Regional variation in words

Discussion in 'General Chatter' started by seebs, May 21, 2015.

  1. pixels

    pixels hiatus / only back to vent

    ... I recoiled away from the screen in horror at the word 'spook.' My grandfather still uses this word with the original racist connotation, I think because he's been told he can't say the n-word any more and he's somehow pathologically unable to say the word 'Black.'

    I got in Bad Trouble at one point because I couldn't figure out how to pronounce 'Kant' (the philosopher) while I was in England. Turns out the American pronunciation sounds too much like that other word. Me trying to affect a British accent made it worse, if possible.
    • Like x 2
  2. Chiomi

    Chiomi Master of Disaster

    I hadn't encountered 'spook' as referencing anything but ghosts or spies before tumblr, but I grew up in Canada and then the Midwest.

    One thing people say in the Midwest that I didn't get for a while was calling midges 'no-see-ums.'
    • Like x 1
  3. kmoss

    kmoss Under Construction

    Okay, my parents moved from minnesota to michigan (where us kids were born), lived there for a few years, and moved to wisconsin when i was six.
    then i went to North Dakota for school.


    Burm. It's the grassy area by the curb by the road. why does it need a name. it took me years to figure out what people were saying when they said "oh, put it on the burm". what is this.

    The Dinner/Supper Debate. in self defense, i have stopped using either word entirely and only say "hey, when's food".

    It's a Bubbler, Dammit. Some people think that it is a water fountain. They would be wrong. The thing you drink water from is a bubbler. (wisconsin shares this with some parts of new hampshire, apparently, due to a same-brand bubbler manufacturing factory originating in both areas. or something)

    Because of the eastern vowel shift, my "a"s are very flat compared to north dakota's, but because I lived in ND for 5 years, my "o"s are spectacular when taken by surprise.

    "Goddamn Flatlanders". Anyone from Illinois. Really, I think Wisconsinites have mean words for all states surrounding them. Wisconsin is beautiful, so everyone wants to come there, and they're tourists, so we hate them but also make money off of them.
    • Like x 4
  4. Starcrossedsky

    Starcrossedsky Burn and Refine

    @boyacrossthestreet Why wouldn't you need a word for a berm? It's a lot faster to say than "the grass by the road," which is the shortest way I can think of to get the concept across. Economy of syllables.

    Plus it's fun to say. Berm.

    Also, they don't bubble. Water fountain is kind of one of those redundant phrases that makes to sense when you think about it, though. We use "drinking fountain" around here which is the most sensible of the batch.

    @Chiomi I'm like the only Washington native who calls them no-see-ums, seemingly. Presumably because my mom is from right on the midwest/south border (just south of St Louis).
    • Like x 1
  5. kmoss

    kmoss Under Construction

    *hisses angrily* bubbbbbblerrrrrrrrr

    Nah, I've been getting shit for that for like 5 years. It's a linguistic oddity that's brand-based, apparently. Like Kleenex! Only very very specifically regional.

    Oh, is that how you spell berm? I think pre-berm, my family would say "on the curb", and we'd assume that meant that entire area.
  6. prismaticvoid

    prismaticvoid Too Too Abstract

    Nah, I call them that too. Although I can't remember where I picked it up from, and I generally just use it to refer to insects that bite that are too small for me to see.
    Also, re: spook? I have some vague subconscious understanding of it being a racial slur but I've never heard it used that way. Didn't hear it for spies either until I read American Gods.
  7. EulersBidentity

    EulersBidentity e^i*[bi] + 1

    A friend of mine made an ass of themselves in a French conversation class for a similar reason. They were discussing Russia, didn't know how the French pronounced "Putin". They took a guess and guessed wrong. Turns out in France the name is pronounced "Putine", to differentiate it from "putain". :D
    Last edited: May 24, 2015
    • Like x 1
  8. Wiwaxia

    Wiwaxia problematic taxon

    Speaking of regional differences, I've only ever heard berm in reference to a (usually or maybe always human-built) mound or ridge of piled-up dirt.

