bound to get snickers from any teenage boys in the vicinity, punctuated by exaggerated crotch grabbing. Also quite fond of the Canadian "ay" As in "Let's go to that new Tim Hortens' for lunch, ay?"

Oh, and PlainLayne, I've never heard anyone in any part of NY call anything a "hot dago," and I suspect it wouldn't be taken too kindly by some people. I mentioned it to my Italian mother, and was met with "Ohfortheloveofgod! Who would call a sangwich somethin' like that. I don't belive it. kelly, where do you pick dis garbage up?!" She's starting to pick up the Central NY accent, which is strangely different from the way we speak on the western end of the state.
posted by Kellydamnit at 8:33 PM on September 12, 2002


I go to the bathroom to wash or have a shower. I go to the toilet to go to the toilet. Rubbish goes in rubbish bins, period. If it has a door, it's a cupboard, if it doesn't it's a shelf. Sprinkles are called 100s and 1,000s. I also wear my shorts over my underwear. Thongs are something I wear on my feet. A cooler (chilly bin to you, catch) is an esky.

"Offtopic, sorta: Catch, why in hell can't I get L&P over here?"
As you have found, you can. Makes living here almost bearable ;-)

dg
I bet when you go on hols to the relos you pack a port


Not in this decade.

This is all hell on the spell-checker :-)
posted by dg at 8:37 PM on September 12, 2002


mother and father? blah! it's mom and dad :) but for some reason it's grandma and grandpa :) (and who ever heard of nanna?) like i could never say "hello mother," unless i was being sarcastic. it's always been "hey mom" or the more formal, "hi mom!"
posted by kliuless at 8:38 PM on September 12, 2002


We use firefly and lightning bug interchangeably, but i've noticed that people call them different things depending on what they are doing: ones that glow for a long time are fireflys, the short fast flashes (i believe during mating) are lightning bugs.

Same bug, different names. Kooky.
posted by quin at 8:44 PM on September 12, 2002


ok, the FINAL word on this:

it's "soda".

we do not have "club pop" nor do we have "pop water".

kthx. game over.
posted by jcterminal at 8:45 PM on September 12, 2002


Jesup, Iowa (age 1-10):
Pop (Green Rivers were preferable)
davenport (my grandparents)
couch (from my mother, from Green Bay, WI)
cellar
supper
water fountain
cue-pon
"couple-three"
purt-near

Green Bay, Wisconsin (age 10-17)
(well actually, DePere)
Pop
couch (sometimes sofa)
basement
dinner
drinking fountain
cue-pon
"two or three"
almost

Milwaukee, Wisconsin (17-31)
SODA (and will until I die!)
couch / sofa
cue-pon
basement
dinner
bubbler
"two or three" (although I do hear "too-tree")
nearly

Although I have started using "purt-near," "cellar" and "supper" because it reminds me of my grandparents...

True story: When my mother was a young sophisticate living in Iowa in 1976, there was a hot and sultry August day and she thought it would be nice to have some friends over for gin and tonics and sit a spell on the veranda. She had gin (having been recently in the next town to the state-run likker store) but went to the town grocery store for tonic. She looked up and down to no avail, and finally asked a clerk, who replied, "Well, we ain't got that, but we do have Alka-Seltzer."
posted by mimi at 8:46 PM on September 12, 2002


'Ere in Austraylia where we speak the King's Inglish (wot's that - he's dead? Crikey!) every bugger knows that "soda" and "soda water" is a subset of the "soft drink" collective. Coke is also a subset, with various brands including Coca Cola and Pepsi. Really, you Seppos don't know howta say anythin', do yous?

Now, I wooda called it a "Chuzwuzza" meself, by jingo!
posted by Neale at 8:48 PM on September 12, 2002


The only Pinwheel my grandma and I knew was a chocolate marshmallow cookie by Nabisco. I was completely shocked the first time I heard of that pie-dough-jimmy madness being called a "pinwheel." (We called the extra pie dough "trash." ^_^)

Also, I called it "sodee" until I was eight, until all the other kids laughed at me when they heard me. I'm from St. Louis.
posted by lnicole at 8:54 PM on September 12, 2002


Wow - I went away for awhile and the thread seems to have moved to bathrooms and toilets....natural progression after all that soda, pop, coke & tonic, I guess.

Growing up in school with the nuns, "bathrooms" and "toilets" were far too coarse - we needed a bit more in the way of euphemism to maintain our ethereal innocence, I guess. If nature was calling, we had to ask to go to the lavatory which sounded like a cross between a medical and a sacramental rite. Or sometimes we called it "the basement" because that's where it was located. It was a damn scary place too!
posted by madamjujujive at 8:54 PM on September 12, 2002


My Michigan grandparents are/were Grandma and Grandpa (although Grandma always signs her cards and letters "Granny", no one calls her that), my Boston ones were Nana and Papa Bob. No one knows where Papa Bob got it from, apparently when my oldest cousin was born, he announced that he would be known as Papa Bob, or Papa for short. And it wasn't pronounced Pah-pah, but rather PUH-puh.

