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  • What do you call . . . (regionalisms)

    In another thread, I was reflecting on my move from California to Minnesota, where I had to learn to call maple bars "long johns." And soda pop is usually just "pop" here. Not too bad.

    But other terms have surprised me. For instance, when my aunt and her family from Massachusetts came to visit, they'd call soda pop "tonic." That one threw me; I thought at first they were talking about hair tonic (which, come to think of it, is something else that seems like ancient history now, though Vitalis and Brylcreme used to be pretty ordinary).

    Just across the border in Wisconsin, drinking fountains are "bubblers." And ATMs are "TYME machines" (from "Take Your Money Everywhere") -- which can sound pretty odd when you stop a stranger and ask where the nearest one is.

    Getting back to soda pop (which my friends and I used to just call Coke, whether we meant Coca-Cola or not), I've heard that in England it's called "fizzy drinks" -- which we Americans can't possibly say without giggling. (But that's changing too, since "carbonated water" has, in recent years, been shortened to "fizzy water" here.)

    Well, let me restart this thread with an intro to the same sort of thread, since I just found this via a Google search:

    <<Coke, Pepsi, and other fizzy soft drinks are generically called “tonic” in Boston, “soda” in New York City, “liqueur” in Montreal, and “pop” pretty much everywhere else in North America west of Utica, New York. What most people in the U.S. call “milk shakes” are “frappes” in Massachusetts and “cabinets” in Rhode Island. And the South’s “y’all” becomes “yins” in Pittsburgh and “youse” in Irish Boston (an artifact from the Irish language, in fact, which has a plural form of “you”). Where I grew up, 40 miles north of New York City, when it rained really hard we described it as “teeming.” A “traffic circle” in New York is a “rotary” in Massachusetts and a “roundabout” in Vermont (and in the UK). A drinking fountain in Massachusetts is called a “bubbler,” a police patrol car is called a “cruiser,” and the little chocolate or candy sprinkles that you put on top of ice cream are called “jimmies.” I love regionalisms, and it’s remarkable that many of them persist despite the forces of homogenization like television, radio, and movies. Do you have any favorite regionalisms?>>
    (from http://www.37signals.com/svn/archives/000360.php)
    --Patrick Carroll


    "Do all you have agreed to do, and do not encroach on other persons or their property." (Richard Maybury)

  • #2
    Good thread, so lets get the smut well out of the way first.

    Condoms...

    In 60's London as kids we called them 'rubbers'.

    At the same time in the Gents Barbers my dad visited they offered him 'something for the weekend' (heard it myself while waiting for a trim)

    Dad recollected that in the Royal Navy (1914-27), he and his mates knew them as 'Dreadnaughts' (presumably for the protection they provided?)

    When i moved to deepest rural Essex in the 1970's, the local yokels called them 'Dunkie's', though ive never found out why for sure!


    Sex...

    More 60's London slang. The trendy set called it 'Screwing'. Generally it was called 'shagging' and in Islington it was 'Bonking'. Linked to the latter was 'On Bonk', which meant to have an erection oneself, whereas others were described as 'Having the horn'.


    Soda pop...

    Way back when in London we called it fizzy-pop or simply 'Lemonade', which covered everything from pop to cordial to cola's.


    Hello...

    Two London versions still are 'Wotcha!' (from What are you doing?) and 'allright?' or 'right?' (from Are you allright?). 'Alright' is often used with with a slight head nod/bow derived from tipping your hat (at a time when most men wore them). Note though that these are working class greetings and were never used 'upwards'

    Mid Essex now very rarely uses 'Woopa!', which is used as a simple hello.


    London...

    Known as the 'SMOKE' by real Londoners, especially when 'out of town'. Non Londoners from the south of England go 'upto town' or 'up to London', even when actually travelling south. Go further north and they say 'Down to London'.


    Gaz

    Comment


    • #3
      Another one for your area Patrick:

      Snowmobiles are called snowcats because of Arctic Cat in Thief River Falls.
      If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by allsirgarnet View Post
        Condoms...
        My father's generation called 'em "Coney Island Whitefish," presumably for their appearance when discarded.

        Originally posted by Patrick Carroll
        Where I grew up, 40 miles north of New York City, when it rained really hard we described it as “teeming.” A “traffic circle” in New York is a “rotary”
        I grew up in Brooklyn, New York City, and when it rained hard we said "it's f*ckin' rainin' really f*ckin' hard." And traffic circles here are called "traffic circles." I've never heard of a "rotary" in my life.

        A whole pizza here is called a "pizza pie," or a just a "pie."

        Most greetings in New York take the form of a grunt, or a weary glance. We can't be bothered to give each other proper greetings.
        I was married for two ******* years! Hell would be like Club Med! - Sam Kinison

        Comment


        • #5
          Canadians really DO use "eh" too often.

          When I type it, fully 1/3 of the usages are unconscious when I type it eh
          Life is change. Built models for decades.
          Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
          I didn't for a long time either.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by slick_miester View Post
            My father's generation called 'em "Coney Island Whitefish," presumably for their appearance when discarded.



            I grew up in Brooklyn, New York City, and when it rained hard we said "it's f*ckin' rainin' really f*ckin' hard." And traffic circles here are called "traffic circles." I've never heard of a "rotary" in my life.

            A whole pizza here is called a "pizza pie," or a just a "pie."

            Most greetings in New York take the form of a grunt, or a weary glance. We can't be bothered to give each other proper greetings.

            QUESTION...

            If you caught a Coney Island Whitefish while fishing, would you throw it back in or keep it as a trophy?


            Rain...

            Pissing down, pouring, bucketing, teeming, its cats and dogs out there, persisting... what makes you think Englands a rather damp place to live?


            Talking of water...

