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Thread: Local idioms

  1. #121

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    My in-laws are about an hour out of Pittsburgh & my MIL often uses the term "yinz" as in "When are yinz going to the store?" It's basically the Pittsburgh equivalent of "y'all."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bostonfan View Post

    "Fluff a nutter" - A peanut-butter and marshmellow sandwich. Is that really a regional thing?
    The pronunciation may be but not the sandwich. It's printed on every jar of Marshmallow Fluff. We called it (in WNY) a fluffer nutter.
    3539 and counting.

    Slightly Wounding Banana list cont: MacMadame.

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    Quote Originally Posted by triplelooped View Post
    The evening mean can be either supper or dinner.
    In generic instances I use both words interchangeably. But I'm more likely to say "dinner" if it's a major sit-down meal with other people (I live alone) and "supper" if it's late evening, just me, on the go, etc.

  4. #124

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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    I think of supper/dinner as a generational thing. My Grandparents/Mom said supper, I say dinner.
    Where I am from it depends on the type, size of the meal. If your family has their big meal of the day at lunch time then you have a smaller meal, supper, in the evening. If lunch is the smaller meal and the big meal of the day is in the evening, then you have dinner.

  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by julieann View Post
    Here's a funny Pop vs. Soda Page across America.
    According to the map, I live in an area where people mostly use the term "soda," but most people I know around here would say "soft drink." When I hear a reference to drinking "soda," the first thing I think of is club soda.

  6. #126
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    When I was a kid, it was always "pop" - we even had a chain of stores called The Pop Shoppe. When I was about 12 I had a friend who had moved to town from Boston by way of Florida, and that was the first time I heard "soda."

    I think on this point and many other localisms, popular culture has blurred a lot of the lines. Now I hear "soda," "soft drink" (I think McDonald's might have popularized that one) or specific brands (notably Coke) used as much if not more than "pop."

    For that matter, among my crowd, such a product is usually referred to as "mix."

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    A few more from Oz. Elastic band = Lackie band. Chewing gum = chewie.
    I guess the hard thing for a lot of people to accept is why God would allow me to go running through their yards, yelling and spinning around.


  8. #128
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    The Philadelphianism that drives me crazy is "where you AT?" (shortened to whereyatttt) instead of "where are you?" Like nails on a chalkboard. Hydro is right about "do you know what I mean?" In some ethnic communities, it has been shortened even more to something that sounds like "naaaaahmean." Other Philadelphianisms that drive me crazy are "gazzzz" and "goinGGGGG" (also a New Jerseyism). I get a kick out of "rah-diator," though. And "hoagie." Does that exist outside of Philadelphia?

    Agree with Jenny that "waiting on line" is a weird New Yorkism. The first time I heard it, I didn't even understand what the person meant.

    To me, cellar and basement are two separate things. Basement = partially below grade and often finished or able to be finished. Cellar = fully below grade and not designed for living. A house can have both a basement and a cellar. Many buildings in NYC have both.

    The word "duplex" seems to have a lot of regional variation. In Philadelphia, it meant two separate horizontally stacked apartments. In New York, it means one apartment on two levels. Elsewhere, I've heard it used to described two houses side-by-side, which I knew as a "twin" in Philadelphia and a "semi-detached" in New York. This word can mean so many different but similar things that I tend not to use it at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    When I was a kid, it was always "pop" - we even had a chain of stores called The Pop Shoppe. When I was about 12 I had a friend who had moved to town from Boston by way of Florida, and that was the first time I heard "soda."

    I think on this point and many other localisms, popular culture has blurred a lot of the lines. Now I hear "soda," "soft drink" (I think McDonald's might have popularized that one) or specific brands (notably Coke) used as much if not more than "pop."
    The reason that college-educated people I know here say "soda" and non-college-educated say "pop" is, I think, that we all said "pop" growing up, then went to college and had some version of this conversation about eleventy billion times:

    Me: I'm thirsty. I'm gonna grab a pop.
    Chorus of voices: SODA!
    Me: Yeah, pop, soda, whatever.
    Chorus of voices: SODA! Pop is a sound/a type of music/something you do to bubble wrap/etc. etc.

    After a while, it was easier to just say soda. I can't tell you how many people I know who made the conversion in college that way.

    Every now and then, we would all have an argument about gym shoes/tennis shoes/sneakers in college, but that one wasn't nearly as bad. There is something about pop that seems to drive the soda people kind of insane.

    This is what comes from mixing with Other .

    I think "Where you at?" is hilarious .