And apparently I pronounce bagel in a really weird way. No one else I know pronounces it like I do. I know that the a is supposed to be like the a in cake, but I supposedly pronounce it more like an ay sound. Baygel, I guess. And I get so much shit for it, and I really cannot hear the difference. Am I the only one who does this? And if so, is there hope?
posted by eilatan at 8:59 PM on September 12, 2002


ok, i'll play. weewee or peepee?
posted by quonsar at 9:04 PM on September 12, 2002


poopy
posted by Satapher at 9:06 PM on September 12, 2002


Raised in New Hampshire, it took my a while to get used to the fact that people here in Virginia "cut on" lights and appliances. I turn, flip, and switch. Now I cut, too.
posted by Miss Beth at 9:15 PM on September 12, 2002


New York to Seattle 20 months ago, now downtown Bellevue
Uh, so you're back in New York, with mental problems?
(Some names have local significance).

sennoma: "if I would of [done such-and-such]"
"Would of" (and it's ilk) are peeves of mine.
posted by HTuttle at 9:15 PM on September 12, 2002


Sprinkles are called 100s and 1,000s.

*cue lightbulb effect* Ah, so that's what those weirdos were talking about.
posted by sennoma at 9:15 PM on September 12, 2002


"Thongs are something I wear on my feet"
Hah hah. You mean Jandals. Thongs are what you wear under your shorts, if you're a bit daring.
But '100's and 1000's', yes.
posted by Catch at 9:18 PM on September 12, 2002


Coke vs "carbonated soft drink," Hi-Liter vs "flourescent referrence marker," Wite-Out vs "liquid correction fluid," Band-Aid vs "adhesive bandage" . . .

The difference is that people actually know and care about the difference between Coke and other products. If I order a Coke and get a Pepsi I'll be irritated and send it back.

Another Milwaukee vote for "soda." "Pop" just sounds too... Archie comics.

Sub, hoagie, grinder, dago, whatever. Just don't call it a sammich / samidge / sandwidge / samwidge. For some reason the announcers in Arby's commercials always find grating ways to mispronounce "sandwich."

One of my pets comes out in writing more obviously than in speech: people who'd "just assume do one thing instead of the other." What the heck does that mean? I'd just as soon go have another soda...
posted by Tubes at 9:20 PM on September 12, 2002


Sprinkles are called 100s and 1,000s.

How do you tell when to call them 100s and when to call them 1,000s?

(Kinda reminds me of the story of an American bride who sent her British mother-in-law some of her favorite recipes, and received a puzzled call about a recipe that called for half-and-half. "Half of wot and half of wot?")
posted by kindall at 9:31 PM on September 12, 2002


I wooda called it a "Chuzwuzza" meself

Don't listen to him, he's from Sydney. WTF is a "chuzzwuzza", Neale? (Even in Aus we have our regional differences.)
posted by sennoma at 9:31 PM on September 12, 2002


How do you tell when to call them 100s and when to call them 1,000s?

It's a collective name, you don't split it up.

"Half of wot and half of wot?"

That's what I'd like to know.
posted by sennoma at 9:35 PM on September 12, 2002


One more addition to the sub/hero/hoagie/grinder/po'boy/etc group: In Northern New York (which is above the Thruway, by the way, and does not include Poughkeepsie or any of that business some people seem to think is upstate NY), they are also known as Michigans.
posted by stefnet at 9:39 PM on September 12, 2002


Hundreds and thousands sandwiches for playlunch at kindy. Mmm.
posted by dydecker at 9:42 PM on September 12, 2002


I've gotten used to "axe". But "birf-day" still kills me.
posted by goethean at 9:44 PM on September 12, 2002


Coke vs "carbonated soft drink," Hi-Liter vs "flourescent referrence marker," Wite-Out vs "liquid correction fluid," Band-Aid vs "adhesive bandage" . . .

"7-11" for "corner convenience store." Growing up in California, where you can buy gallon bottles of whisky at [the] Safeway, the corner store was a "liquor store," even if it was a 7-11 or whatever that didn't have liquor; up in Oregon, where they have state-run liquor stores that close at six and are the only place outside a bar that you can buy spirits, you said "mini-mart" or "7-11" or "Plaid" (for "Plaid Pantry," a native chain). I gather than in England they have "corner shops."
posted by hob at 9:44 PM on September 12, 2002


Hundreds and thousands sandwiches for playlunch

That's fairy bread for little lunch, you freak. :-)
posted by sennoma at 9:44 PM on September 12, 2002


I'd love to see an isogloss map of "parking garage", "parking structure", "parking ramp" (which seems to be the Minnesota word for it) and other words for those buildings.

