T Nation

We Don't Talk Funny, You All Listen Funny


Fascinating visual representation of regional variations in U.S. English, that national television hasn't managed to wipe out. If only they had made these maps before the Civil War. I would live to see a reconstruction of historical regional variations in English, maybe using Sam Clemens and other authors who accurately depicted colloquial spoken English in print.


I saw a guy talking about the different southern dialects once that was really entertaining. I was actually only about 50 50 on this with my area. I did notice that the long sandwich had a giant white spot on southern Louisiana and south Mississippi. I would be willing to bet that the majority there said Po-Boy and fell in the other category.


I liked this thanks


Really traffic circle? Do people really say traffic circle on the East Coast of the U.S.?

The Mary/Merry/Marry one kind of struck me out too, I don't get y'all Americans and your funky lingo. :frowning:


Would you call a speaker of Castillian Spanish a castiYAno, a castiJAno, a cathtiLYAno or something else?

Does someone living in the Catalan capital live in Barcelona or "Barthelona"?



Incidentally, Kahuna, do you call a roundabout a "glorieta" or a "rotunda"?


I'm either going to walk unknowingly into this cunning ambush or ignorantly steam-roll my way over it.

CastiYAno, Barthelona, if we're going by conversations among other Spanish speakers.

If I'm talking to natively English speaking people with those phrases (discounting Castillian etc.) I'll likely move that to CastiYANO (equal emphasis on both YA and NO) or maybe even CastiLAno at a push. And BarSElona likewise. But CastiYAno and Barthelona are what I use most frequently and would be far more confident in feeling they would be the most reasonable pronunciations.

But shit, traffic circle?


Rotunda, I'm south-East coast, Alicante Province.


Anyone hear of a water fountain being called a "bubbler?" That really threw me off at first haha


I've heard of it but never first hand


Bubbler's pretty silly too, the concentrated snobbishness of New Yorkers referring to their city as "The City" made me laugh a lil' bit.


I'm fairly certain this study was the data source for that map:


It consists of 100 questions and is broken down by state. It also gives percentages for each response.

Be warned: this link will waste an incredible amount of time and will have you harassing all your friends, family, and co-workers about how to say words.


I know. I had a similar WTF moment when I moved from the West Coast to the Northern Midwest, and was asked if I wanted a carbonated beverage, which of course I knew as a "soda", but the asker called a "pop" (pronounced "paahhp"). Ditto with female siblings of one's parents, which I had always figured rhymed with "can't", but there rhymed with "haunt".

That was nothing to how much of the dialect seemed to be a remnant of German, especially among the older people. The words "them there" came out "dem dere", and people would always tack on "then" (or "den", rather) to the end of a question, which confounded me until I found out about the German interrogative particle denn.

I still chuckle when I hear people from there make whiny diphthongs out of selected words ("cut it OW-ut! Leave me a-LO-an! I don't know-uh! I'm gonna go-uh"), and I can't force myself to say "ya wanna come with?".


I don't even know if I had a generalised term like soda or pahhp, I think me and everyone I know has always just referred to it by a brand name, even if we didn't end up getting that brand of drink. Usually coke, keeping it real. (Also don't understand people that say cola, cola people are the worst, like people that use Summer and Winter as verbs).

I always said (haunt) - aunt, probably a product of a southern English childhood though, I imagine (ant) - aunt is indeed more commonly accepted in the U.S.

There's a German person where I work that has a viciously strong German accent, he's from one of the islands between Germany and Denmark (Germany has islands, who knew?) and both him, his older brother, and his brother's friendo all have the stereotypical German-English pronunciations. He always says "the thing is" as kind of a habitual go-to phrase, and when his German friendos come over they're all like "ze sing is!", and don't get me started on trying to differentiate between "veggies" and wedges.

Oh man, Minnesota is like the lost part of Canada. Maybe they should just split Alaska from the Yukon and wheel Minnesota over there.


This is forgivable if the expression in question is "I'd like to do Summer."

One peeve that I have is not so much regional, but seems to be fairly recent and prevalent throughout the country (at least I never heard it before I left for Japan): referring to dairy products simply as "dairy", as in "to increase your calcium, add more dairy to your diet."

A dairy is a place where products are produced and sold, not the products themselves. One would not suggest that someone cut complex carbohydrates by eliminating "bakery" from their diets, nor increase their animal protein consumption by adding more "meatmarket".

Guess I'm just too old-school to think that far out of the box.


When I was a kid growing up in Winnipeg in the 80s we said "Halloween Apples!" on Halloween instead of "Trick or treat!"...even then I thought it sounded like something grandpa would tell you they said in the 30s or something.
I was home for a Halloween two years ago and no kids said it anymore.


Now that's another map I'd like to see: the line separating the German speakers who say "ze sing is" from the ones who say "de ting is".


Oh man, I've never met somebody that has said, "We Summered in the Lake District last year" and not wanted to punch their eyes.

Ha, I can kinda understand that one, my godparents own a dairy that supplies their area and the wife had the same pet peeve, the husband wasn't too perturbed by it though. Haven't seem them in years, I remember a huge expanse of land surrounded by bushes and the big storage tankers on the other side, I'm glad I still have that memory come to think of it.

But perhaps most importantly, I need to run back through Firefly.


Halloween Apples? Please tell me you were at least after candy apples, and the phrase has neither too much nor too little significance to real events.


I'd like to see the line separating the other regions of Germany's tolerance for Bavarian lederhosen in increasingly ridiculous forms. From just short leather pantaloons to full Robin Hood type gear.