Local idioms

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Bostonfan, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. zigletto

    zigletto New Member

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    I carry a pocket-book in which I keep the money that I use to pay for my wicked pissa milk-shake (which is milk and flavoring, shaken, as opposed to a frappe which contains ice cream).

    I used the words 'wicked' & 'mental' in while teaching a class in San Francisco and was immediately asked where in Boston I grew up! Guilty!!!!
  2. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    My Mom used to call it a pocket-book, she lived her whole life in NJ. I call it a purse.
  3. snoopysnake

    snoopysnake Well-Known Member

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    I'm from Boston and we don't say roundabout or traffic circle, we say "rotary." BTW, it's pronounced "bubblah."
  4. Bostonfan

    Bostonfan Well-Known Member

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    Another one from my childhood is "jimmies". I don't hear it that much anymore. But it's the same as "sprinkles" that you put on icecream. I'd go to DQ and ask for a vanilla cone with "rainbow jimmies". IIRC, Rhode Island's word for sprinkles is "shots", but I don't know if I'm remembering that right.
  5. Kruss

    Kruss Well-Known Member

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    Is it only here in Chicago that we have front rooms? (Or, as we pronounce it, "frunchroom".)

    Everyone here calls it "pop", but I started saying soda mainly because I saw a ditzy character on the show Vega$ when I was a kid, and she kept saying, "can I have a POP?" I thought she sounded so unintelligent that I began that day saying "soda".

    Chicago's commuter train is called The L (for "elevated", I believe), The Lake is obvious, "The Cell" is U.S. Cellular Field where the Sox play, and we have two names for our expressways (the Kennedy or 90, the Edens or 94, the Tri-State or294, The Ike or 290).
  6. cynthiabc

    cynthiabc Member

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    Another Chicago idiom that I remember - The Loop for the downtown area, (surrounded by the L).
    Also I 94 (on the South Side) is called the Dan Ryan.
    I grew up in Chicago, but I haven't lived there for over 40 years, so things may have changed.
  7. Prancer

    Prancer Ray Chill Staff Member

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    We had one when I was a child, but I haven't heard that phrase since I left the farm. We called it a fruhroom, with a hard uh.

    I grew up with pop, but gradually switched to soda in college. It seems to happen a lot around here; all of the college graduates I know say soda and all of the non-college graduates say pop. Some people use both.
  8. Spareoom

    Spareoom Well-Known Member

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    I grew up in California and it's strictly called soda there, but moved to Chicago when I was 17. I still say soda and I can get a fair amount of flak for that, haha! To me, it's easy. Soda is a drink; pop is a sound.
  9. Prancer

    Prancer Ray Chill Staff Member

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    I used to think pop was a drink and soda was something you used in baking.
  10. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    I use both of them plus soft drink and fizzy drink. Can't remember which I learned first. :lol:
  11. KatieC

    KatieC Still jet lagged

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    If I used soda around here, someone would get a box of Cow Brand out of the kitchen cupboard. Root beer, etc are all pop.
  12. Ozzisk8tr

    Ozzisk8tr Well-Known Member

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    In Australia you don't ask for 7 Up or Sprite, it is all lemonade. Pop is called "soft drink". A stroller is called a pram, a pacifier is called a dummy. Flip-flops are called thongs. Cookies are called biscuits, and Rooting also has a very different meaning down here... :shuffle:
  13. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

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    In my hometown we didn't go downtown, we went downstreet. When my mother lived in Vermont, her town was so small it only had 2 streets and she went overstreet when she went shopping. Also in Vermont, my mother didn't long for spring to come, she talked about what she would do 'come greenup."
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  14. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    We call them roundabouts in MI, too, though I've heard a few people say traffic circle instead.

    Either way, I hate driving in them.
  15. Angelskates

    Angelskates Active Member

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    We call them "hundreds and thousands".
  16. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

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    In Massachusetts I never heard the word sprinkles when I was growing up; it was always shots or jimmies, depending on whether you were in Western Mass or Eastern Mass.

