it tore me up every time I heard her drawl
May 2, 2008 8:14 AM   Subscribe

100% is pure Dixie. Someone has taken the Harvard Computer Society Dialect Survey to task in a vital area.
posted by plexi (190 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm 91% (Dixie).

They then ask:

Is General Lee your father?

If so, that would make me pretty damn old.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:22 AM on May 2, 2008


Born and raised in Louisiana, I score a 60%.
posted by m0nm0n at 8:23 AM on May 2, 2008


Nice presentation of one of my all-time favorite links and some interesting research. I'm 40% Yankee, as you'd expect for someone raised mostly in the mid-Atlantic by people from Texas and New England. My jargon is a mix of north and south, but I definitely lack most of the Midwestern/Great Lakes markers.

Incidentally, it was only through the HCS Dialect Survey that I learned - well past the age of 30 - that "Mischief Night" was not a nationwide American phenomenon. I still enjoy asking people about whether they've ever heard of, or observed, Mischief Night. It was a well-known 'holiday' in the part of New Jersey where I went to high school, so much so that police imposed a curfew.
posted by Miko at 8:23 AM on May 2, 2008


48% Yankee
posted by wabbittwax at 8:27 AM on May 2, 2008


I turned out a yankee, y'all.
posted by mcstayinskool at 8:28 AM on May 2, 2008


And what the hell, they don't offer "poboy" (or po'boy) for #9. What kind of dialect quiz is this?!
posted by m0nm0n at 8:31 AM on May 2, 2008


What kind of dialect quiz is this?

Yeah, I hear you. I had to answer "crawdad", even though I actually grew up calling them "crawdaddies".
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:34 AM on May 2, 2008


Do people outside of Pennsylvania really pronounce "cot" and "caught" the same?
posted by Pastabagel at 8:35 AM on May 2, 2008


81% (Dixie).

Dammit why did I go up to North Carolina for those four years of college! That time spent with Yankees knocked me down a whole 19%.
posted by ND¢ at 8:36 AM on May 2, 2008


46%; just barely Yankee. I take umbrage with classifying "hero" as a Mainer thing to say, though. Show me a New Yorker who doesn't call it a hero and I'll show you someone who needs a kick in the teeth.

If it's not raining at lunchtime, I might walk across the street for the best hero $7 can buy, actually.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:38 AM on May 2, 2008


Barely into the Yankee category, which makes sense considering I was raised in Milwaukee by a mother from Arkansas. However, I think the map in the last link is way off. There is a very distinct difference between the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (ya der hey) and Minnesota. In contrast, there is almost no difference between southeastern Wisconsin and Montana (having lived in both). Chicago rightly has its own color, though.
posted by desjardins at 8:38 AM on May 2, 2008


48% Yankee. Born in New York, lived there until age 7, then moved to Virginia.

Also missing from the quiz: ice box vs. refrigerator. I grew up saying ice box because that's what my Yankee parents called it.
posted by emelenjr at 8:38 AM on May 2, 2008


By the way, can anyone from Massachusetts explain to this Milwaukee girl why youse guys call it a "bubbler" too, but no one else does? What is the connection between our fair regions?
posted by desjardins at 8:39 AM on May 2, 2008


people throw toilet paper over houses? i didn't know that.

i pronounce Aunt the same as aren't. i guess this quiz isn't meant for forners.
posted by bhnyc at 8:41 AM on May 2, 2008


WTF is up with the obsession with what doughnuts are called in that (pretty crappy, IMHO) geocities link? I've never heard anyone call them anything but doughnuts, unless they were really reaching for a slang term. I lived in Northern New England, and I've never even heard the terms "cymbals," "simballs," or "boil cakes."
posted by Rock Steady at 8:41 AM on May 2, 2008


Pasta, I was raised in North Carolina and I can't imagine how else you would pronounce 'cot' and 'caught'. Is the second one 'cawt' or something?
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:41 AM on May 2, 2008


71% Dixie. I guess growing up in East Tennessee gives you some dialectal tweaks that aren't completely accounted for. They never did ask me how I say "window" or how many syllables are in "shit" and "damn."
posted by teleri025 at 8:41 AM on May 2, 2008


and why do you get a picture of a bong as the first result when you search for "bubbler" on Google?
posted by desjardins at 8:42 AM on May 2, 2008


Do people outside of Pennsylvania really pronounce "cot" and "caught" the same?

How could they possibly be different?
/californio
posted by LionIndex at 8:43 AM on May 2, 2008


For me, "caught" rhymes with the first syllable of "daughter," showbiz_liz. So yeah, "cawt."
posted by desjardins at 8:44 AM on May 2, 2008


Still 64% dixie, after living in Massachusetts for twenty years .
posted by yhbc at 8:44 AM on May 2, 2008


And "cot" rhymes with "lot" and "pot" and "dot"
posted by desjardins at 8:45 AM on May 2, 2008


Grew up in southern Illinois, 55% Dixie. Sounds about right.
posted by EarBucket at 8:46 AM on May 2, 2008


The third link doesn't mention Japanese, Chinese, or Vietnamese at all. Color me suspicious about their analysis of Western U.S. dialects.
posted by tkolar at 8:48 AM on May 2, 2008


They never did ask me how I say "window" or how many syllables are in "shit" and "damn."

Yeah the question should just be "How many extra syllables do you add to random words on a regular basis?" and if your answer is "Weh-ell Shee-it, Iiii don rye-eytly know" then the test should stop and just go "Since when did y'all get the internet in Mississippi?"
posted by ND¢ at 8:48 AM on May 2, 2008 [8 favorites]


5. How do you pronounce route?

I hate this question so much. I pronounce "route" as in "journey or path" as "root". "I took the following root." I pronouce "route" as in "to direct or show the way" as "rout". "A router routs packets."

There are also methodological problems, such as: "11. What do you call gym shoes?"

I call them "gym shoes". That's because all the information I have is what you just said. But if you'd shown me a PICTURE and asked me to name it, I may say something else depending on what you show me.

Anyway, 57% Dixie. And it's funny, because a lot of my answers were from "the Northeast" (where I live now but I learned these words long before I got here) while some where "everywhere except the Northeast". I'm a regional mutt.
posted by DU at 8:48 AM on May 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


61% Dixie after living my entire life in northern California.
posted by doctor_negative at 8:49 AM on May 2, 2008


49%, barely a Yankee. Not bad for a kid from Boston. I would have to say that with extended education, counter-migration and the prevalence of the Midwestern and Californian accents in the entertainment industry, along with the stigmatization of all things poor and a stint in the military, I don't sound like I'm from heah any more.

And that's a good thing.
posted by jsavimbi at 8:50 AM on May 2, 2008


For me, "caught" rhymes with the first syllable of "daughter," showbiz_liz. So yeah, "cawt."

But isn't that also how you pronounce cot?
posted by JDHarper at 8:50 AM on May 2, 2008


For me, "caught" rhymes with the first syllable of "daughter," showbiz_liz. So yeah, "cawt."
posted by desjardins at 4:44 PM on May 2 [+] [!]


For me, caught also rhymes with the first syllable of daughter. And they both rhyme with "cot"

/Californian
posted by vacapinta at 8:51 AM on May 2, 2008


53% Dixie. I think it was "ya'll" and "coke" that pushed me over the edge. I don't know where you live teleri025, but here in Texas "shit" has a *MINIMUM* of two syllables, more if the situation warrants.

