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Bostonfan
02-03-2012, 09:28 PM
I was traveling earlier this week for work out of state and asked someone where I could find a bubbler. I got several strange looks the more people I asked. I never knew "bubbler" was a local New England expression (apparently). When I finally described what I was looking for, the woman said, "Oh - you mean a water fountain!" (For the record, a water fountain to me are those things you throw coins in to make a wish).

And I saw an episode of "Say Yes to the Dress - Atlanta" and learned that in the South if someone says something is "lovely", it's their polite way of saying they don't like it. I didn't know that :)

What are some local idioms that you like or have encountered? Of course being from Boston, one of my favorites has to be "WICKED!" (another word for awesome). I knew "wicked" was a local thing to Boston. But I had no idea about "bubbler".

agalisgv
02-03-2012, 09:33 PM
People say bubbler in the Midwest too. Actually, I hear bubbler more in the Midwest than in the NE, so maybe it depends.

Wicked I think is more of a British expression, but Boston has adopted a few British customs over the years.

Binky for pacifiers I think is regionally specific. So also is mamaw and papaw for grandparents. In the NE, you hear roundabouts instead of traffic circles.

PDilemma
02-03-2012, 09:38 PM
I've lived in the Midwest since I was two and never heard "bubbler". What are you defining as Midwest???

soxxy
02-03-2012, 09:38 PM
In Rhode Island, an ice cream soda (with coffee syrup) is often referred to as a "cabinet."

agalisgv
02-03-2012, 09:42 PM
I've lived in the Midwest since I was two and never heard "bubbler". What are you defining as Midwest??? I've heard it regularly in IL, WI, and MN.
The Milwaukee Public Library traces the origin of the term "bubbler" back to the original 1888 Kohler trademark of that name.

To those readers outside of our great state: many Wisconsinites use the term "bubbler" in place of "drinking fountain". http://www.law.wisc.edu/blogs/wisblawg/2007/12/origins_of_the_bubbler.html

Maybe it's just an upper Midwest thing

Southpaw
02-03-2012, 09:43 PM
In Rhode Island, an ice cream soda (with coffee syrup) is often referred to as a "cabinet."

Autocrat coffee syrup, specifically?

soxxy
02-03-2012, 09:47 PM
Autocrat coffee syrup, specifically?

I don't recall any other brand. :) I haven't seen the stuff in years.

Artemis@BC
02-03-2012, 09:52 PM
Wicked is definitely not local to Boston. I've heard it used in various parts of North America for decades, and as someone else said it's common in the UK too.

No point in getting started with British idoms -- we'd be here for ever.

When the topic of local vernacular comes up, though, I'm reminded of where I grew up. It was a small town, and one of the dominant ethnicities was Portuguese. So a lot of Portuguese words became local idioms, even among the non-Portuguese population. Most of them were rude, though, so I won't repeat them here. :cool:

hydro
02-03-2012, 09:55 PM
Never heard of a bubbler before. Sounds like something I'd hear at a gay club.

Philadelphians like to say "do you know what I mean" at the end of every sentence. It's morphed into the word "jhadanawwhutimean?"

cruisin
02-03-2012, 09:57 PM
People say bubbler in the Midwest too. Actually, I hear bubbler more in the Midwest than in the NE, so maybe it depends.

Wicked I think is more of a British expression, but Boston has adopted a few British customs over the years.

Binky for pacifiers I think is regionally specific. So also is mamaw and papaw for grandparents. In the NE, you hear roundabouts instead of traffic circles.

NJ - we call them water coolers or water fountains. Traffic circles are traffic circles or shortened to circles. I never heard the term roundabout until we rented a car in France. The navigation was British English and it said roundabout. And, of course we have jug handles. People from other areas don't like them, but I think they are much safer than making a left turn across a wide highway.

A NJ'ism is "down the shore". Instead of saying going to the shore. Actually shore is an ism, other places they say going to the beach. We say that too, but if we're already down the shore and going from the hotel to the beach :D.

We say soda, not pop. We refer to NYC as "the City". Every other city gets a name. Subs are subs, not grinders or hoagies. Sloppy Joes are ground meat with a ketchup sauce on a hamburger bun, they are also triple decker sandwiches with meat, cheese, cole slaw and russian dressing, on 3 slices of rye bread.

Jenny
02-03-2012, 10:06 PM
The one that always gives away a New Yorker is that they say "on line" instead of "in line," as in, "I was waiting on line to buy a movie ticket." Never heard anyone else use that phrase that way.

Prancer
02-03-2012, 10:08 PM
Maybe it's just an upper Midwest thing

I've never heard anyone say "bubbler," including friends in MN (I have quite a few from there) and Illinois (not as many, but still). The only person I know in Wisconsin in Veronika and I don't know what she says. Maybe she'll show up and tell us.

But if you said "bubbler" here, no one would have a clue what you meant. FSU is only place I have seen that term for what I call a drinking fountain or water fountain. When I say I have never heard anyone say "bubbler," I mean that I literally have never heard that term used--no students, no transplants, no locals when I have traveled.

I've always kind of looked forward to hearing it, because it sounds rather cheerful, but no.

skipaway
02-03-2012, 10:12 PM
In the south, people ask you to "mash" the elevator button, instead of press.
Made me laugh the first time I heard it.

agalisgv
02-03-2012, 10:12 PM
I've always kind of looked forward to hearing it, because it sounds rather cheerful, but no.When I lived in the Midwest, particularly in IL and WI, I heard it regularly and picked it up from there. So if we ever meet, you'll finally hear someone say bubbler :).

IceAlisa
02-03-2012, 10:14 PM
I've never heard about the "bubbler" before. Plenty of "wicked" in Boston area though. Also, they say "roundabout" in NJ too.