When I lived in Southern California, I never failed to be surprised by the rich So-Cal traffic vocabulary (not too surprising, I guess). Anyone who's endured a sig alert because of an injury accident in the number two lane on the 405 will know what I'm talking about.
posted by smrtsch at 10:08 PM on September 12, 2002


*cue lightbulb effect* Ah, so that's what those weirdos were talking about.

Yeah, I only figured it out when someone mentioned "Rainbow" in the same context

"Thongs are something I wear on my feet"
Hah hah. You mean Jandals. Thongs are what you wear under your shorts, if you're a bit daring.
But '100's and 1000's', yes.


Speak for yourself - put on your jandals, grab your chilly bin full of Steinlager and bugger off.

That's fairy bread for little lunch, you freak. :-) Hear, hear, but it's only fairy bread if it is open, preferably cut into shapes with cookie-cutters.
posted by dg at 10:19 PM on September 12, 2002


So if a hundreds and thousands sandwich is fairy bread, what's a chippie sandwich, eh, eh? You kids talk funny.

Hobs, a liquor store in England is an off-license (I think). But the real word is bottle store of course. As distinct from a dairy.
posted by dydecker at 10:27 PM on September 12, 2002


I got used to calling it soda while living in New Hampshire, so that's what I order now. Here, in Nova Scotia, we generally say pop, so I get strange looks.

Axe instead of ask is common around here, too. My pet peeve relates more to text than speech, it bugs me when people type Z's in place of S's. As in Hugz and kissez. Argh.
posted by debralee at 10:31 PM on September 12, 2002


"Speak for yourself - put on your jandals, grab your chilly bin full of Steinlager and bugger off."
*applauds*
Thit wis bewfilly done, jist bewfill.
posted by Catch at 10:33 PM on September 12, 2002


Chippie sandwich? Do you mean a chip buttie?

Dairy - that's a word I haven't heard use for a convenience store since I left NZ.
posted by dg at 10:41 PM on September 12, 2002


(opening can of worms)

Dg, a chip buttie is made with chips as in fish and chips and eaten by Englishmen in pubs. A chippie sandwich is made with chips as in crisps and eaten by little kids. But don't trust me, I'm hopelessly out of the loop.

Don't people say Milk Bar for corner shops in Australia? Convenience store and dairy (or whatever) are different: the former is a chainstore owned by a corporation, the latter by an Indian family.
posted by dydecker at 10:56 PM on September 12, 2002


'In California, "Pisser" means good and bad...'

Someone lives in a completely different California than I was born, raised, and currently reside in. I've never, ever, ever heard "pisser" used other than in the negative sense, and almost exclusively as part of the phrase "What a pisser." A quick check with my spouse who is also native Californian but ran with a very different crowd backs up my observation.

"If I order a Coke and get a Pepsi I'll be irritated and send it back."

The point, though, is that the term "coke" seems to -- for no reason I can fathom -- refer to any carbonated beverage at all. It sounds like one orders a Coke and could receive anything from root beer to ginger ale, not merely any old cola.

For what it's worth, the word is "soda," although "soft drink" is perfectly acceptable as well. And just to bamboozle everyone, I use "sofa" and "couch" interchangably more or less at random. Oh, and it's okay to call 'em "roly polies," but we always called them potato bugs.

I'm still confused, though: If it's not "cue-pon," then what is it? I can't even imagine what the alternate pronounciation would be.
posted by majick at 11:03 PM on September 12, 2002


Why, "coo-pon," of course.
posted by Acetylene at 11:13 PM on September 12, 2002


Majick, you're looking for coo-pon. When I was a grocery cashier, I heard both.

If you want to talk freeways, how about how in California it's "the 405." Do any other states precede freeway designations with "the"?

And of course, my Chicago pal says "expressway..."
posted by GaelFC at 11:14 PM on September 12, 2002


Even in Aus we have our regional differences
Flavoured softdrinks are called "fizzy cordial" or more often just "cordial" in Tasmania.
posted by Tarrama at 11:25 PM on September 12, 2002


No mention of getting Sprite when you want a lemonade in England? Bleeeeech.
posted by terrortubby at 11:40 PM on September 12, 2002


A hobo is a bum.
A bum is a tramp.
A tramp is a march.
March is a month.

Right?
posted by Neale at 11:53 PM on September 12, 2002


I can sympathize, terrortubby. I spent some time in Europe a few years ago, and I did eventually get used to the fact that ordering "lemonade" would get you some sort of Sprite-like beverage. I learned that in France I could ask for a "citron pressé" to get what Americans call lemonade, but curiously I never did figure out what to ask for in England.

Anyone?
posted by Acetylene at 11:56 PM on September 12, 2002


If you want to talk freeways, how about how in California it's "the 405." Do any other states precede freeway designations with "the"?

seems to be a northern vs. southern california thing. people here in the bay area have noted that it's us southern (well, sorta southern) transplants who say to "go south on the 101" whereas everybody else says "go south on 101" exactly like you'd "go south on 4th."