I've never heard anyone say "winder" for "window" except for jokes and mockery. Is that a true deep south thing, or what?

What really baffled me is that apparently a lot of my language has a northeastern flavor, and I can't figure out where that might have come from, except for 10 weeks in Pittsburgh two years ago, I've never lived in the northeast.
posted by sotonohito at 8:51 AM on May 2, 2008


Ooh, ooh. Someone who pronounces cot and caught differently: Please, please record the following sentence and upload it on the internet somewhere:

"I caught my daughter sleeping on my cot."

That should clear up the confusion over how you strange people pronounce those words.
posted by JDHarper at 8:52 AM on May 2, 2008


I've never heard "winder," but I've heard "earl" for "oil," "terlet" for "toilet," and "draw" for "drawers" (as in "chest of draw").
posted by m0nm0n at 8:54 AM on May 2, 2008


What, no mudbug option?

I score as barely Yankee. But I use a lot of the terms intermixably, and just went with whatever I've used most recently. I'm liable to call a mudbug just about anything at any time, depending on my mood.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:54 AM on May 2, 2008


91% Dixie for this gumbo of a southeasterner.

Oddly enough, I get accused of being a Yankee on a regular basis here in South Carolina.

(also: aunt rhymes with ain't and that long sandwich is a po-boy)
posted by 1f2frfbf at 8:55 AM on May 2, 2008


55% Dixie? Weird, man.
posted by cgc373 at 8:55 AM on May 2, 2008


46%; just barely Yankee. I take umbrage with classifying "hero" as a Mainer thing to say, though. Show me a New Yorker who doesn't call it a hero and I'll show you someone who needs a kick in the teeth.

I call it a sub. I dare you to try to kick me in the teeth.
posted by spicynuts at 8:56 AM on May 2, 2008


"I caught my daughter sleeping on my cot."</i?

Eye kawt mi dawtar sleeping on mi kaht. That is proper english. Also, coffee is kawfee not kahfee, cat is kat not kyat.

posted by spicynuts at 8:58 AM on May 2, 2008


I call it a sub.

Is it too late to call CPS on your parents? What's the statute of limitations on this?
posted by uncleozzy at 8:58 AM on May 2, 2008


56% dixie, Indianapolis. I declined to answer the "plural you" question, as neither "you" nor "you guys" was an option. I use "Coke" as a generic, but also pronounce "cot" and "caught" differently.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:59 AM on May 2, 2008


JDHarper, if I can find my mic, I will do this today. You have to realize that Milwaukeeans can be kind of nasally, which may make more sense regarding the "cot" pronunciation.

How the hell do youse guys pronounce "pot" and "lot" then? Pawt and lawt?
posted by desjardins at 9:00 AM on May 2, 2008


Also, from that last link: Coastal Southern....They call doughnuts cookies.

We do no such thing. Cookies are those delicious baked flat things with chocolate chips in them.
posted by JDHarper at 9:01 AM on May 2, 2008


I definitely remember my parents calling them heros in my New York days. Now they're subs.
posted by emelenjr at 9:01 AM on May 2, 2008


38%, a definitive yankee. So you alls in Massachusetts have bubblers too?
posted by drezdn at 9:01 AM on May 2, 2008


An ex-boyfriend from New Jersey pronounced "coffee" as "kwahw-fee." (The first syllable sounds like "craw" with a "w" instead of an "r".) I thought he was fucking around with me. Can anyone confirm?
posted by desjardins at 9:02 AM on May 2, 2008


65% Dixie and I was born and raised in Toronto. WTF, y'all eh?
posted by Paid In Full at 9:03 AM on May 2, 2008


Cot is to Caught as
Hot is to Hawt
posted by tkolar at 9:03 AM on May 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


drezdn - "you alls"??? you should be ashamed of yourself, fellow cheesehead.
posted by desjardins at 9:03 AM on May 2, 2008


My New York relatives call it kwoefee. I don't know where the w comes from.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:04 AM on May 2, 2008


Do people outside of Pennsylvania really pronounce "cot" and "caught" the same?

Huh? This Pennsylvanian wasn't aware there ever was a difference.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:04 AM on May 2, 2008


92% Dixie. And proud of it.
posted by tadellin at 9:06 AM on May 2, 2008


Is it too late to call CPS on your parents? What's the statute of limitations on this?

The statute of limitations is FUCK YOU. (just to prove i'm from new york).


How the hell do youse guys pronounce "pot" and "lot" then? Pawt and lawt?


Pot = Paht like hot.
Lot = Laht like hot.

Law = like awwww not like ahhhhhh (same with awe)
posted by spicynuts at 9:06 AM on May 2, 2008


Wtf, it's called a doodlebug.

And I never knew that calling the roads paralleling a highway a "feeder" was just a Houston thing.
posted by Doofus Magoo at 9:07 AM on May 2, 2008


65%

I'm not doing a good enough job at hiding my roots. That said, I fixin' to pick me up a pack of Ms. Clairol down at the general store for that. It might could do me some good.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:10 AM on May 2, 2008


OK, and by way of comparison, here is how I pronounce cot, daughter, lot, pot, and cot. I live in the upstate of South Carolina, and rated as 70% Dixie in that test.
posted by JDHarper at 9:11 AM on May 2, 2008


Desjardins, I'm more of a "you guys" person, but that wasn't a choice (though it was mentioned in the answer oddly enough).
posted by drezdn at 9:11 AM on May 2, 2008


The statute of limitations is FUCK YOU.

I'm going to admit a dark secret: when I lived in MA, it gave me overwhelmingly great pleasure to order a "grinder."
posted by uncleozzy at 9:12 AM on May 2, 2008


Some days I really wish for an edit function on MeFi. Strike the first "cot" and replace it with "caught."
posted by JDHarper at 9:12 AM on May 2, 2008


I took it again with the exact same answers and got 100%. Sumpin' ain't right.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:15 AM on May 2, 2008


Also missing: How y'all pronounce "roof".
posted by sciurus at 9:17 AM on May 2, 2008


40% Yankee. Born and raised in Hawaii and fluent in pidgin English. What it all means, I don't know.
posted by Tacodog at 9:17 AM on May 2, 2008


I'm going to admit a dark secret: when I lived in MA, it gave me overwhelmingly great pleasure to order a "grinder."

Yeah? Did you also order tonic when you wanted soda?
posted by spicynuts at 9:17 AM on May 2, 2008


As a western Canadian (barely Yankee result) I find it interesting that most of my answers were from the Great Lakes region. As Canadians we're not as regionally separated by dialect, which is sort of odd. I think it may be a CBC thing that makes me drink my pop at garage sales wearing my running shoes and eating my sub while you guys do weird things like drink at bubblers and carry people to the liquor barn by feeder routs.
posted by jimmythefish at 9:18 AM on May 2, 2008


Oh man, I remember when I moved from Texas to NYC and the people there could not understand what I was saying because I would pronounce "cot" the same as "caught". I would hear that they were pronouncing them differently, but then when it came to reproducing it, I would have to resort to ridiculous overpronounciations to be able to do it.
posted by 23skidoo at 9:18 AM on May 2, 2008


40% yankee.