    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    The word "duplex" seems to have a lot of regional variation. In Philadelphia, it meant two separate horizontally stacked apartments. In New York, it means one apartment on two levels. Elsewhere, I've heard it used to described two houses side-by-side, which I knew as a "twin" in Philadelphia and a "semi-detached" in New York. This word can mean so many different but similar things that I tend not to use it at all.
    I never know what people by duplex even locally. Most people here refer to two houses with a common wall as a double. But some call that a duplex, and I've heard duplex used to describe everything in your post, too. I usually assume people mean horizontally stacked apartments, and I think that's the case more often than not, but it's not consistently so.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    I never know what people by duplex even locally. Most people here refer to two houses with a common wall as a double. But some call that a duplex, and I've heard duplex used to describe everything in your post, too. I usually assume people mean horizontally stacked apartments, and I think that's the case more often than not, but it's not consistently so.
    Duplex to me is side by side. Decker is what we use for stacked as in "My mother grew up in a triple decker"
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

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    I grew up with "chesterfield," but haven't used that expression for years. Now I use "couch" and "sofa" pretty much interchangeably, but sometimes I'll use "setee" instead just for fun.

    I remember a local news story a few years ago when the Vancouver/BC-originated word "grow-op" had spread with enough use to make it into the Oxford dictionary. That was quite a red-letter day.

    But I'd be willing to bet that few people outside of Vancouver know what a "Vancouver special" is! (And it's nothing rude or illicit ... just an offence to aesthetics.)

  12. #132
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    My neighbor is from Arkansas and she says, fixin' to when she is getting ready to do something. The thing she is fixin' to do (housework, yard work, whatever) is rat killin', as in "I'm fixin' to do my rat killin' "

    On my Aunt's farm in Pennsylvania, I learned that breakfast was what you ate in the morning, lunch at noon and supper in the evening Monday through Saturday. Dinner was the second of two meals eaten on Sunday, mid-afternoon.
    If this is to end in fire
    Then we will all burn together

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nan View Post
    My neighbor is from Arkansas and she says, fixin' to when she is getting ready to do something. The thing she is fixin' to do (housework, yard work, whatever) is rat killin', as in "I'm fixin' to do my rat killin' "
    A friend of mine always says she's going to "make up a salad" - no idea where she got that from.

  14. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    Discovered an oddity when purchasing liquor a few years back in New York. The bottle I wanted was behind the counter, so I asked for the "40 of Stoli." Apparently liquor is one of the few instances where America has embraced the metric system, because after some confusion, he realized that I wanted the one liter bottle. Ditto what we all call a "26er" is a 750 ml.
    Pop (not soda!) is also sold in 1-liter and 2-liter bottles. 2 liters are extremely common.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    The reason that college-educated people I know here say "soda" and non-college-educated say "pop" is, I think, that we all said "pop" growing up, then went to college and had some version of this conversation about eleventy billion times:

    Me: I'm thirsty. I'm gonna grab a pop.
    Chorus of voices: SODA!
    Me: Yeah, pop, soda, whatever.
    Chorus of voices: SODA! Pop is a sound/a type of music/something you do to bubble wrap/etc. etc.

    After a while, it was easier to just say soda. I can't tell you how many people I know who made the conversion in college that way.
    Unless you went to college in an area that also says pop.

  15. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bostonfan View Post

    "Butt" - as in a cigarette. People will say "I'm going to smoke a butt". (Sounds really bad when you step back and consider it objectively)
    People say butt around here too.

    "Fluff a nutter" - A peanut-butter and marshmellow sandwich. Is that really a regional thing?
    As Milanessa said, we call it that too, but say fluffer-nutter.

    "Packie" - where you go to buy beer. Short for package store, although I'm not sure why liquor stores are referred to in this way.
    We just call them liquor stores. i think some of the different names for liquor stores stems from the state laws and what kind of store can sell beer/wind/hard liquor. In NJ you can buy all of it in one place, but rarely can you buy any of it outside of an actual liquor store. Very few grocery stores have liquor licenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    The Philadelphianism that drives me crazy is "where you AT?" (shortened to whereyatttt) instead of "where are you?" Like nails on a chalkboard. Hydro is right about "do you know what I mean?" In some ethnic communities, it has been shortened even more to something that sounds like "naaaaahmean." Other Philadelphianisms that drive me crazy are "gazzzz" and "goinGGGGG" (also a New Jerseyism). I get a kick out of "rah-diator," though. And "hoagie." Does that exist outside of Philadelphia?
    That depends on where in NJ. We do not pronounce anything like Philadelphia does in northern NJ. We do not pronounce anything like NY does more than 15 miles west of the city. Most of NJ has newscaster pronunciation, not much of an accent, at all.