And of course, my Chicago pal says "expressway..."

here, an expressway is very specifically a largish, through road, which intersects mostly with other largish, through roads and has protected, no-stop-required right turn lanes. it is a distinct entity from a "freeway."
posted by hob at 11:58 PM on September 12, 2002


My vote's for soda, having been raised in New Hampshire (I thought I was the only one on MeFi) but out here in "Utar" it's pop, which is easily confused with the familiar term for the male parent.
posted by jaden at 12:01 AM on September 13, 2002


...more often just "cordial" in Tasmania.

What does that have to do with Australia? ;-)

dydecker, I had forgotten about chippie sandwiches. Yumm. Chip butties are not only eaten by Englishmen either, by the way.

Milk Bar may have been in use for corner stores many years ago, but not now. Dairy used to be the word in NZ when I left there in the late 70s, but that may have changed with the invasion (I assume) of 7-11 et al. In Australia, the chain convenience stores and service stations (gas stations in the US), commonly known as "servos" that are open 24/7 and carry a wide grocery range have pretty much killed off the old corner stores.
posted by dg at 12:38 AM on September 13, 2002


Hob -- I think the border between, for example "I-5" and "the 5" is approximately at the Grapevine. Growing up in aaronscool's (or at least Guy Smiley's Davis CA) it was always "I-80 this" or "Highway 113 that". Living down south, it's "the 405" or "the 101". (Interestingly, nobody but traffic reporters uses the "official" names of the freeways [Golden State, San Diego, Hollywood, etc.])
posted by Guy Smiley at 12:45 AM on September 13, 2002


The "the" in freeways names is based on whether a direction is given. take the 101, take 101 north. Unless the direction is given as part of the name, in whihc case the "the" comes back. (Take the 101 North) At least that's how I do it. In DC most people used the in front of the numbers. In Washington State it was pretty random. In Hawaii it was just "the highway."
posted by Nothing at 1:10 AM on September 13, 2002


In Ireland, cola is, well, Coke, regardless of brand. However, just to avoid any possible confusion when asking for a drink, most people find that simply pronouncing the word 'Guinness' seems to ensure a satisfactory outcome.

Curiously, in a lot of areas here (especially in the west), the generic term for carbonated drinks is 'minerals', I presume after the 'mineral waters' from which they were derived in the late 19th Century.
posted by Doozer at 2:24 AM on September 13, 2002


Besides regional differences, generational differences can be fascinating. My mom calls high school yearboooks "annuals," and you'll find that reference all over books and newspapers from her era.

Um, "from her era"? Hmph! When I was in high school here in Seattle mumble-mumble years ago (okay, 19), we called them annuals (and sometimes yearbooks, too). If you worked on the yearbook you were "on the annual staff," but "would you sign my yearbook?" and "would you sign my annual?" were used interchangeably.

The word for the carbonated drink is POP and we would appreciate it if you Californians transplanted to Washington would make some attempt to fit in, thank you very much!

The same goes for the usage of "the 405" and "the 5" (not to mention performing the "California U-Turn" at green lights). When you say "the 5" we make fun of you. Just so you all know.

(Nothing, if you heard that usage in Washington, it probably wasn't from natives, because it just sounds completely wrong to us. We might say "take the freeway" or "take the floating bridge," but it would be "take I-5," "take 405," "take 90 (or I-90)," etc. But you do hear it sometimes here, from people who came from elsewhere, or spent a lot of time in SoCal.)

When I was a kid the main room in a house was the "front room," the wide flat place in the kitchen where you set your grocery bags down was the "drainboard", and the big thing you sit on was the "davenport." Now that I am older, those terms seem to have gone away in favor of "living room," "counter," and "couch."

A lot of other quirks I recall from older residents seem to be fading away too, such as pronouncing Sunday as Sun-dee. (I hate that one, though. I don't know why.) I notice that many of the specifically Washingtonian turns of phrase are being wiped out by the influx of immigrants from other states, and it makes me sad. I like to have a Washingtonian identity. So I make a point of saying POP.

My family has been in Washington State since 1882. So I am about as native as you get without being, well, Native.

(My husband grew up here, as did his parents, but their parents came from the Midwest. He says that something "needs painted" or "needs washed" and that sounds completely foreign to me. Where on earth did his family get it? None of them are from Pennsylvania...)
posted by litlnemo at 2:32 AM on September 13, 2002


In Britain, lemonade is a fairly neutral taste. It's similar, but not identical to Sprite or 7 Up. Often it's used as a mixer. If you want what I think you'd understand as a lemonade, you'd be looking for old-style lemonade. The only collective term for fizzy, sugary, non-alcoholic drinks is soft drink, although pop would probably be understood.