One quibble not dicsussed is that I have not once, ever, and I mean EVER, heard a native New Yorker pronounce the second syllable in "pajama" as jam. It's always pa-JAHM-a. Can't tell you how much those execrable Pajamagram radio commercials are to me because they pronounce it pah_JAMM-a-gram. Like fingernails on a blackboard. Yet, they track pa-JAHM-a as Southern.


"Ooh, ooh. Someone who pronounces cot and caught differently: Please, please record the following sentence and upload it on the internet somewhere:

"I caught my daughter sleeping on my cot."

That should clear up the confusion over how you strange people pronounce those words."


I'm from Noo Yawk. The thing is, in this case, Noo Yawkuhs pronounce it almost like British. if you imagine Nigel pronouncing caught and daughter, (with a pronounced awwww - which is distinct from ah) you got it. To a someone who speaks with a New York accent or a Brit, fort and fought are pretty much homophones.

Now I get hawt. When people wrote s/he is hawt, I thought to myself, "huh, like haughty? I don't get it." Now I do, they have a cot/caught merger (or a hot/haught merger)


I call it a sub. I dare you to try to kick me in the teeth.
Where in New York did you grow up and how old are you? This is a quintissential NY shibboleth. Maybe as regional accents decline, especially in Yuppie areas like the Upper West Dide, the kids say 'sub.' Hell, they all sound like they're from Southern California anyway.

I remember when Subway first came to New York there were commercials with these New York accent deli people saying something like (Don't remember it clearly) "We call it a hero, some call it a sub." Clearly they were nervous NY'ers wouldn't know what a sub was. Does anyone else remember this?
posted by xetere at 9:18 AM on May 2, 2008


Y'know, this thread is golden, because for one brief shining moment... our comments have accents.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 9:20 AM on May 2, 2008 [7 favorites]


Someone who pronounces cot and caught differently: Please, please record the following sentence and upload it on the internet somewhere:

"I caught my daughter sleeping on my cot."


See, when I was in Boston, I met people every day who did this:

"I couwat my douwadah sleepin' on mah caht."
posted by Viomeda at 9:20 AM on May 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


m0nm0n Out of sheer curiosity, where did you grow up? In Texas "oil" is "awl", as in "weeelll, the awl bidness ain't doin' so good." Though I do have to admit its been a long time since I heard someone with a really obvious Texan accent, TV newscaster English is spreading rapidly.
posted by sotonohito at 9:22 AM on May 2, 2008


JDHarper, here's my recording. Sorry for the rapidshare!
posted by m0nm0n at 9:23 AM on May 2, 2008


48% Yankee. Canadian in NY. I guess that's about right.
posted by rokusan at 9:26 AM on May 2, 2008


Yeah? Did you also order tonic when you wanted soda?

I'm not old enough. As far as I could tell, this usage has pretty much disappeared among people under 70.

I still say packie, though.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:26 AM on May 2, 2008


If nothing else, #9 makes the whole thing suspect. I have never heard a Mainer call the sandwich a "hero." It's "an Italian" or sub.
posted by SteveInMaine at 9:31 AM on May 2, 2008


One quibble not dicsussed is that I have not once, ever, and I mean EVER, heard a native New Yorker pronounce the second syllable in "pajama" as jam.

I know a native Long-islander who pronounces it exactly like that.
posted by vacapinta at 9:31 AM on May 2, 2008


42% Yankee after 35 years in Ontario... this test doesn't know what it's talking aboot.
posted by GuyZero at 9:32 AM on May 2, 2008


I still say packie, though.

You know the first time I heard my yankee roommate say, "let's go down and get a 12 pack from the packie down the street." I was terribly offended and thought, "Doesn't he know that's so offensive? Besides, I think he's Indian."
posted by Pollomacho at 9:32 AM on May 2, 2008 [6 favorites]


Rather than calculating your score from the total, it gets recalculated every time you click a radio box. So if you switch your answers at all, it messes with your score.
posted by Frankieist at 9:32 AM on May 2, 2008


Brew Thru is common in Virginia and North Carolina? I don't think they have drive through liquor stores in Virginia, and I know we don't in Cackalack.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 9:32 AM on May 2, 2008


Oops, sorry, he would never have said 12-pack, it's a half case. My bad.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:32 AM on May 2, 2008


Did you also order tonic when you wanted soda?

Huh? But tonic and soda are two completely different things... a gin and soda would suck. As would scotch and tonic (ugh I shudder thinking about that one - yech).
posted by GuyZero at 9:33 AM on May 2, 2008


Option future questions to disambiguate Canadians from Michiganians:

A box containing 24 beers is a:
a) case
b) slab
c) two-four
d) breakfast
posted by GuyZero at 9:35 AM on May 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


"Doesn't he know that's so offensive? Besides, I think he's Indian."

Similarly, the first time I heard my British ex-pat roommate say something about dirty packies, I thought he was talking about unclean liquor stores.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:35 AM on May 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


42% Yankee...Where's the West Coast in this?!?
posted by aaronscool at 9:35 AM on May 2, 2008


86% Dixie. Born and raised in New Orleans, by parents who grew up in rural Mississippi.
posted by localroger at 9:36 AM on May 2, 2008


Yup, this Torontonian just pulled down 49% Yankee.
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 9:36 AM on May 2, 2008


Like jimmythefish, I'm Canadian (from the Maritimes though), and I scored 49% Yankee (?)-- apparently all us Canadians speak like those from around the great lakes.

People might also be interested in The McGill Dialectology and Sociolinguistics Lab "North American Regional Vocabulary Survey"
posted by MissSquare at 9:38 AM on May 2, 2008


I have all the midwest markers from my Iowan parents, but I have picked up y'all here in NM, and I say wicked, jeezum, and jury-rigged for I used to go to maine every summer. lately when i go to maine though my new mexicanisms confuse and delight my younger cousins. hutterding? myhalpyoo?
posted by MNDZ at 9:39 AM on May 2, 2008


As Canadians we're not as regionally separated by dialect, which is sort of odd.

Canadians are separated by different dialect elements than the ones in this list.

No one from outside of Newfoundland says stuff like "Where ya to?" and "Thundering lard jesus". Though outside if Newfoundland, Cape Breton and Quebec you don't see many Canadian regional accents. The Ottawa Valley accent has nearly vanished and I'm not sure if there are any accents west of Ontario. In my limited travels I never heard anyone out West sound different excepting immigrants.
posted by GuyZero at 9:39 AM on May 2, 2008


39% (Yankee). A definitive Yankee.

It's Soda. Anyone who says different is doing it wrong.

It's a water fountain. No one in Wisconsin calls them 'bubblers' anymore. (Or if they do, I've trained my ears to not hear it).

What's that bug that rolls into a ball when you touch it?

A crustacean.
posted by quin at 9:40 AM on May 2, 2008


57% dixie. I'm Canadian. If I was from Alberta, I could understand that result....
posted by Rumple at 9:41 AM on May 2, 2008


I've never heard "winder," but I've heard "earl" for "oil," "terlet" for "toilet," and "draw" for "drawers" (as in "chest of draw").

That "draw" is so entrenched where I live in New England that many adults think the word actually is "draw." It's not unusual to see a Craigslist ad for something like a "dresser with 4 draws," for example.
posted by Miko at 9:41 AM on May 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Where's the West Coast in this?!?

It's just a yankee/dixie thing.

