So you’re all probably well aware of things like the pop vs. soda debate (click here for map). And you may know that a milkshake is a frappe is a cabinet in various parts of New England (you can actually get a separate thing called a “milkshake” in various parts of Boston… it’s like nesquick… milk with flavoring). Or that rotaries are traffic circles are round-abouts and are a PITA no matter what they’re called. Southern Californians are incapable of pronouncing words of more than two syllables. Some folks say two different words when they say, “Which witch is which?” and some just say one. Similarly, there, their, and they’re aren’t homonyms in some parts of the country (thar, thur, they’re).
We’ve both lived all over the country and we’ve picked up some different sayings here and there, as well as different names for the same things. Here are some we’ve noticed:
“go with” : Can I go with? Do you want me to go with?
at: Where is the store at?
might ought to: Maybe this is something I should do… I might ought to write thank you notes.
Bless his heart = He’s a moron. Or, if “bless your heart” = I feel really sorry for the idiot circumstance you got yourself into.
God bless his soul = He’s a real jerk.
lightning bug vs. firefly
hazelnut vs. filbert
sow bug vs. pill bug vs. roly poly
The 10 vs. I-10 vs. Interstate 10 vs. 10/ I-94 vs The 94 vs. The Kennedy
it took me a while to figure out that their “finna” as in “I’m finna go to lunch” meant “going to”, and even longer to realize that it was a contraction of “fixing to”.
Fun linguistics fact: the phrase “analog watch” is an example of a retronym (a word or phrase that is formed to refer to the older technology when the newer technology becomes standard).
Here is a link to this wonderful survey, complete with maps, that we participated in when we were graduate students. Check them out!
What are your favorite regionalisms? Anything local to your neck of the woods?