The basic rule is you'll get what you ask for. If you ask for a Coke, you'll get a Coke.
posted by salmacis at 2:34 AM on September 13, 2002


In the north of England:

- lemonade will get you 7Up/Sprite or own-brand equivalent
- Coke will get you Coca Cola or Pepsi
- the generic term for all carbonated drinks is usually soft drinks, or sometimes (usually amongst children), fizzy drinks - as soft drinks is usually meant to denote non-alcoholic drinks, and may often include juices/cordials
- soda will get you carbonated water
- tonic will get you tonic water with quinine

and the all-important phrase, "Pint?" - which will get you a pint of lager beer, unless you specify that you want bitter.

- sofa, couch and also settee seem to be interchangeable
- a divan is a bed with pull out drawers for storage as part of the base

- names for meals are a regional and also allegedly a class thing:

some people have breakfast, lunch and dinner
some people have breakfast, dinner and tea - tea NOT being afternoon or high tea (meaning tea and cakes) but being a northern word that's used for the evening meal
some people have breakfast, lunch and supper - and I'm led to believe that this is an upper-class thing, though not being upper-class, I don't really know.

Other supposed linguistic and social markers in British English:

posh: napkin / not-posh: serviette
posh: loo or lavatory / not posh: toilet

And yes, pants are underpants (knickers for girls) while suspenders means a garter belt. Trousers are trousers while what you call suspenders we call braces.

The best resource for British colloquialisms is definitely the Dictionary of British Slang.
posted by kitschbitch at 3:24 AM on September 13, 2002


I never did figure out what to ask for in England.

Lemon squash is as close as I've managed to come. Or lime cordial.
posted by mekki at 3:46 AM on September 13, 2002


What a bizzare friggin thread...I'm glad this was brought up because it always pisses me off when someone offers me a 'soda' and then it turns out they don't even know what club soda is. In my house we say 'Diet Coke' or 'Fresca' because the only generic term we use is 'kleenex'; even if I'm blowing my nose on your drapes, it's still kleenex.
posted by Mack Twain at 3:50 AM on September 13, 2002


Where I live, which is a melting pot of Queen's English speakers (Brits/Aussies/Kiwis) and North American English speakers (Yanks/Canucks), every dinner party conversation at some point inevitably turns to the humorous transatlantic differences in vernacular. (Fanny pack, anyone?)

Incidentally I've been intensively trawling the web recently for information related to a car purchase, and it's amazing how much disparity there can be even within this niche topic. Everyone knows about bonnet/hood, wheels/rims, turn-signals/indicators and trunk/boot, but a brake "rotor"? (That would be a brake disc, I gather.)
posted by plenty at 4:47 AM on September 13, 2002


I calls it "Mountain dew"

My brother Bill runs a still on the hill
Where he turns out a gallon or two
And the buzzards in the sky get so drunk they can not fly
Just from sniffing that good old mountain dew.

They call it that good old mountan dew,
And them that refuse it are few.
I'll hush up my mug if you'll fill up my jug
With that good old mountain dew...
posted by pekar wood at 5:20 AM on September 13, 2002


Fuck, it's language silly day. Anyway, 'lemonade' in Britain isn't the same as Sprite or 7-Up, and anyone who says otherwise can drink whisky-and-sprite while I stick with whisky and lemonade. And 'cloudy lemonade' is what the poor, deprived Americans seem to be after.
posted by riviera at 5:24 AM on September 13, 2002


My left eyelid twitches uncontrollably when people say "eye ran" when referring to Iran. The correct pronunciation is "e-run".
posted by Devils Slide at 5:58 AM on September 13, 2002


okay, i've gotta ask, what on earth is "quinine"??
posted by mabelcolby at 6:43 AM on September 13, 2002


Gah!

All you yanks have missed the obvious anomalies...
like 'write the editor', implying some act of creating the named person, omitting the essential - and clarifying - 'to' ( as in 'write to the editor'; there is a transaction implied, a transfer of information.)

And loo = posh: do me a favour, i grew up in the po' whart trash belt (that's Cowley, Oxford, where they build the Mini) - 'loo' is the only word we used for, well, loo.)
posted by dash_slot- at 6:59 AM on September 13, 2002


I still live in Cowley, Oxford, and I wouldn't call it a white trash area, for two reasons. 1) It's not (very) white, and 2) it looks pretty good compared to neighbouring Blackbird Leys.

What's the closest equivalent to Mountain Dew in Britain?
posted by salmacis at 7:12 AM on September 13, 2002


When I was little, we called it "going potty" and my mother was horrified when I started saying, "I gotta pee."

At some point "zorries" became "thongs" became "go-aheads."

I was confused for a long time over the british "jumper" which is a sweater because in America that is a dress worn by little girls (which my Japanese ex-husband refers to as a "jumper-skirt".)

I am always amused by the Southern way of leaving off the "ts" in "cents" so that in the grocery store they will announce over the P.A., "Hamburger is just 99 cen a pound."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:48 AM on September 13, 2002


I grew up in North Chelmsford, MA (0-17); went to school in Providence, RI (17-20); and have lived in New York, NY ever since (20-33, except for one year in Rome); and this is how my brain works:

- Although I say "soda" now to fit in, it'll always be "tonic" to me (I do have a friend in San Francisco that always says "cola," but she means Coke).
- I sit on a "sofa."
- I change TV channels with the "remote."
- I use "directionals" (not blinkers) when making turns in the car (on the "highway").
- When I drink a combination of ice cream, milk and syrup, it's a "frappe," except in Rhode Island where I order a "cabinet." A "milkshake" has no ice cream in it and an "Awful Awful" (at Newport Creamery: awful big, awful good) is made with ice milk, not ice cream (like the Fribble at Friendly's).
- I put the "rubbish" in the "cellar."
- I wear "pants" over my "underwear" (not underpants).
- I drink from a "bubbler."
- I use "cue-pons" at the store.
- I put "jimmies" on ice cream.
- I often gaze nostalgically at my high school "yearbook."
- In the summer I often see "fireflies" at night.
- I occasionally enjoy a long, hot sandwich: a "grinder." A long, cold sandwich is a "sub." The exception for some reason is a "meatball sub," which is hot.
- I wear "sneakers."
- I request a paper "bag" at the store, not a "sack."
- I go to the "beach" (except when it's the Jersey Shore)
- Growing up we ate "supper" at 5 pm. Now I eat "dinner" at 7 or 8.
- I wait "in line," not "on line" like other New Yorkers do.
- And I still think of police cars as "cruisers" (my girlfriend's mother calls them "radio cars."
posted by notclosed at 7:59 AM on September 13, 2002


How come they named sprinkles after some guy named Jimmie anyway?

(I picture a little kid dying tragically after falling into a shredder or something) ; >

and notclosed is right: you go to the beach. The only shore is the Jersey shore.
posted by amberglow at 8:10 AM on September 13, 2002


I lived in Cowley last year too (spooky!) and am from the not-very-posh-at-all city of Manchester oop north - and yes, I've said loo all my life.

Having been surrounded by a lot of really-quite-posh-people at uni apparently loo is said by posh people too - it's just a lot more preferable than 'toilet'.

Americans, of course, avoid all this palaver by never using the loo/lav/toilet- they go to the 'rest'room...
posted by kitschbitch at 8:15 AM on September 13, 2002


Some duplication, but... Southern Tasmania, Australia: 'Soft drink' (formal) or 'fizzy drink/cordial' (inf.). Couch. Bubbler. Fags = cigarettes. Pants = trousers. Undies = pants [UK]. Pissed = drunk. Pissed off = pissed [US]. Indicators = turn signals/blinkers. Mobile = cell phone [US]. Route is pronounced 'root'. 'Root' is slang for a well-known human activity, which sends Australians into fits of laughter when they visit Canadian department stores (especially the 'Roots Kids' section). In Tassie, mischievous is pronounced 'mischievious' and grievous 'grievious' because of all our Irish convict ancestors; also, you (plural) is 'youse' (as in a lot of other parts of Oz). Kill-OM-et-r (singular) but quite often killuh-MEET-ers (plural). Kilos = kilograms. We've dropped the 'me' at the end of 'gramme' over time; the 'me' at the end of 'programme' (TV program) is also disappearing. In Tasmania, 'dinner' is at midday and in the evening it's 'tea', but the lunch/dinner combination is also understood. Australians don't talk about 'supper' except as a fancy term for 'food you eat when you get home ridiculously late'. Bag, not sack. ('The sack' is what you get when your boss fires you.) Sneakers (so there, dg). Coop-on. 'Would of' is rife. Hundreds and thousands. Little lunch (when I was little) or recess (when I was bigger).

Since growing up in Tasmania I've lived in two other Australian states, New Zealand, England, Scotland, the United States, and my wife is half Canadian, so been there a few times too. This thread is like a map of the tangled vocabulary neurons of my confused brain...

('Jandals'. Heh. Choice, Catch, choice. Good as gold.)

And salmacis: there is no direct equivalent. But I'm a Mountain Dew drinker in the US; a Lilt drinker in the UK (pineapple and grapefruit); L&P in New Zealand ('lemon and paeroa', although Paeroa is a placename, not a fruit); and in Australia, a consumer of the finest of all carbonated beverages anywhere on the bloody planet, mate: Solo.
posted by rory at 8:25 AM on September 13, 2002


Oxford = 'uni', kitschbitch? I'd thought only the newer UK unis would be called 'uni' by their students, and that Oxonians would refer to their college. (Note to Americans: not in the American sense of 'college' for the whole university, but in the Oxbridge sense of the original colleges that make up the university.)

Australians use 'uni', although my parents' generation used 'varsity'. New Zealanders still use 'varsity' (or at least they did in Christchurch, 1997).
posted by rory at 8:41 AM on September 13, 2002


If you want to talk freeways, how about how in California it's "the 405." Do any other states precede freeway designations with "the"?

