Thursday, April 9, 2009

-- regional slang (purse vs. pocketbook followup)

Update on the last post's linguistics dabbling (re: regional slang).

So if you say:
  • purse vs. pocketbook:
    pocketbook is a NY or northeastern term, purse more standard south and west.
  • sub vs. hoagie:
    Hoagie is a Philadelphia area term, sub is used more frequently in the northeast. I was surprised to learn "hero" is a NY term; it sounds so wrong. Half my family is from NY and I've never heard them use this. Interesting.
  • water ice vs. slurpee:
    What a strange term -- "water-ice"! It's from the Philadelphia region. Slurpee is from the Northeast coast.
  • bucket vs. pail:
    From "Though both bucket and pail are used throughout the entire U.S., pail has its greatest use in the Northern U.S., and bucket is more commonly used elsewhere, esp. in the Midland and Southern U.S."
  • soda vs. pop:
    Soda is more northeastern, pop is used more towards the west. Check out the soda vs. pop map (thanks, Geekhiker!).
Researching this, I came across a forum where users giggled that New Yorkers tend to say "I'm going to go stand on line" rather then the more technically correct "in line." And I thought, huh, I always say the former. I guess those are my NJ roots. (Well my mom's from NY and brought my sis & I up with some of the local dialect. Oh, and I used to say "my pens are in the top draw" until my friends [Linda this means you!] taught me how to pronounce the "r." heh. I was too young to spell when I learned it.) I wonder if I would have corrected myself once I saw what the word looked like? I have a hard time pronouncing difficult words unless I can see them in writing. I could never learn a language by ear alone.

Anything else you say or have noticed regionally? Do you have an accent? I love accents, they're so inherently charming, no matter where they from. I could listen to them all day. This stuff is so fascinating.

Where do you fall? Take a quiz!


Sornie said...

Here in the sophisticated upper midwest we say purse, sub, slurpee, bucket and soda. Well the soda vs. pop thing here is more a matter of education level.

Julie M. said...

Oh, *know* I have an accent! ...and feel the need to lay it on Scarlett O'Hara-thick when someone assumes that because I have this accent that I *think* as slowly as I might talk. ;-) Everything around here is a 'Coke' to drink...then there's purse...buggy (shopping cart)...I could probably fill the blog comments section with very localized Southern slang!

deva said...

There's so much I want to say in response to this post(about my own life experiences), but I think I'll just blog about it :)

Stay tuned!

spleeness said...

@Sornie: really, slurpee out there too?

@Julie: you know what they say about those who ASSume...

@deva: eagerly awaiting!

bamagirl said...

Southern drink order: "You wanna coke?" "Sho." "What kind?" "Yeller dope."

Anonymous said...

In New England we call a sub a grinder.

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