And frankly the original data is mostly an east cost thing. Notice on the map how all the detailed dialect work all seems to cluster around Harvard?
posted by tkolar at 9:42 AM on May 2, 2008


call it a sub. I dare you to try to kick me in the teeth.
Where in New York did you grow up and how old are you?


I grew up in Poughkeepsie (Hudson Valley). I live in Brooklyn. I am 38. I have always said sub, although I have been known to use hero on occasion but it sounds weird to me.
posted by spicynuts at 9:47 AM on May 2, 2008


A box containing 24 beers is a:
a) case
b) slab
c) two-four
d) breakfast


In the South we don't drink beer because you are never supposed to follow liquor with beer. When you have bourbon for breakfast, that would mean you would have to start drinking beer in your sleep.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:47 AM on May 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


People might also be interested in The McGill...

It's broken! Oh. I was so curious to see what it would say!
posted by GuyZero at 9:48 AM on May 2, 2008


Who here has relatives that call margarine oleo?
posted by drezdn at 9:49 AM on May 2, 2008


71% (Dixie).

Born in and live in Arkansas so I would suppose having lived in several other states and abroad brings it down. And I live in the NW corner of the state which is more midwestern-sounding than the delta. Also have watched way too much TV.
posted by aerotive at 9:50 AM on May 2, 2008


I grew up in the Texas Panhandle, a place that is more high plains than deep south. It surprised me how many Great Lakes-isms I have in my speech. Maybe that's the result of spending my entire adult life in Oregon where midwesterners are more common than Oregonians. However, I still refer to any and all carbonated beverages as "Coke."
posted by joseph_elmhurst at 9:51 AM on May 2, 2008


I am barely yankee (47% yankee). But I'm a Mets fan!
posted by Mister_A at 9:51 AM on May 2, 2008


The original quiz for the map was circulated virally. I want to say it was in 2001 or 2002 - I took the original quiz and so did some friends of mine who all read the same blog. I think that somewhere on Harvard's page about it they have detailed response data.

One of the historically interesting things, though, is not just that it's biased toward the East, but that language in the Midwest and West often reflects that of portions of the East (South, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast) because it followed the movements of populations as they migrated across the country. So in the Rust Belt Midwest, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Indiana, you get a lot of Southernisms -- southerners, both black and white, escaped the rural poverty of the South between the wars to move to manufacturing centers in those regions. In Ohio and then again in Wisconsin and Minnesota, you find that New Englanders of the 1900s were leaving the industrialized landscape and homesteading, alongside Northern European immigrants, creating some Northeastern dialect migration. And in California, you get a lot of dialect from Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, because the Dust Bowl and the migrant work available in California during the Depression pulled that population westward. So it's not only a relatively smaller data pool, it's also that most of the Eastern dialects find some reflection in the West.
posted by Miko at 9:51 AM on May 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Born in DC and raised in Northern Virginia by decidedly Yankee parents (Dad from North New Jersey, Mom grew up everywhere but spent a lot of time in Illinois and Connecticut) and I got 48%.

The problem with this test for me was that I use a ton of these words interchangeably. The bug can be a pillbug or a roly poly; it's a yard sale or a garage sale; the road is a service road or an access road; etc. Seems like the test is generally bunk to me -- I don't think I sound "dixie" at all.

Brew Thru is common in Virginia and North Carolina? I don't think they have drive through liquor stores in Virginia, and I know we don't in Cackalack.

In my experience, while there are no drive through liquor stores in VA, a lot of us Virginians have spent time in the Outer Banks, where the drive through liquor stores are Brew Thrus.

Also "cot" and "caught" are totally different.
posted by malthas at 9:52 AM on May 2, 2008


Who here has relatives that call margarine oleo?

That and "icebox" are more generational than regional, in my experience. Both were used across the country when that was the technology.
posted by Miko at 9:52 AM on May 2, 2008


desjardins, that's how all right-thinking people say it.
posted by Mister_A at 9:53 AM on May 2, 2008


I grew up in Poughkeepsie (Hudson Valley)

Ohhh. See, I just kind of assume that anyplace north of Westchester counts as Buffalo, which may as well be Pittsburgh, which may as well be Chicago, and so on.

I kid, I kid. I like Dutchess; New Paltz is a nice place.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:55 AM on May 2, 2008


47% Yankee. That sounds about right. Born in NY, spent childhood years in the South (NC and GA), spent teens in Philly, college in CT, young adulthood in Philly, now out west. Raised by a Chicago native and a US-nomad. I have a very messed up accent. I use "youse" (usually as a joke, but not always) and "y'all" pretty interchangeably. I still pronounce water "wooder" and hundred "hundrit".
posted by medeine at 9:55 AM on May 2, 2008


I have way more Midwest/Great Lakes than I would have thought - but I guess it makes sense, since my mom was from Chicago. I mostly grew up in New England. But I'm only 43% Yankee.
posted by rtha at 9:57 AM on May 2, 2008


i don't know if anyone's actually answered it yet, but "bubblers" goes along with a lot of Boston slang terms I can think of that describe the action seen and not necessarily what the action means. The other example I can think of right off is "blinker" for a turn signal on a car.

The water bubbles, the blinker blinks: name it what it is.
posted by Gular at 10:02 AM on May 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


92% Dixie here. Strangely, I'm always told I don't have much of an accent.
posted by somanyamys at 10:02 AM on May 2, 2008


Oddly, despite growing up in Boston, I never heard the term bubbler until I moved away and years later, met someone from New Bedford who used that term.

Also: cot and caught are pronounced differently. They just are.
posted by rtha at 10:03 AM on May 2, 2008


That "draw" is so entrenched where I live in New England that many adults think the word actually is "draw." It's not unusual to see a Craigslist ad for something like a "dresser with 4 draws," for example.

I thought that was just a Cape Cod thing. I actually saw a "Closet Organizer with Draws" for sale at Christmas Tree Shop the other day.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:11 AM on May 2, 2008


Maybe I'm just slow today, but I missed the part where someone took someone else to task. What's that all about?
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:13 AM on May 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Born and raised Ontario, and 60% Dixie. Similar to GuyZero. WTF, eh?
posted by Shepherd at 10:14 AM on May 2, 2008


sotonohito, I grew up in south-central Louisiana. Those pronunciations I mentioned are not common by any means; I only knew a family from Slidell who spoke that way. They told me those pronunciations were common in their neck of the woods.
posted by m0nm0n at 10:15 AM on May 2, 2008


sotonohito, I don't actually say "winder" for window unless I'm really, really tired or drunk. I'm more likely to say "winda".

I love this accent stuff. My grandmother had a classic broad plantation Southern accent, with the h's added in the middle of words and so forth. She was very influential in making sure I did not have a strong East Tennessee accent because she thought they were "trashy." So now, most people don't think I'm even from the south.

I also noticed the quiz didn't make a difference between how you say "right" or "pen." For me, that's one of the quickest ways for me to identify a fellow East Tennesseean, if you pronounce "pen" and "pin" the same way...you probably grew up in the holler nearby. And well, if you say "riiiiiight" with a very long I...maybe we're kin?
posted by teleri025 at 10:16 AM on May 2, 2008


I got 51%(Dixie), right in the middle.
Now, I've never been to America and have rarely spoken to native english speakers, so all of my pronunciation comes from years of watching American movies and TV shows.
I wonder if that's a neutral accent, maybe I get it from Hollywood actors trying to disguise accents or dialects?
posted by aldurtregi at 10:16 AM on May 2, 2008


70% Dixie. Not bad for a Hessian.