Here in Maine they precede the names of roads with "the" - thus "Payne Road" becomes "THE Payne Road." Gack.

Oh, and originally from the Chicago area, it's pop. I do remember hearing Bozo call it sodie pop.

Also, a combo is a sandwich containing Italian beef and sausage, with green peppers on a crusty bun.

Time for lunch.
posted by SteveInMaine at 8:53 AM on September 13, 2002


Honey, can you bring me a pop.
posted by clavdivs at 8:57 AM on September 13, 2002


how about how in California it's "the 405."

I moved from the Bay Area to SoCal, and aftger being here for four years or so, I have been infected by the The Syndrome. I don't know what happened.

As near as I can figure it out, "Goddam" is silent. As in "The [Goddam] 405 was backed up to the Trinity Broadcasting Network today, boss. I blame Jesus."

Or maybe it's just because the freeways here have developed a Capital Letter Status. They have become such a part of people's lives and culture that they have taken on a mythic connotation. People down here are obsessed with their cars, and frankly a lot of them don't seem to know how to act once they get out of them. When they're on the freeway they're isolated, warm in their comfort zone. They're home.
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:05 AM on September 13, 2002


Here's a good one. In DC some folks say 'refrigerator' and some say 'icebox'. ICEBOX makes me ill. Hate when they say that.
posted by Aloe23 at 9:07 AM on September 13, 2002


"If you want to talk freeways, how about how in California it's "the 405." Do any other states precede freeway designations with "the"?"

Not here in Salt Lake City, since we only have three that come near here (I-15, I-80, I-84). Dallas, however, was infected with it ("the 183, the 35 north", ad infinitum). Plus they have multiple belt loops around the metro area, so you can't just say "The Loop", you have to differentiate: "Loop 12", "Loop 35" etc.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:38 AM on September 13, 2002


Can't we all just get along?
posted by deathofme at 9:42 AM on September 13, 2002


"Pop" in north central Illinois.

"Davenport" is popular for a couch or sofa among older baby boomers (Perhaps after Davenport, Iowa, which is 45 minutes away).
posted by schlaager at 10:13 AM on September 13, 2002


This thread is insane.

I hate it when people say "ice cream" with the accent on the second syllable instead of the first.
posted by Tin Man at 11:24 AM on September 13, 2002


What's a submarine sandwich?
posted by ginz at 11:40 AM on September 13, 2002


Spent all of freshman year fighting over the pop/soda thing with my roommate - It's Soda dammit! (She is from outside Chicago but with strong Wisconsin roots and I had never lived anywhere by NYC and Long Island)....and its sprinkles -- you sprinkle them on your ice cream. And a long deli sandwich is a hero. Fireflies and lightning bugs always seemed interchangeable, I've never even heard of davenport, and the beach is a few miles from my house but people from Jersey are constantly talking about the Jersey shore.

While I prefer Coke I'll drink Pepsi. I used to ask for Cola but got too many confused looks and instead just ask for Coke and take whichever of the Cola products the restaurant carries
posted by Caz721 at 11:43 AM on September 13, 2002


(steps into mefi logo)

I Proclaim this to be the longest Metafilter thread about commer... commec... business and people.

Hear this, I've had a vision.
(thats a thread killer)
a pop machine
sounds funny in different languages.

that is all.
(and no wagering)
posted by clavdivs at 12:17 PM on September 13, 2002


okay, i've gotta ask, what on earth is "quinine"??


mabelcolby: Quinine was until recently the world's most effective anti-malarial. It's derived from the bark of a South American tree and it's what gives tonic water its bitter taste.

In the glory days of the British Empire, colonial officers in India customarily drank gin and tonics each day to get their dose of quinine.
posted by gompa at 12:20 PM on September 13, 2002


a pop machine

I see your pop machine and I'll raise it one Soda Fountain.
posted by aaronscool at 1:00 PM on September 13, 2002


rory wrote:
Oxford = 'uni', kitschbitch? I'd thought only the newer UK unis would be called 'uni' by their students, and that Oxonians would refer to their college. (Note to Americans: not in the American sense of 'college' for the whole university, but in the Oxbridge sense of the original colleges that make up the university.)

nope - I'd always say that my Uni was Oxford if asked - I'll only say what college I'm at if asked further. sometimes I'll say "somerville college, oxford", but it'll depend on the context; if the person I'm talking to is familiar with the collegiate system or not - avoids the confusion of explaining that I don't go to somerville university ;-)
posted by kitschbitch at 1:12 PM on September 13, 2002



"rather then anty, saberrattle they callit
gunnadoit
no, I'll stand firm. Our mission was a mission of liberation. that be being done (hand gesture) KB, SPEEDboat.
baraniare
gonna to nayropa
do that jackie keroaucthing"
-from the forgotten "this is good" Office of mimickery.
posted by clavdivs at 1:50 PM on September 13, 2002


I see your pop machine and I'll raise it one Soda Fountain.