            'having a jimmy' - 'jimmy-riddle' - 'piddle'


            Gaz

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Patrick Carroll View Post
              In another thread, I was reflecting on my move from California to Minnesota, where I had to learn to call maple bars "long johns." And soda pop is usually just "pop" here. Not too bad.

              But other terms have surprised me. For instance, when my aunt and her family from Massachusetts came to visit, they'd call soda pop "tonic." That one threw me; I thought at first they were talking about hair tonic (which, come to think of it, is something else that seems like ancient history now, though Vitalis and Brylcreme used to be pretty ordinary).

              Just across the border in Wisconsin, drinking fountains are "bubblers." And ATMs are "TYME machines" (from "Take Your Money Everywhere") -- which can sound pretty odd when you stop a stranger and ask where the nearest one is.

              Getting back to soda pop (which my friends and I used to just call Coke, whether we meant Coca-Cola or not), I've heard that in England it's called "fizzy drinks" -- which we Americans can't possibly say without giggling. (But that's changing too, since "carbonated water" has, in recent years, been shortened to "fizzy water" here.)

              Well, let me restart this thread with an intro to the same sort of thread, since I just found this via a Google search:

              <<Coke, Pepsi, and other fizzy soft drinks are generically called “tonic” in Boston, “soda” in New York City, “liqueur” in Montreal, and “pop” pretty much everywhere else in North America west of Utica, New York. What most people in the U.S. call “milk shakes” are “frappes” in Massachusetts and “cabinets” in Rhode Island. And the South’s “y’all” becomes “yins” in Pittsburgh and “youse” in Irish Boston (an artifact from the Irish language, in fact, which has a plural form of “you”). Where I grew up, 40 miles north of New York City, when it rained really hard we described it as “teeming.” A “traffic circle” in New York is a “rotary” in Massachusetts and a “roundabout” in Vermont (and in the UK). A drinking fountain in Massachusetts is called a “bubbler,” a police patrol car is called a “cruiser,” and the little chocolate or candy sprinkles that you put on top of ice cream are called “jimmies.” I love regionalisms, and it’s remarkable that many of them persist despite the forces of homogenization like television, radio, and movies. Do you have any favorite regionalisms?>>
              (from http://www.37signals.com/svn/archives/000360.php)
              Ahem..."long johns" are long underwear...
              Last edited by Mountain Man; 29 Aug 07, 18:42.
              Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

              Comment


              • #8
                If you are a US American, there is also this quiz--What Kind of American English Do you Speak?
                Every 10 years a great man.
                Who paid the bill?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Good quiz, Zemlekop! I score mostly North American with a mish-mash of other stuff thrown in, but nothing high than 3%.
                  Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by allsirgarnet View Post
                    Talking of water...

                    'having a jimmy' - 'jimmy-riddle' - 'piddle'
                    And speaking of that, has anyone here actually heard or used Cockney rhyming slang in real life?

                    I learned about it in school. As an English major, I was expected to know all kinds of odds and ends. But that rhyming slang struck me as very odd indeed. Clever, but odd.
                    --Patrick Carroll


                    "Do all you have agreed to do, and do not encroach on other persons or their property." (Richard Maybury)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by slick_miester View Post
                      I grew up in Brooklyn, New York City, and . . . traffic circles here are called "traffic circles." I've never heard of a "rotary" in my life.
                      Funny, because I've always thought of "rotaries" as an East-Coast phenomenon. I first encountered them in 1972, in Boston. They call 'em that there.

                      They're now starting to show up in suburban Minneapolis, and I'm not sure they've settled on a name yet. I'd vote for "roundabouts," if only because of the old Yes song.
                      --Patrick Carroll


                      "Do all you have agreed to do, and do not encroach on other persons or their property." (Richard Maybury)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm recalling a couple guys from New Zealand I worked with years ago. They had a few interesting expressions.

                        Cigarettes were "fags." Getting drunk was getting "pissed." And bikers were "bikies."

                        I sometimes wondered what would've happened if they'd walked into an American biker bar, approached a seedy tough, and said, "Hey, bikie, I'm lookin' fer a fag; can ya help me out?"

                        At that time, in California where we were, a fag was a homosexual man. So I'll bet the "bikie" would've gotten pissed -- which to us meant angry (as in "pissed off").

                        Speaking of the now-derogatory "fag," the term "gay" hadn't caught on back then, at least not with that meaning. When I was finishing up an English degree in the early 1990s, I was surprised at how much difficulty the younger students had when the word "gay" came up in literature. They automatically thought homosexual at first. I was old enough to think of that meaning only second.
                        --Patrick Carroll


                        "Do all you have agreed to do, and do not encroach on other persons or their property." (Richard Maybury)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Zemlekop View Post
                          If you are a US American, there is also this quiz--What Kind of American English Do you Speak?
                          My scores:
                          ***Your Linguistic Profile:***

                          60% General American English

                          20% Upper Midwestern

                          10% Yankee

                          5% Dixie

                          0% Midwestern

                          Guess I've got a ways to go before I'll really fit in here in Minnesota (I'm a native Californian).
                          --Patrick Carroll


                          "Do all you have agreed to do, and do not encroach on other persons or their property." (Richard Maybury)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I've always wanted to go to England so I could knock some gal up in the morning

                            They sound so friendly hehe.
                            Life is change. Built models for decades.
                            Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
                            I didn't for a long time either.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Zemlekop View Post
                              If you are a US American, there is also this quiz--What Kind of American English Do you Speak?
                              Fun test! thanks for sharing, Dude!

                              Odd...I grew up in Cali and talkin' like a surfer dude (or so everyone says...) but the test scored me as having a neutral midwest accent! haha go figure!
                              All your ACG posts are belong to us!

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