(Aren't crawdads just the big ones?)
posted by muckster at 10:16 AM on May 2, 2008


And what the hell, they don't offer "poboy" (or po'boy) for #9. What kind of dialect quiz is this?!

Because it's a different food. A poboy has to be on French bread, with tomatoes and mayonnaise, or gravy, and roast beef or fried fish. Just because it's also a long sandwich doesn't mean it's anywhere near the same ballpark as what is called a sub/hero/grinder.

These quizzes always pick me out as from Texas, and Houston specifically, pretty quickly.

people throw toilet paper over houses? i didn't know that.

Actually, over the trees and bushes and decor items in the front of houses; it's hard to get it over the whole house. But we called it "wrapping," for which there's no option on the Yankee/Dixie quiz.

And none of these ever ask me the one thing that used to tip off Michiganders that I have people from the Detroit area: when I wanted to indicate all of the two items before me, I would distinctly say "I need bolth of those." I was in college before I noticed that other Texans said "boath."

These quizzes also never ask about "favor" as a synonym for "resemble." In Houston no one blinked at it -- but when I got away to school, it would garner weird looks. Even in Dallas, I slip and use it sometimes and get weird looks (maybe it's a Gulf Coast thing).

Anyway, all the fun dialect has been beaten from me by drama coaches.
posted by pineapple at 10:18 AM on May 2, 2008


m0nm0n: Ah-ha! Now I understand. Thanks!
posted by JDHarper at 10:22 AM on May 2, 2008


(Aren't crawdads just the big ones?)

Those are crawfathers.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:23 AM on May 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


OMG, 100% Dixie. Grew up in Texas, been in California the last 20 years.
posted by Xoebe at 10:24 AM on May 2, 2008


I kid, I kid. I like Dutchess; New Paltz is a nice place.

Yeah..New Paltz is in Ulster, hoss.
posted by spicynuts at 10:24 AM on May 2, 2008


sub/hero/grinder.

It's a hoagie, fool.

Also, I have noticed that extra "L" in certain words in the Philadelphia accent, after round-mouthed vowel sounds (aw, o, etc), similar I think to what the pineapple describes for Michigan. The best example I have is the word "draw", which often comes out as "drawl" round here. Which is really kinda funny to me. Anyways, is this a Philly thing, or maybe a little Maryland leaking in? Anyone?
posted by Mister_A at 10:31 AM on May 2, 2008


Well then I'm tapped on nice things to say about Poughkeepsie.
posted by uncleozzy at 10:32 AM on May 2, 2008


sub/hero/grinder.

It's a hoagie, fool.


Anyone for a po-boy?
posted by Pollomacho at 10:33 AM on May 2, 2008


I have one question for people from Michigan actually: do you know that you say the word "Huron" exactly the same way you say "urine"? It's Lake Hue-ron. Not Lake Urine.

unless you know something I don't about the lake...
posted by GuyZero at 10:34 AM on May 2, 2008


Well then I'm tapped on nice things to say about Poughkeepsie.

That makes 30,051 of us.
posted by spicynuts at 10:39 AM on May 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


When all this started floating around a few years ago, I remember there was this big argument over whether the Northwest actually had a dialect, with Easterners saying no and Westerners saying yes. I think the argument is still raging, but every true native to Seattle woman I know has creaky vowels, and I've never heard that in semi-natives or immigrants.
posted by dw at 10:42 AM on May 2, 2008


69% Dixie, born in Colorado, moved to Texas when I was 13, and I've been living in the Northeast for the past 10 years. Those years between 13 and 18 must have been pretty formative.
posted by hue at 10:45 AM on May 2, 2008


70% Dixie from a Mid-Atlantic girl with a Southern mama and Midwestern dad. I maintain that I don't sound Southern, but my Boston boyfriend disagrees - making fun of each other's speech provides us with endless entertainment.
posted by naoko at 10:46 AM on May 2, 2008


The Oklahoma question goes something like:

What do you call the place underground you go when you see a wall cloud?
a. Storm cellar (OKC/western Oklahoma)
b. Fraidy hole (Tulsa/eastern Oklahoma)
c. What's a wall cloud? (rest of the country)
d. Underground? Not when I'm videotaping it! There might be a tornado (true Okie)
posted by dw at 10:49 AM on May 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


>Yeah? Did you also order tonic when you wanted soda?

I'm not old enough. As far as I could tell, this usage has pretty much disappeared among people under 70.


You can still hear "tonic" from people in their 30's raised on the North Shore. Specifically Saugus and Melrose.
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:50 AM on May 2, 2008


"Bubbler" usage in my experience is much stronger in Rhode Island than Massachusetts. I don't know why it's attributed to MA, at all, actually. I've never heard it outside of RI. When you meet RI-landers elsewhere the words we connect on are "bubbler" and "wicked", both of which tend to get mistakenly attributed to MA and are (in my experience) both more prevalent in RI.

That said, I'm kind of shocked to come out 53% dixie. I've lived and gone to school off Rte 95 between Boston and Providence my whole life and though my parents were raised in the midwest, I've always felt like I had a sort of generic NE accent.
posted by heresiarch at 10:52 AM on May 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


You can still hear "tonic" from people in their 30's raised on the North Shore. Specifically Saugus and Melrose.

Actually, come to think of it, I knew someone from Malden, in her late 20s, who occasionally called it "tonic."
posted by uncleozzy at 10:56 AM on May 2, 2008


47% Yankee.
Also Canadian.
posted by heeeraldo at 11:10 AM on May 2, 2008


100% (Dixie). Is General Lee your father?

WTF? Born and raised in New Orleans, but I talk like a Californian. This quiz is crap. Also, I second the outrage about the lack of "poboy" as an answer.

20. What's that bug that rolls into a ball when you touch it? (NOTE: This is not a doodle bug (ant lion), which is the larvae of Myrmeleontidae spp.)


Again, WTF? Way to tilt the results. I call those things doodle bugs, and I know the difference between them and ant lions.
posted by brundlefly at 11:10 AM on May 2, 2008


Being from Fresno, CA originally (lots of country folk) put me 54% Dixie with many answers indicating a Great Lakes origin. I suppose that's why folks are always asking me where I'm from.
posted by podwarrior at 11:12 AM on May 2, 2008


If its a long sandwich, I say "sub", I'm familiar with po-boy, hogie, and hero. But "grinder" was new to me. I've only seen the word, in a food context, in reference to a hamburger patty with no bun, often seen on the kids menu at cheap steakhouses. I wonder if thats a Texan thing, a southern thing, or just "a few loonies running steakhouses around Amarillo" thing?
posted by sotonohito at 11:19 AM on May 2, 2008


The way I say it, there is a subtle "W" sound in "caught", "fought", "bought" (which all rhyme).
"Bot" rhymes with "pot", and lacks this subtle "awe" sound as the vowel. As a Nebraskan, 48% Yankee sounds just about right.
posted by spock at 11:19 AM on May 2, 2008


if you pronounce "pen" and "pin" the same way

Born and raised in South Florida, and I pronounce them both the same way. Nowadays, I pronounce both to rhyme with "in," when I was younger, I pronounced both in a way that sounded exactly like "pee in." "Kin ah borra a pee in from you?" was something you might have heard me say in elementary school.
posted by lord_wolf at 11:20 AM on May 2, 2008


Bollocks. A British version would be more fun.
posted by chuckdarwin at 11:23 AM on May 2, 2008


New Orleanian, 50%, I was mostly looking for options that didn't exist (e.g. "drinking from a cooler," "cold drink," etc.)
posted by rush at 11:25 AM on May 2, 2008


Ya my friend from Georgia always used to ask me for a "pin" to write with.