    Also, the first time I heard 'wicked' used extensively, it was Down East in Maine - nowhere near Boston.
  17. Grannyfan

    Grannyfan Active Member

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    I've always lived in the South, and I don't think that's true everywhere. I use the word "lovely" with its actual meaning. It can be used with sarcasm, but mostly it just means what is says. :)

    I live in Arkansas, where I've heard the following all my life:

    Here we use Coke to refer to soft drinks in general. "Let's go get a Coke." But of course you have to be specific when ordering.

    If something falls over, we sometimes say it got "tumped" over.

    "Catty-corner" as in "Their house is catty-corner from ours," means it's not directly across but more diagonally across.

    A paper bag may be called a "poke."

    "Fixing to" means "about to" as in "I'm fixing to go to town."

    A "mess" of anything is a goodly amount, as in "We caught a mess of crappie,"or "She gave us enough turnip greens for a couple of messes."

    Sweet milk is just regular whole milk as opposed to buttermilk.

    A beauty operator is a hair stylist. This one must have fallen out of use because my daughter laughed like crazy the first time she heard me use the term.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012
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  18. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    My best friend is from Appleton, Wisconsin, and said bubbler when we met in college. She also said "ralph" as a verb for throwing up, and on one memorable instance she "ralphed in the bubbler" which became a catchphrase :lol:

    All the highways in Buffalo have names: the Thruway (90), the Youngmann (290), the Scajaquada (198), the Kensington (33). It wasn't until I went to college in Ohio where everyone called highways by the number (480, 77, 271).

    Buffalo English is well documented. One of my favorite bits is how to pronounce Toronto. If it's more than one syllable, you're doing it wrong. An episode of Alias referenced Buffalo State, which exactly no one calls it. Buff State.

    We said "jimmies" in Buffalo! Weirdly, it was usually for chocolate. Chocolate jimmies and rainbow sprinkles.

    It's "kitty corner" here, but oddly enough I didn't grow up saying that.

    This might be a family thing, but we all say "___ as all get out", basically meaning intense. "She was drunk as all get out" means she was really, really drunk.

    My mom also called footie pajamas "bunny bags". I've never heard anyone else say that.
  19. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    To me, flipflops is a more generic term: thongs have a little post that goes between the big toe and second toe (which I find uncomfortable), but there are other kinds of flipflips that just have a band spanning the whole width of the foot, tightly enough to keep it on (most of the time).
  20. Angelskates

    Angelskates Active Member

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    We call non-thong slip on shoes, "slip-ons", or sometimes sandals.
  21. smurfy

    smurfy Well-Known Member

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    Born and raised in CT, live here now, but have lived in Los Angeles and the Twin Cities.

    I have never heard of bubbler. New England has many areas with differences.
    Soda is in CT and CA, but Pop is in MN.
    Packy is short for Package Store in CT - liquor store (state law requiring the alcohol must be wrapped.
    As a kid (in CT) a neighbor married a guy that had a daughter from a previous marriage that visited every other weekend that I played with. She was 1 year older than me and used the word wicked often, and I thought she was cool. I assume she was from somewhere in Ct, but not really sure.
    In CA, the freeways are called 'the 5', 'the 405', but in CT 'take 91 N to 84W'...
  22. Angelskates

    Angelskates Active Member

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    Aussies call them Bottlos, but I think we'd call them Packy if they were called Package Stores :lol:
  23. ChelleC

    ChelleC Well-Known Member

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    I'm originally from eastern Kentucky. Soft drinks are called pop, or referred to as a pepsi. Doesn't matter what kind you have, it's a pepsi.

    We also use "catty-corner."

    The evening meal is supper, not dinner.

    Shopping carts are buggies.

    Mamaw and Papaw for grandparents.
  24. Kruss

    Kruss Well-Known Member

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    I forgot that I once ordered soda in a restaurant here and they brought me seltzer water.
  25. Moto Guzzi

    Moto Guzzi Well-Known Member

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    Ghost farts (but that's not a regional thing, just family weirdness).

    When I lived in the midwest I bought pop and brought my groceries home in a sack. Now I buy soda and get bags at the grocery store.
  26. John 3 17

    John 3 17 Well-Known Member

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    My father is not a college grad and he has always said "soda".

