Cape Gazette

You say cellar, I say basement

By Ron MacArthur | Oct 08, 2012


If you mention the word sub – as in sandwich – to folks out West, they think you are talking about a ship that travels underwater. To them a sandwich filled with meat and cheese on a long roll is a hoagie. (It might have some guacamole on it as well.)

Those same people call those sugary drinks in cans and bottles pop; to us it's always been soda without the pop.

It's always fascinating to me how different regions in the country use different words or phrases to describe the same thing. Our sub is also called a hero, grinder and Italian in other areas of the country. To muddy the waters, one of the most popular convenience store/gas stations in the area calls their sandwiches hoagies. Wawa even celebrates the sandwich with its annual Hoagie Fest. Don't they know that you can't mix regional linguistics?

We turn on the faucet while those in the South turn on the spigot and we eat dinner at night while they eat supper.

In the Northeast, a creek is called a brook and a basement is a cellar. In New England, a traffic circle is a rotary and a package store is a packie. Folks in the North uses sacks and we use bags. We sit on a couch while those in New England sit on a sofa.

Some people still refer to jeans as dungarees, see-saws as teeter-totters, sneakers as tennis shoes and lightning bugs as fireflies.

In the South, it's chill bumps – not goose bumps – and folks in the South are known to chunk stuff; not toss it. They also put up things and cut on the lights. And don't ask a cook to get out her frying pan; ask her where her skillet is.

Depending on where you live, you use the bathroom or restroom, put on a swim suit or bathing suit or have a wallet or billfold.

Regions and states even have their own unique words. Whoopensocker is used in Wisconsin to express anything that is above extraordinary. I guess they don't use that word much during the winter months.


Said in Sussex

Thanks to J. Everett Moore's new book, “Growin' Up Country: Rural Life in the 1950s and 1960s,” we have also been exposed to some sayings and expressions said by folks in Sussex County.

Here are a few: Full as a tick. Hope to die. As sure as shooting. Cut half in two. No account (good for nothing.) That dog don't hunt (I don't believe what you said.) Pipjenny (a small bump).

Comments (1)
Posted by: Barry Wayne Price | Oct 09, 2012 07:37

Regional linguistics, and word origin is a fascinating subject Ron. However, so is international linguistics. Go ask Allsion Blythe @ Go Fish what some common Brit words are to describe things. Lift for elevator. Flat for apartment. And many others. It's fun to know what the Brits call things. BTW do you know what the origin of the word doppelganger is?

If you wish to comment, please login.

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.