Has anyone ever heard the term "case quarter" outside of Philadelphia? Or inside for that matter? It means, "a twenty-five cent piece, you rube–not a handful of nickels and pennies. I need to buy a loose cigarette/bag/vial and the guy won't take a bunch of pennies and shit, so I need a case quarter."

NOTE: It would take many case quarters to buy a vial/bag but you get the gist.
posted by Mister_A at 11:26 AM on May 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Though I thought I'd eradicated all traces of it, I'm still 67% Dixie.
posted by swift at 11:27 AM on May 2, 2008


Another "49% yankee" Canuck here. All the pronunciations in the "route" question were wrong for some reason.

Also:
A box containing 24 beers is a:
a) case
b) slab
c) two-four
d) breakfast


Tricky! Are we talking a flat of 24 cans or a case of 24 bottles? Either will get you a seat on the couch on a Saturday night, but only one is a two-four in the classical sense.
posted by bonehead at 11:28 AM on May 2, 2008


Yeah, I hear you. I had to answer "crawdad", even though I actually grew up calling them "crawdaddies".

"Crawdad" is pronounced "cray-fish".
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:29 AM on May 2, 2008


One that I grew up with in Pittsburgh is "Car-NAY-gee" as in any one of the umpteen billion things there named after Andrew Carnegie. Everybody says it that way, regardless of class. I didn't know what they were talking about the first time I heard someone say "CAR-nuh-gee".
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 11:29 AM on May 2, 2008


root/rouwt - when I was in third grade my teacher used the word "rowt". I had no idea what she was talking about. I'm from the bay area, but scored 50% on the quiz. I think the influence of TV has diffused a lot of the regional dialects around the country.
posted by gallois at 11:30 AM on May 2, 2008


people throw toilet paper over houses? i didn't know that.

Actually, over the trees and bushes and decor items in the front of houses; it's hard to get it over the whole house. But we called it "wrapping," for which there's no option on the Yankee/Dixie quiz.


Thank you, pineapple: I wondered if the phrase "wrapping a house" died out after I left Houston in the mid-1980s. I never heard it described as anything else during my entire childhood.
posted by Elsa at 11:33 AM on May 2, 2008


Huh, 60%. Raised on both east and west coasts, to English mother and Dutch father.
posted by maxwelton at 11:36 AM on May 2, 2008


49%, barely a Yankee. Not bad for a kid from Boston.

Me too!

...I'm not sure if there are any accents west of Ontario.

People from Vancover have a definite accent. Its not so much word pronounciation as it is the rhythm of their phrases. Its kind of hard to describe, but think a variant of the valley girl question-speak.

You can still hear "tonic" from people in their 30's raised on the North Shore. Specifically Saugus and Melrose.

This Melrosian has never heard anyone ask for for anything other than soda (and I worked at Soc's!)

Draw for drawer is one of the best ways of picking out a true Boston-area accent. I told my family that some people pronounce it draw-er and we had a good laugh. Drawers are underpants that cartoon characters wear.
posted by fermezporte at 11:44 AM on May 2, 2008


55% Dixie, but a Canadian. Bizarre. I'd love to see something similar to this for Canadians. For example, I was taught that the proper pronounciation for "couch" is "chesterfield".

The Ottawa Valley accent has nearly vanished
GuyZero, drop in to see me next time you're in Ottawa, and I'll introduce you to some people who speak with a strongly Valley accent. It's not dead.
posted by LN at 11:48 AM on May 2, 2008


I can't do this test, right from the first question. I pronounce "aunt" like "vaunt". "Want" has the word "on" in it, for me. And I pronounce "ant" as "Myrmidon" (it sounds cooler).

This is what happens when you split your childhood between the Midwest and South, with parents from Noo Yawk and Joisey. My accent is positively nomadic.
posted by Eideteker at 11:52 AM on May 2, 2008


I point out #72. on the Dialect Survey results:
72. What do you call the big clumps of dust that gather under furniture and in corners?
a. dust bunnies (71.92%)
b. dust kittens (0.32%)
c. dust mice (0.98%)
d. kitties (0.31%)
e. dust balls (21.35%)
f. other (5.12%)
I point it out only because I'm so happy to have had occasion to holler out "Slut's* wool!" in response. Though politeness has occasionally urged me to call them dust bunnies, in my own home I invariably think of those balls of fuzz as slut's wool.

*"Slut" here is the archaic sense of "untidy or slovenly woman." Still sexist, though, so flag away.
posted by Elsa at 12:00 PM on May 2, 2008


44% Yankee.

But some of those questions were a bit leading. "What do you call gym shoes?" "Where might you get water in a public building?" If you're undecided, those could easily swing you!
posted by bettafish at 12:02 PM on May 2, 2008


My Texan-born grandfather says "I reckon.." and "I'm fixin ta" all the time, and it used to drive me crazy for some reason. "Ah was fixin ta cut the grass, but ah reckon it's gonna rain."

Curious that there are no racial distinctions made in the study, unless I missed them.
posted by desjardins at 12:04 PM on May 2, 2008


70% Dixie here. Considering my mother is from Arkansas and my dad is from Alabama I think I may have failed.

…Or succeeded, depending on how you look at it.
posted by paddysat at 12:05 PM on May 2, 2008


"I caught my daughter sleeping on my cot."

I cawt my dotter sleeping on my coht.

Last night, I ordered a roast beef sandwich and the girl asked me if I wanted a "bulky" roll. I almost said, "No, I want a KAISER roll." I don't care how bulky you make the sandwich. And WTF is up with the absence of poppy seed bagels from MA? I think I have only seen them twice since I moved here; and never when I want one.
posted by Eideteker at 12:05 PM on May 2, 2008


I'll introduce you to some people who speak with a strongly Valley accent. It's not dead.

Does Spencerville count as the valley? I have relatives who I should stop by and visit sometime... where they eat breakfast, dinner and supper.
posted by GuyZero at 12:17 PM on May 2, 2008


53% (Dixie). Barely into the Dixie category.

having lived in MI for 22 years and PA for 6.

also, i call a drive through liquor store a "drive through liquor store."

and #13? i never even knew those had a specific name until the first time i took this test years back. i just called it a "road."
posted by misanthropicsarah at 12:17 PM on May 2, 2008


I'm really very happy to find out that, in Minnesota, people refer to "the activity of driving around in circles in a car" as "whipping shitties."
posted by bookish at 12:21 PM on May 2, 2008


For example, I was taught that the proper pronunciation for "couch" is "chesterfield".

That actually a genericization... the Chesterfield company was a large manufacturer in Canada at one point. Although Wikipedia seems to disagree with me, attributing it to the Earl of Chesterfield. I suppose the company could have been named after the chesterfields they produced. At any rate, it's a British thing and as such is more common the areas with strong British (i.e. English/Scottish) heritage.