    -Bridget
  27. John 3 17

    John 3 17 Well-Known Member

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    I am Chicagoland born and raised and I've never heard it called a "bubbler" locally.

    -Bridget
  28. John 3 17

    John 3 17 Well-Known Member

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    Funny, slip-ons mean those little ballerina flats around here :lol:

    -Bridget
  29. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

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    It's more regional than educational, I have a couple of degrees and still say pop.
  30. John 3 17

    John 3 17 Well-Known Member

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    I see a lot of "soda" and "pop" mentions on this thread... growing up, everyone in my family said "pop" because we're in Chicagoland -- except for my dad who has always said "soda" because he's an Ohio transplant :lol: Other phrases we say differently are: we say "garbage can", he says "trash can", we say "basement" and he says "cellar" (well, not so often anymore, even he says basement more often than not -- we've gotten to him!). Regional phrases are fun to learn about :)

    -Bridget
  31. John 3 17

    John 3 17 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that was kind of what I was pointing out. Thanks for the backup! I think "pop" is a fun word and knowing it's from the Great Lakes region is cute :)
  32. John 3 17

    John 3 17 Well-Known Member

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    Even the Midwest has differences, it is a pretty big region, afterall... in my neck of the Midwest, we say "bags" for paper bags, never "sacks"! But, we do say "pop". We do use "sack" once in awhile for a lunch packed in a small paper bag. I never use it myself, though. A "sack" to me is made of fabric.

    I also say "front room" and "living room" almost equally, though in houses with two such rooms, it's very common to call the one in the back the "family room". I think "family room" has been around for like 20 years, but when I was a kid and first heard it, I always imagined a family rec room in the basement :lol:
  33. John 3 17

    John 3 17 Well-Known Member

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    Another one: my dad used to call a hamburger a "sandwich", which we never did; a sandwich to me is used for tuna fish or ham and cheese -- but he calls them "hamburgers" more often than not now; again, we've gotten to him :lol:

    My grandfather was raised in Chicago itself and he had expressions we didn't use in the suburbs. He would say, "chuck it" for "throw it out/away".

    I know in MN as well as where I'm from we say "scoot" for "move", as in "scoot over so I can sit next to you", or "scoot, you're in the way!"
  34. Prancer

    Prancer Ray Chill Staff Member

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    Oh, he lives around here?

    And you live around here, too?

    We should all meet!

    Pop is more common in Ohio than soda. Cellar is another term I haven't heard since I left the farm; you either have a basement or you are on a slab. If it's inside, it's a trash can, outside it's a garbage can.

    Never heard anyone call a hamburger a sandwich, either. What part of Ohio was your dad from? :huh:

    People here say "chuck it" pretty regularly, too. Also "pitch it."
  35. John 3 17

    John 3 17 Well-Known Member

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    Hey, Prancer, you offered anecdotal evidence, and I did the same. What's the prob? :confused:
  36. Prancer

    Prancer Ray Chill Staff Member

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    Aside from the fact that I specified that I was referring to usage "around here" in the case of pop and soda and education levels, which I did because I am aware that this is not widespread, nothing :confused:. Just offering more anecdotal evidence in response.

    I wondered where your dad was from because Ohio has four distinctly different accents and some idioms that go with them. One of the things you said makes me think he's from northeastern Ohio, but "cellar" is kind of throwing me.
  37. John 3 17

    John 3 17 Well-Known Member

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    Dad's from the Toledo area, so northwestern OH.
  38. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure where 'around here' is...if you are talking Minnesota, no I move to Arizona 5 years ago.

    Here's a funny Pop vs. Soda Page across America.
  39. OrioleBeagle

    OrioleBeagle Active Member

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    I'm from Maryland. While visiting a cousin in Iowa, I asked a grocery store employee where the "soda" machine was. They looked at me with a very confused look on their face. They finally figured out I wanted the "pop" machine!
  40. OrioleBeagle

    OrioleBeagle Active Member

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    People from the City of Baltimore refer to going to Ocean City, Maryland as "going down the Ocean".