    The word "duplex" seems to have a lot of regional variation. In Philadelphia, it meant two separate horizontally stacked apartments. In New York, it means one apartment on two levels. Elsewhere, I've heard it used to described two houses side-by-side, which I knew as a "twin" in Philadelphia and a "semi-detached" in New York. This word can mean so many different but similar things that I tend not to use it at all.
    I think of a duplex as any two family dwelling, verticle or horizontal in layout.

    I agree about the wait on line thing. I do say that, do't know why. Maybe there used to be lines pained on streets where people would typically wait "in" line. So, it became waiting on a line. Maybe I'm trying too hard

  16. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by vesperholly View Post
    Unless you went to college in an area that also says pop.
    I DID! But I was surrounded by furriners!
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  17. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by emason View Post
    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.
    Jimmies are common here in Maine.

    Also, the first time I heard 'wicked' used extensively, it was Down East in Maine - nowhere near Boston.
    But up here, we pronounce it “wicke’t"

    Quote Originally Posted by Aceon6 View Post
    Surprised no one has mentioned tonic. In NH, that's soda pop. If you ask for a soda in some parts of NH, you'll get a fizzy stomach settling medicine.
    Knew a girl from WInthrop MA who used “tonic” for soda. Milk shakes were "frappes" to her.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fergus View Post
    NYC/LI we call them "heros". Once on vacation in Maine, we called the local village pizza place and I asked for a meatball hero, to which the guy on the phone responded: "You want a hero? Call Superman".
    If it’s got meatballs, or sausage with red sauce on it, it’s called a “grinder” in these parts. If it’s got cold cuts on a long stick of bread, it’s a sub. But if it’s got Italian ham, cheese slices, sliced green peppers, chopped onions, sliced tomatoes, Greek olives and drizzled with olive oil...it’s an Italian...and it’s to die for.
    Few other things, as a native of CT, you should know the state is pronounced as “Conne’i’kit” and the small city just south of Hartford is pronounced as “New Bri’an” with a glottal stop in place of the “t"
    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity”– MLK

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reuven View Post
    If it’s got meatballs, or sausage with red sauce on it, it’s called a “grinder” in these parts. If it’s got cold cuts on a long stick of bread, it’s a sub. But if it’s got Italian ham, cheese slices, sliced green peppers, chopped onions, sliced tomatoes, Greek olives and drizzled with olive oil...it’s an Italian...and it’s to die for.
    Meatballs or sausage with red sauce used to be called a hoagie here; sometimes it still is, but "meatball sub" is more common now.

    Anything else on a long stick of bread with assorted sandwich items is called a sub. You can get veggie subs or chicken salad subs, etc.

    An Italian is an Italian, but it's still a type of sub.

    How does anyone ever get what they order when they travel?
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post

    Every now and then, we would all have an argument about gym shoes/tennis shoes/sneakers in college, but that one wasn't nearly as bad. There is something about pop that seems to drive the soda people kind of insane.
    I know about sneakers/tennis shoes. I think tennis shoes are a specific style of sneaker. As are running shoes, basketball shoes. Here the entire category is sneakers, but my husband calls all athletic shoes tennis shoes.

    Another thing that makes me crazy is, calling spaghetti sauce, spaghetti gravy. I know it's an Italian regional thing, but my family is from the area that should call it gravy, we don't. For me gravy is made from meat renderings. You add flour or cornstarch to thicken it and put it on the meat. Sauce is something made entirely on it's own, to go on anything you choose.

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    In NYC, "come with?" means "do you want to come with me (somewhere)?"

    Sandwiches on long rolls or italian bread are "heroes."

    Kaiser Rolls are round rolls that are fluffy inside, crusty outside, with a "crown" pattern creased on top, usually with poppy seeds outside.
    http://www.thefreshloaf.com/up/20060704kaiserfront.jpg

    Our Old House(s) (pre-1930's) had a "basement" with a finished floor and a "cold cellar" which was a small room off the basement.

    One thing that fascinated me about The Wizard of Oz was the storm cellar with the slanted door sitting on the ground. I had never seen anything like that before, but later, I noticed that a few houses had them to get into the crawl spaces under the house. They didn't have interior staircases or ladders. Maybe that's the difference between a "cellar" and a "basement?"
    Last edited by FigureSpins; 02-07-2012 at 01:22 AM.

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