Fun With Words

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Thanks to all of you who participated in this little word survey (and thanks to those of you who just checked back and enjoyed all the great comments!)

I was curious about a couple of words from my youth, but was excited to see some of the regional (and family) uses of of other words.

Pop vs. Soda? We didn't drink a lot of pop in our family, and we usually called it what it was--7-up, rootbeer, etc. But the fact that I just wrote pop without thinking about it in that last sentence is a pretty good indicator that if we did use pop or soda, it was probably pop.

Sucker vs. Lollipop? We used the word sucker, which is a really ugly word. I think I much prefer lollipop, which sounds cute and happy. Just because we suck on a piece of candy on a stick, doesn't mean we should call it a sucker. We don't call a piece of gum a chewer, or a Kleenex a wiper. Sometimes literal isn't best.

Flip flops vs. Thongs? I can't even say this one without smiling. All of my growing up, they were called thongs. Then the Brazilian panty craze spread to the U.S. and we had to find an alternative. Flip flops is cute (even though it's pretty literal) so now we go with flip flops. I have no desire to wear thongs of any kind.

Cupboard vs. Countertop? This is fairly obvious, although I've spent most of my life calling the countertop the cupboard. "Where is my homework?" "Look in on the cupboard." It wasn't until my kids started correcting me that I finally corrected myself.

Ice Cream Sprinkles vs. Ice Cream Jimmies? I think I prefer sprinkles. Jimmies is cute but sounds a little too much like jammies (pajamas). If, however, you decided to change that to Jimmers, you'd have me sold on the idea and I'd celebrate the change tonight with ice cream and Jimmers (or ice cream with Jimmer, if he's available.)

Icebox vs. Refrigerator vs. Fridge? I think I always abbreviate it to fridge. I've never called it an icebox, and the only time I can say with certainty that I've said refrigerator is when we're shopping for a refrigerator.

Water fountain vs. Bubbler? I've always called it a water fountain or a drinking fountain, but man, is bubbler ever a great word for it.

And now for the two in question:

Couch vs. Davenport vs. Sofa vs. Divan vs. Chesterfield vs. Credenza vs. Daveno (I hope I didn't leave anyone out). Our family called it a daveno. I have no idea why, but I was happy to see a couple of other people who had that written down. All right, they may have all been relatives. We now call it a couch, but I still think daveno sounds kinda classy. Doesn't it?

And last, Glove Box vs. Glove Compartment vs. Jockey Box vs. Pigsty. We called it a jockey box. Thanks to one of you for giving us the reason for the term jockey box. It made sense and now I have an explanation for anyone who might hear me say jockey box and laugh because when they hear it, they think of a jock strap. (I really did have a date once mock me for saying jockey box and when I couldn't understand the hilarity of the phrase, he told me he doesn't keep his jock strap in the jockey box. He was very mature.)

So there you have it. That was fun and educational! Thanks for playing along with me.


Anonymous said...

I loved this blog with it's play on words. thanks for the fun time. Now, I am a little tired, so think I will walk to the kitchen with my "thongs" on my feet, get a can of "pop" and a bowl of ice cream from the "frig," top the ice cream with some "sprinkles," grab a "sucker" off of the "cupboard," go sit on my "couch" and read the great book i just retrieved from the "jocky box" of the car. Have a great day everyone.
P.S. they have the best ice cold water in the "water fountain" at Costco.

Anonymous said...

A "water fountain" is a landscape water feature. The "correct" name for where you drink is the "drinking fountain."

Have you heard of a faucet, or a spigot, or a spicket, or a hose bib? To which one do you hook your garden hose?

I've never heard of a "bubbler," except that I've seen a landscape water feature called a "bubbler."

I think you are all wrong; every one of you. We only used correct words and correct pronunciations in Western Idaho, where we didn't call corn "carn."

missy said...

Yes, this was fun! While technically we call it "pop", we've actually been calling anything carbonated "poky drink" since my oldest was a little boy. He said it felt poky in his mouth and the term stuck. Can ice cream sprinkles be called "Jimmers" if they aren't blue and white? Just wondering. :)

Lisa said...

my friends always thought it was strange when i called a little plate a 'saucer'. i would ask what they would call it 'a little plate' they would say.

Mary L Walling said...

Thanks for the fun Karey. And Anonymous you are hilarious.