    It's apparently also an alternate geological term for what I learned as the backshore of a beach.
  9. pixels

    pixels hiatus / only back to vent

    I did my undergrad at Notre Dame. We had a lot of midwesterners there, including a lot of people from Minnesota. Their Os sound very... closed/u-like. They also insisted on calling it 'soda' (pronounced soo-dah). I grew up calling it 'pop' and now I'm in a state where 'Coke' is as common as either.

    I say 'soda' now just to spite a lot of people. That's... what it is.
    • Like x 2
  10. kmoss

    kmoss Under Construction

    oh man. like the dinner/supper debate, I've given up entirely on pop/soda. if someone's being an ass about it, I'll say "coke" because I live in the midwest and also I am exceedingly contrary.
    • Like x 1
  11. Lissiel

    Lissiel Dreaming dead

    Never heard berm. Like was said before, we call the whole area the curb.

    The only time ive heard a drinking fountain called a bubbler is in reference to the benson(sp?) bubbler down in portland.

    Heres a fun one. The part of california i grew up in has a fuckton of fog--they built a military base there specifically because itd be a pain to target. So we've developed a couple different ways of talking about it. Some are pretty standard: Light fog is mist. Heavy fog is pea soup. Fog so thick you cant see but a few inches past your nose is whiteout. But some are more rare: fog that sits heavy in a valley while the tops of hills are clear is dragons breath. And fog that rises up from wet or marshy ground in the morning is tule (tool-ee) fog.
    • Like x 7
  12. Izevel

    Izevel capuchin hacker fucker

    ^ I grew up in a super foggy area of California too, but we didn't bother with all those different words; we just called it all fog. Usually, though, the fog wasn't too close to the ground; the sky was white, and you'd look out at the horizon and see a line where it started. That was called the fog bank. If it was foggy on the ground, that was a ground fog. (Real creative, we were.)
  13. Lazarae

    Lazarae You won't be the death of me

    We've got marine layer out here, which is when the sky is grey but it's not cloudy on the ground. Tule fog is when it's too thick to see in front you- 2 feet at most- and it kills people around here. Oregon mist is when it's thick enough it collects in drops on surfaces.
    • Like x 2
  14. chthonicfatigue

    chthonicfatigue Bitten by a radioactive trickster god

    Berm over in my part of the world is the grass verge, or just a verge. And fog-wise we have pea-soupers too, scotch mist, and the freezing-cold sea fog called a haar.
  15. pixels

    pixels hiatus / only back to vent

    In my house the 'berm' is the part of the highway (freeway?) between the lines and the grass. That part. Where you can put your car if it breaks down. That's the berm. With the wake-up strips.

    Not sure whether this is a regionalism but my family also refers to the handlebar thing on cars (that sometimes flips down) as the Jesus Christ bar. Because you're usually screaming "jesus christ!" when you're reaching for it. Along the same lines, anyone else use the phrase "come-to-Jesus meeting"? These family things, I swear.
    • Like x 3
  16. Lazarae

    Lazarae You won't be the death of me

    We also use Jesus bar! We usually drop the "Christ" but otherwise the usage is identical.
  17. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    we always called it the 'oh shit' handle :D
  18. Wiwaxia

    Wiwaxia problematic taxon

    My old bosses at the zoo used "come to Jesus meeting." I never saw it invoked while I was there but I heard plenty of bad volunteers of yore stories involving them.

    People calling the sides of highways or sidewalk lawn strips "berms" keeps making me think of them with landscaped dirt slopes. :V
  19. prismaticvoid

    prismaticvoid Too Too Abstract

    I'm still trying to figure out what y'all are talking about with the Jesus handle.
  20. Lissiel

    Lissiel Dreaming dead

    My dad called it a bitch bar. Its a little handle or bar next to usually the passanger side inside roof of a car. Its to help getting in and out, but people often grab it when the driver gets crazy.

    Whats a come to jesus meeting?
    Last edited: May 25, 2015
    • Like x 1
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice