Sunday, January 29, 2023


This quiz guesses where you’re from depending on what you call certain items

Decades ago, Harvard University’s linguistics professor, Bert Vaux, designed a language survey for English-speaking folks. Vaux wanted to see if the words and phrases people use in their everyday language could help identify where they lived. Turns out, there are many, many regional words and phrases that are unique to specific areas of the United States. For example: Do you drink water from a “drinking fountain” or a “water fountain?” Perhaps neither! If you’re from Boston or Milwaukee, you might drink water from a “bubbler.”

Exact same thing but different names

I think Professor Vaux had a fascinating idea. It’s fun learning the different names people give to the items we use every day. That’s why I plan to implement an unofficial survey of my own. (I hope that’s OK with Dr. Vaux.) I think it’ll be interesting and fun to use the following words and phrases as I survey the people we meet while RVing. You might want to try it as well.

A fun conversation starter

What do you call athletic shoes? Sneakers, tennis shoes, or something else?

What do you call a carbonated, sugary drink? Soda, pop, or Coke? (In the South, all varieties are called “Coke.”)

What do you call the miniature lobster-like creatures that live in lakes and streams? Crawfish, crayfish, or crawdads?

Where does water come from? A spigot, the tap, or a faucet?

What do you call a spider with very long legs? A granddaddy, a daddy long legs, or a granddaddy long legs?

What do you call the red liquid that tops your spaghetti? Tomato sauce, gravy, or spaghetti sauce?

What do you call a long sandwich, usually made with cold cuts, cheese, and veggies? A sub, hero, hoagie, or grinder?

What do you call the last slice of bread? The heel, end, or crust?

Take BuzzFeed’s Regional Linguistic Test

After you’ve surveyed your camping neighbors, you might want to try out BuzzFeed’s quiz. It uses keywords and phrases in an attempt to determine where you live. I took the quiz, and it concluded that I must be from Michigan. I do live in the Midwest (Missouri). So, they were pretty close, regionally. You can take the quiz for yourself right here. Have fun!



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George Grimes
1 year ago

The test thought I am a Californian. Nope! I was born and reared in Texas where I have lived for 69 of my 72 years.

Jim B
1 year ago

Mine said New Jersey, but I’m from NY. Close? Not really, Northern NY (where I live) and Metropolitan NY speak in different languages. I think it was the “you guys” that put me in NJ.

Uncle Swags
1 year ago

More garbage from Harvard.

Les Latchford
1 year ago

Mine was close. It said New York, but I’m on the other side of Lake Ontario in southeast Ontario.

1 year ago

Mine said California. Only missed it by a hair. Born and raised in North Carolina.

1 year ago
Reply to  Ozzie

Mine said California, too, but I grew up in Ohio and have also lived in Montana, South Dakota, Virginia, and Georgia. 🙂

Gary Hellmers
1 year ago

California? Not a chance! But I can understand the erroneous result; through the end of high school, I’d lived in (in order of residence) Montana, New York, Idaho, Washington, Virginia, Washington, Alaska, Minnesota, and Alabama. Sometimes I get confused about the way I talk!

1 year ago

I’m southern born and bred, and have lived in the South all my life. This silly quiz says I’m from New Jersey! Get real!

Diane Mc
1 year ago

Born in Colorado. Left at 18 months. Moved to Calif where I still reside. It said Massachusetts….lol. When I worked I had several people say they thought I was from New York.

Leslie Berg
1 year ago

It nailed me! Although I was born in WI, I left at age 20 and have lived in CA most of the rest of my life. I think they’re wrong about bubbler though. A bubbler is a drinking fountain that is always on, so it continually bubbles. If you have to turn a metal gizmo to release water, then it’s not a bubbler, it’s a fountain.

1 year ago

I got California from the Linguistic test but I live in Vancouver BC. At least it is the correct coast, although I don’t sound like my relatives who live in W”OR”shington state.

Roxann Kienzle
1 year ago

That is funny. I went to California when my son graduated from the Marine Corp but have lived in South Dakota most all my life.

1 year ago

Said I am from Nevada – about 2000 miles off. Just more fake news from BuzzFeed.

Lil John
1 year ago

This was just for fun! What do you do when something is serious? Lighten up. Life is a party! This test will be really different depending on your education and what you read. Some Texan’s do not sound like Texan’s at all!

Last edited 1 year ago by Lil John
ln em
1 year ago

so you’re Mexican. that’s ok.😁😜

1 year ago

This quiz is something else! It said I’m from Montana, but I am full blooded Texas born!

1 year ago

Well the test was spot on. I grew up in Michigan but have lived all over and picked up different dialects on the way but the test still said Michigan. I think the dead give away was Devil’s Night.

1 year ago

Uh, I grew up in CA and now live in Utah. The quiz said New Mexico. I’ve only been to NM once LOL!

1 year ago

I’ve been a lifelong Michigan resident until we went fulltime 12 years ago. The test said I’m from California, which I’ve only visited twice for a week each time.
You can’t do much worse than that. That’s five minutes I wish I had back to do something more useful.

Last edited 1 year ago by Fred
1 year ago

It got the right coast for me anyway, but wrong state. Too many questions have more than one answer but you can only pick one.

Sharon W.
1 year ago

I got New York…I’m a native Floridian

1 year ago

I live in western Canada and Michigan was the result, so I guess it was close enough.

C. Jones
1 year ago

Way off for me, I was picked as Georgia. I’ve lived my whole life in the Midwest, in Iowa.

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