For me they're always Coke machines, no matter what they're selling. And I wish there were still soda fountains in drugstores!
posted by notclosed at 3:50 PM on September 13, 2002


Oxford = 'uni', kitschbitch? I'd thought only the newer UK unis would be called 'uni' by their students, and that Oxonians would refer to their college.

Rory - I was there until '89, and for us it was always the Uni - I think possibly to keep people to keep outsiders from confusing it with 'the Poly' (Oxford Polytechnic - now called Oxford Brookes University apparently). But hey, I'm an American, what do I know. Everyone else called it "Uni" so I did.....

Damn. Pants and kickers, butties, crisps, lemonade, lemon squash, Pint (but I'm a girl so the lads always ordered me a half), loo, jumpers ... I've gotta stop reading this thread, its making me wish I was back at school
posted by anastasiav at 4:42 PM on September 13, 2002


O/T: Hey kitschbitch: you lived in Cowley (not Cowley Rd?) & went to Somerville? Fair play.... at least you could take breaks at the worlds greatest ice cream caff i know, i've said it before, but the truth bears repetition (",)

O, salmacis: I was born in Oxford 43 years ago, & without being funny, where i lived (Normandy Crescent) is, I believe, and was, for certain, po' whart trash (I say it in all affection...);

Back on topic: course, things do change... we didn't have Tiger beer & Mangoes in the corner shops back then!
posted by dash_slot- at 4:47 PM on September 13, 2002


Is the any place outside of Massachusetts that uses the phrase "the packie" for "the liquor store"? I miss making "packie runs".

Today was the first time I've ever heard of a liquor store being called a party store, and twice in one day, no less - once listening to an Eminem album, and then here. Wicked pissah!
posted by tristeza at 5:29 PM on September 13, 2002


CT was big on Package Stores - no one here in CA knew what the heck I was talking about when I need my bottle 'o Jack. Packie = Packaged Liquor, i.e bought by the bottle, rather than by the glass - as in a bar.
posted by entrustNoOne at 5:42 PM on September 13, 2002


205 responses for pop vs soda

You counted??

Looks like an update is in order - Western MA highschooler: trash, sneakers (keds for the little thin ones), undies, remote, water cooler, signal (blinkers are your hazard lights), pocketbook, sprinkles, package store, kil-AH-mitters, coo-pon, restroom, basement, grinder (I lied about "sub"), and as for weewee vs. peepee, it was something Filipino and unpronounceable to you Yanks, Brits and assorted First Worlders - now it's just a penis. Unless we're talking about urinating, then it's just pee.

But what I really want to ask is this: anyone (or their schoolmates) use to say "So don't I" growing up, rather than "me too"? Yeeaaagghhh.
posted by mirla at 10:55 PM on September 13, 2002


205 responses for pop vs soda
You counted??

no, he read the number at the top of the page. this will make 312.
posted by quonsar at 8:17 PM on September 14, 2002


Nothing: Here in Hawaii it wouldn't be "the highway," but you'd call it "The Freeway." Always made me wonder, since an Interstate is supposed to go between two states, but I'll be damned if I was ever able to find out where the H-1, H-2 or H-3 connect to anything off-island.

And thongs refer to what you wear under your shorts, not what you wear on your feet. Those are SLIPPERS, dammit. =)

Finally, sack vs. bag: if you talk about a sack, I'm going to ask where the papers and/or pipe are...

ALOHA!
posted by Blaze_01 at 1:46 AM on September 16, 2002


Thanks, kitschbitch and anastasiav. Better clarify: I'd thought that Oxonians wouldn't use the abbreviation 'uni' when talking to others about their university, but would just talk about 'Oxford' or '(the) university'; and, when they're actually at uni, they'd talk about their specific college. 'Cos that's how it was at the Other One, at least in the early '90s.
posted by rory at 11:01 AM on September 17, 2002


y favorite American regionalism, for no good reason, is Pittsburgh's "needs {to be} done", as in "This project needs done right away."

To be clear, we don't just drop the "to be" before the word "done." It's dropped in any similar statement. "The car needs washed." "The trash needs taken out." "The baby needs changed." The last always raises the same question from smartmouths: "Changed into what?" For the record on the couch/sofa/davenport thing, we say none of the above. We say "caaaach." The bizarre dialect of the SW Pennsylvania region has been studied, labeled and even has its own website - Pittsburghese.
posted by Dreama at 11:38 AM on September 17, 2002


"The car needs washed." "The trash needs taken out." "The baby needs changed."

I would have been certain that what people were actually saying was "The car needs washin'." "The trash needs takin' out." "The baby needs changin'."

I couldn't converse with someone who said "The car needs washed."

Even better, cars in some parts would need *warshed*.
posted by Tubes at 2:35 PM on September 17, 2002


My kids call me Pop. This too in Davis, CA.
posted by semmi at 12:07 AM on September 27, 2002


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