And of course, the ultimate Canadian/American disambiguator: zed vs zee. (Which is covered in the McGill survey).
posted by GuyZero at 12:23 PM on May 2, 2008


I grew up in India and am apparently 52 % Dixie. I did randomly answer a couple questions though.
posted by peacheater at 12:24 PM on May 2, 2008


74% Dixie, which is interesting for someone born and raised and currently living in Portland. I did live in Nashville for a brief time, but I lived in British Columbia too, so you'd think they'd cancel each other out.

I found myself wanting to hit the "Either/Both" option on a lot of the questions, which is probably the result of the Pacific NW dialect being relatively young.

Also, in my experience pronouncing "creek" as "crick" seems to be a pretty good indicator of a rural upbringing, not a particular region.
posted by sportbucket at 12:25 PM on May 2, 2008


61% Dixie, born in California, lived in Oregon mostly, but with a talkative mother from Oklahoma/Texas area.

And, as I've just discovered from this thread, the pronunciation of "both" as "bolth" rings completely normal to my ears, and I do, in fact, use it. Regularly. When I excitedly mentioned this to my partner, just now, he was charming enough to use the example phrase:
"I went to bolth Kmart and Walmart today."
I'll keep him anyway, as long as he doesn't tump anything over.
posted by redsparkler at 12:35 PM on May 2, 2008


i guess everyone's having too much fun enjoying the sound of their own voices to bother critiquing the accuracy of this survey, which is "the pits" (used throughout the u.s.).
posted by gorgor_balabala at 12:48 PM on May 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


i especially found it annoying my responses were "common to the southeastern u.s.", an area i would never, ever live. practically each and every one of these is wrong. to even approach being correct, each of its questions would have to point to a specific region, and they don't.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 12:51 PM on May 2, 2008


70% Dixie (strange because the first time I was 100% Dixie, Javascript problems I think). Born and raised in south western Virginia, teachers always asked "Where are you from? You talk like a Yankee.", watched too much PBS as a kid. It takes a couple of days being home before I can understand my family again, been away for 20 years or so...

My sister sent me out to "Powell's" to get sweet tea, I drove around for 20 minutes and couldn't find the place. Next day she takes me to "Pall's". And 'i-dear' is 'idea'.

caught - naught - fought
cot - hot - bot
route - rawt - (computer geek, rawter not rooter (that's the thing you clean drains with)).
posted by zengargoyle at 12:56 PM on May 2, 2008


One that I grew up with in Pittsburgh is "Car-NAY-gee" as in any one of the umpteen billion things there named after Andrew Carnegie. Everybody says it that way, regardless of class. I didn't know what they were talking about the first time I heard someone say "CAR-nuh-gee".

Of course, in Pittsburgh they also pronounce "Versailles" like "Ver-sales". Crazy town that is...
posted by inigo2 at 1:00 PM on May 2, 2008


In Northwest Arkansas:

can't = cay-unt
wash = wursh
oil = oy-uhl
cold - code

And we barely have highways, let alone access roads.
posted by Ugh at 1:19 PM on May 2, 2008


I'll keep him anyway, as long as he doesn't tump anything over.

Ha! Tump!

Here's one for y'all. Fill in this blank:

"Yesterday, some kid rode past on his bike and deliberately splashed a dirty puddle on me, so I picked up a nearby rock and _________ it at him."

A. Threw
B. Hurled
C. Tossed
D. Chunked
posted by pineapple at 1:55 PM on May 2, 2008


What's about 'good for her' versus 'good on her'? I've always used, and until pretty lately heard, the former. 'Good on' seems to me to be best used as '"Honey is good on cornbread, it's also good on her.", not as "She won the quilt? Good on her!" Is this regional?
and 51% Dixie is silly ridiculous. I'm Southern all the way back to southern Scotland.
posted by dawson at 1:58 PM on May 2, 2008


In my limited travels I never heard anyone out West sound different excepting immigrants.

Well, GuyZero, buddy, there is usage: "Oh my god, that ski rack is so skookum!"
posted by Turtles all the way down at 2:14 PM on May 2, 2008


"Yesterday, some kid rode past on his bike and deliberately splashed a dirty puddle on me, so I picked up a nearby rock and _________ it at him."

Canadian would be "hucked."
posted by Turtles all the way down at 2:15 PM on May 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


i guess everyone's having too much fun enjoying the sound of their own voices to bother critiquing the accuracy of this survey, which is "the pits" (used throughout the u.s.).

I guess you're having too much fun mocking everyone else's interest to begin a discussion of what you'd like to critique about the survey.

Seriously, I'm all ears, and I don't doubt for a second that there are problems (especially with the idea of being any percent Dixie). But the original study is accompanied by quite a bit of commentary, and in addition, there are some other dialect resources out there that corroborate much of what's being mentioned here as regional English. I'm sure if you write a comment with some critique in it, people will respond.

My sister sent me out to "Powell's" to get sweet tea, I drove around for 20 minutes and couldn't find the place. Next day she takes me to "Pall's". And 'i-dear' is 'idea'.

One of my favorite accent tales: When I first started working in Massachusetts at a school, another newly arrived coworker and I went out in search of something like the post office or DMV. She had gotten directions from someone local, who had said that we needed to turn right when we passed a restaurant called Bigfoot's.

We drove along the road, our eyes peeled for the Bigfoot's sign, and it was only after several turn-arounds and much confusion that we stopped again and clarified the directions, which had us turning right at Bickford's.

Oh, and also, I think my favorite word to say in a Boston accent is "scofflaw."Scawflawr. Try it!
posted by Miko at 2:40 PM on May 2, 2008


What's about 'good for her' versus 'good on her'?

I had never heard this until I worked with an Australian guy in the early 90s. He managed to spread it pretty quickly among our little group. I suspect it's part of a recent arrival of that phrasing from overseas.
posted by Miko at 2:42 PM on May 2, 2008


I was at a wedding a few weeks ago, discussing my progress in law school with a mixture of midwesterners and New Yorkers and apparently saying I "made" a particular grade made it clear I was a southerner. Is this right? It sounds so natural to me.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 2:59 PM on May 2, 2008


66% (Dixie). A definitive Southern score!

I was born and raised in southern Indiana. I was surprised at the score since I've lived in SoCal for a decade now.

52% (Dixie). Barely into the Dixie category. The husband's score, he is from southern Alberta and has lived in SoCal for about 7 years. We get much entertainment from taunting about the other's "hick" or "redneck" accent. I think this exercise, and the ensuing discussion of the results, has shown us that we have more similarities than not. I guess we'll have to find something new to pick on.

Also, he says where he's from, they used to call the night before Halloween "Gate Night." I've never heard this before, anyone else?
posted by dreamingviolet at 3:53 PM on May 2, 2008


saying I "made" a particular grade made it clear I was a southerner

Oh my yes. Northern usage is "I got an A," southern is "I made an A." It is a dead giveaway.
posted by Rock Steady at 3:57 PM on May 2, 2008


Because it's a different food. A poboy has to be on French bread, with tomatoes and mayonnaise, or gravy, and roast beef or fried fish. Just because it's also a long sandwich doesn't mean it's anywhere near the same ballpark as what is called a sub/hero/grinder.

I'll draw a further distinction. To this Boston born and bred boy a "grinder" is a sub that has been toasted under a broiler. A meatball grinder and a meatball sub are two different sandwiches.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:05 PM on May 2, 2008


100% (Dixie). Is General Lee your father?

