This is cool

This is cool December 20, 2013

I’ve always had an interest in regional dialects and accents. Mass media has had a dulling effect on these, but they still are present and always add charm to American speech:

For the record, I say “pop”. Also, there is no “R” in “Washington”. On the other hand, “Portland, Oregon” is actually pronounced, “See-AT-l iz AW-sum”. It’s an old local Native dialect.

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  • said she

    As a transplant to Eastern Washington, I was amused to find that both “Portland” and “Seattle” – both of them! – are pronounced “th’ wesside”.

    Grew up in soda country, have learned to call it pop.

    • And residents of Seattle and Portland are called “Coasties” here on the brown side.

      A couch is a “daveno” and a little stream is called a “crick.”

  • KyPerson

    I say coke and always will.

  • john smith

    Seattle stole our style, don’t try stealing our skookum.

  • Wendell Clanton

    @ john smith—Klahiyah! Or, if you prefer, klahowyah.

    “Skookum”—Nice to witness a little chinook spoken now and then! On Vancouver Island we say chinook with a “ch” as in “church” for the language, and use “sh” as in “shout” to refer to the salmon.

    Skookum can mean both good/great(ness) or bad/dangerous, as in skookumchuk—bad water, i.e., a reef. A skookum boat is a strong, seaworthy boat.

    And, we say ‘pop’, too.

  • Elaine S.

    My husband and I say “soda pop”, probably because we both grew up in the area of central Illinois that sits right on the line between “soda”, the favored term in the St. Louis area, and “pop”, the favored term in Chicago. (By the way, anyone notice that the areas which favor “soda” — St Louis, Milwaukee and parts of the Northeast — were heavily settled by Germans?)

  • BillyT92679

    The soda-pop isobar is in upstate NY. I grew up in CNY so it’s soda for me, but pop for my fellow Buffalonians. We speak the Inland North dialect here.

    • Heather

      Given that Buffalo is actually a distant suburb of Toronto ( >:) ), it makes sense that they use the proper word. Up here, it’s “pop” from coast to coast.

      I recently read a similar article about “Canadianisms” and was shocked at some of the terms that aren’t actually universal. Some examples: icing sugar (powdered or confectioner’s sugar), pencil crayons (coloured pencils), runners (sneakers or tennis shoes), chocolate bar (candy bar), eavestroughs (rain gutters on a roof), tap (faucet). And if you are “going to college” here, you are attending a community college or trade school, not a university. Though we had regional variation too. When I was a kid, we called hoodies “kangaroo jackets” because of the pocket in front, but in Saskatchewan they are “bunny hugs” for who knows what reason.

      • BillyT92679

        and, of course, you spelled colored with a u 🙂

        We do use “tap” for faucet. They’re pretty interchangeable. Like water and drinking fountains

        What’s odd is calling it a spigot, which should only be used in factories and what you connect your garden hose to.

        • Spigot is also ok when referring to “The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spigot.” Which is the only thing I remember from Four Weddings and a Funeral.

      • Sigroli

        I’m a 65-year-old Torontonian and I’ve never heard the term “pencil crayons” — they’ve always been coloured pencils. The others are spot on, though … and yes, Buffalo is “a distant suburb of Toronto,” witness the ID of the local PBS station: WNED-TV Buffalo-Toronto.

  • PeonyMoss

    Lovely illustration at 3:30

  • I grew up in Massachusetts, but went to law school in D.C. It took me three years to stop calling public transportation the T and start calling it the metro. Then I moved to Boston, and it took me almost a year to get back to calling it the T. Then I moved to New York, and it took me another year or so to stop calling it the T and start calling it the subway. Then I moved to the hinterlands of Queens, and now I have to distinguish between the subway and the train.

    Oh, and it’s soda, you weirdos. :>

    • Chesire11

      In Massachusetts, the proper term is “tonic!”


      • Not for any resident *I* know . . .

        • Steve

          IN Boston, it is definitely “tonic” for soda; “elastics” for “rubber Bands”; used to be “cobbler” when you had shoes and not sneakers. Other localisms are: “The little girl is cunning”, which means cute. Comes from the Irish “glic”, which means both cute or cunning. The monoglots just chose the first one that came to mind; also, from the Irish, is the sentence “He broke it ON me” spoken by the aggrieved party when a brother or someone broke her doll.

  • Rachel

    hmm, in western New York, I’ve heard the highway called the thruway

  • Stu

    If someone asks me for a pop…

  • Nick Corrado

    What’s with the thinning out of “pop” along the coast of Lake Erie? I’ve been here all my life and when I say soda for the sake of being a hipster people look at me like I’m crazy and correct it to pop. I mean, I am crazy, but I assure you Toledo to Cleveland and everywhere in between is deep pop country.

    • Nick Corrado

      North Central Ohio is also firmly “sneaker” territory. I don’t know where this alleged tennis shoe incursion is but it’s not getting a toehold in my town if I’ve got anything to say about it.

      • Chesire11

        They’re sneakers in New England, as well.

    • Dan

      Rochester, NY is pop territory as well and that is on Lake Ontario. I’ve always called the soda/pop distinction as the border between the northeast and the midwest. So Syracuse, NY and Scranton-Wilkes Barre, PA are the last outposts in the northeast before hitting Erie, PA; Pittsburgh; Rochester; and Buffalo.

  • Dave G.

    Pop as opposed to soda here. Also, a tendency to say ‘warsh’ as in ‘warsh the clothes’, rather than ‘wash’ the clothes. I hear that is a tendency of some in our part of the Midwest.

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    Imaginary Rs after vowels drive me crazy. I work with a guy who’s always talking about his “grarrrge.” Makes me crazy. And he removes Rs where they belong. “Last night I couldn’t pak in my grarrrrge, so I had to pak in the yaad.”

  • All the way over here in Australia, we say “soft drink”. Which goes completely against the usual Aussie trend of shortening words as much as possible (e.g. McDonald’s = Macca’s).

    • I’m all for short. Think of how much time you save!