Me, too. I'm floored , because I never really considered my birthplace of Virginia Beach to be "southern".

I was of recent drinking age when the first Brew Thru opened in Nags Head in 1977, and was a happy (and frequent) customer for many years. I kinda felt I was cheating on that question.

Y'all get off my lawn, now.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 4:45 PM on May 2, 2008


My wife, who's lived north of Boston all of her life took the score and came out in the Dixie side.

So I took a look at the answer and scoring key, as well as the scoring computation used by the quiz, and I think there's some sort of bias in the scoring calculation:

dixix = dixix + 5;
if (dixix > 0) { dixix = dixix * 1.3; }
dixie = (dixix/totix)*50 + 50;

Frankly, this looks a little random as algorithms go. Let's first add +5 to your score (biasing it toward Dixie immediately). If your score is already heading toward Dixie, let's give it a little bit more of a boost with the X 1.3 multiplier.

The last line definitely pushes things toward a Dixie bias with the +50. Making the whole thing a joke perhaps?

I'd have to break this out with actual statistical examples, but it seems like even if you answer all of the answers to clearly be "Yankee" biased, you will not score the highest Yankee score possible. You won't get anywhere close.
posted by docjohn at 5:33 PM on May 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


45% Yankee here - I thought it might be more Dixie due to the southern influence in my part of SE Michigan - but i guess my UPer mom pushed me over the brink.

people throw toilet paper over houses? i didn't know that.

We used to do that on Devil's Night - which according to the quiz is only called that in Michigan.

"Yesterday, some kid rode past on his bike and deliberately splashed a dirty puddle on me, so I picked up a nearby rock and _________ it at him."
Canadian would be "hucked."

I've always said "chucked." Close, I guess. BTW, I've always called a knit cap a "chook" does anyone else call it that?


It's Lake Hue-ron. Not Lake Urine.

No it's not.


Who here has relatives that call margarine oleo?


My Mom does.

And I say "you guys" also...why didn't they have that as a choice?
posted by The Light Fantastic at 7:00 PM on May 2, 2008


ooh ooh, one more thing! Does anyone else here call a liquor store a "party store?" I used to, and then when I got out to California, everyone thought I meant a place to buy balloons and party hats.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 7:01 PM on May 2, 2008


"What's about 'good for her' versus 'good on her'?"

People trying to be cool by sounding British, without stopping to realize the fundamental flaw in that premise.
posted by Eideteker at 8:08 PM on May 2, 2008


Well, I call it a party store, but I live half-way between Detroit and Toledo.

Born and raised in Michigan... and only 50% Yankee.

I blame my mother and her kinfolk.

(Whoops, there I go again.)

posted by faster than a speeding bulette at 8:25 PM on May 2, 2008


No one in Wisconsin calls them 'bubblers' anymore

I still hear it. I think it's disappearing, though, which kinda sucks.

I think the map in the last link is way off. There is a very distinct difference between the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (ya der hey) and Minnesota. In contrast, there is almost no difference between southeastern Wisconsin and Montana (having lived in both). Chicago rightly has its own color, though.

It's a pretty standard map. There are local variations in where the liens are drawn, but it's basically driven by certain key differences. It does not mean everyone in the same color sounds the same, it means they share dialectical shibboleths that separate them from an area with a different color. It's also important to remember that this is as much vocabulary and grammar as accent.

Almost all of area 7 (the Inland North) and large swathes of 9 (Upper Midwestern), with 10 (Chicago) included, are being affected by the Northern Cities Vowel Shift, just to complicate matters (where "block" begins to sound closer to "black" than you could ever imagine). I hear this, but not universally.

Anyway, this wasn't an ideal quiz. I don't call them tennis shoes, I call them tennies. I might ask for a soda, but recycle a pop can, and notice that I'm out of soda pop. But then, it had a very narrow focus, the Yankee/Dixie split. That alone was sort of annoying, because to this Midwesterner "Yankee" really means "New Englander".

An ex-boyfriend from New Jersey pronounced "coffee" as "kwahw-fee." (The first syllable sounds like "craw" with a "w" instead of an "r".) I thought he was fucking around with me. Can anyone confirm?

Jersey definitely has a ... I forget the term. Call it a "rolled o". Or a triphthong. (When I lived in NYC I got so I could distinguish Jersey and Long Guy Land accents.) This may actually be a feature of the NYC accent (which spills over into Jersey) but I'm not sure. Anyway, I would say both that it may have been authentic and he was fucking with you.
posted by dhartung at 3:48 AM on May 3, 2008


(When I lived in NYC I got so I could distinguish Jersey and Long Guy Land accents.) This may actually be a feature of the NYC accent

Ha, can tell you're not a native, because people out of town say New York City, or NYC. ;-) We New Yorkers call our fair city New York; let New York state find another name for the state! We had it first.

As a curious side note, now that on-line has a specific term, are New Yorkers now waiting in line like the rest of the country? I know I still wait on line, say at a movie theater, but I am wondering because of the potential for confusion.
posted by xetere at 5:58 AM on May 3, 2008


This may actually be a feature of the NYC accent (which spills over into Jersey) but I'm not sure

IT absolutely is, and migrated into New Jersey during the mid-20th century when immigrant groups who had arrived first into New York began to move outward and settle in the surrounding suburbs in NJ, LI, and CT. The process of that New York accent "taking over" NJ has continued as the dense development continues to spread, and towns once small and sleepy become bedroom communities due to greater tolerance for long commutes and high housing prices near the city.

The accents I grew up with in Central NJ did not resemble the stereotypical "Jersey" accent at all - in fact, it always rankled that when I said I was from NJ to someone from another state, they'd often respond with an exaggerated "Eeeh, Joisey!" or something like that. No one I knew sounded that way. NJ was settled by Dutch, English, and Germans, heavily augmented in the 19th century by the influxes of Irish. The white, working-class, small-town folks where I lived sounded pretty neutral by American standards -- the accent was pretty close to what we nickname "broadcasting English," with some notable and localized spots.

A couple things changed in the 20th century. The Great Migration brought southern black populations to NJ. Italian and Eastern European immigration started to crest in about 1890-1910. Leading up to World War II, war work in the many military installations and government contractors in NJ drew big groups of people from Texas and Oklahoma. All of these changes had an audible impact on New Jersey. I think the stereotypical "Sopranos" accent represents a blend of New Yorkese and Southern Italian-accented English, and was dominant in sections of Northern NJ, near the city, when I grew up. Meanwhile, accents like Bruce Springsteen's were pretty common due to the southern influences from the Okie and black workers.

It's a pretty interesting place, New Jersey.

When World War II work was
posted by Miko at 6:58 AM on May 3, 2008


I'm 46% yankee. And I'm 4th generation Californian. I pick up other people's accents easily and without knowing it so I have no clue where I got the Dixie influences or what my real accent is anymore though. Which is a good thing because about 25 years ago it was kinda like this. And, like, I'd tooooootally rather be 46% yankee.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:42 AM on May 3, 2008


45% (Barely Yankee). Go, Free State!!
posted by brain cloud at 9:38 AM on May 3, 2008


75% Dixie. 28 years south of the M-D line will do that, I suppose.
posted by jquinby at 2:08 PM on May 3, 2008


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