26 April 2013

Dialect Quiz: Thongs, Pop and Flip-Flops

These are called JoJo's, I don't care what you say.

The other day I came across this old internet meme: The Dialect Quiz. This sort of thing has always fascinated me. For example, as a kid in the Portland area we called flip-flops "thongs" (much to the amusement of, well, everyone's college roommate).  In Hawai'i, they're called "slippaz" and here in the OC they're referred to as flip-flops.

An OC-ism (so far as I can tell) is referring to the grocery store (Albertson's, for example) as "the market." As in, "I ran into your co-worker at the market, she was buying arsenic. Thought you might want to know."

Well, I digress. Here's the official quiz:


  1. What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house? 
  2. What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball? 
  3. What is the bubbly carbonated drink called? 
  4. What do you call gym shoes? 
  5. What do you say to address a group of people? 
  6. What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs? 
  7. What do you call your grandparents? 
  8. What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket? 
  9. What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining? 
  10. What is the thing you change the TV channel with?
I would answer thusly:

1. TP-ing a house
2. potato bug*
3. soda (but I used to call it "pop")
4. gym shoes
5. Yo!
6. Daddy Long Legs
7. Grandma and either Papa or Grandpa
8. Shopping cart
9. summer?
10. remote


* I recently had a disagreement with my significant other on this one. In the end I went to the great answerer in the cloud and Googled it. As it turns out, a potato bug is actually this HIDEOUS cricket thing with a giant head. That said, Wikipedia notes that a "roly poly bug" is also referred to as a potato bug, so it's not just me.

Hope you'll share your answers below! I'm especially interested what the alternate answers might be for questions one and six. I have to admit I'm confused by question nine.


6 comments:

Cheryl Gilmore said...

What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house? Rolling
What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball? Doodlebug
What is the bubbly carbonated drink called? Coke
What do you call gym shoes? Tennis Shoes
What do you say to address a group of people? Hi Ya'll
What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs? Daddy Long Legs
What do you call your grandparents? Uncle Ned & Aunt Cora
What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket? Buggy
What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining? The devil is beating his wife
What is the thing you change the TV channel with? Remote

vuhelp.net said...
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Maggie Gardner said...

1. Jeff says "paper" - I didn't even know you could call it anything other than TP'ing
2. Don't worry, I thought they were called potato bugs too.
3. I used to say pop...
4. And I used to say tennis shoes, but I knew I'd been on the East Coast too long when I switched entirely to sneakers.
5. I kinda free form it
6. Is there another name for it?
7. I think this has more to do with the personal preferences of family members than regional dialects - though Jeff disagrees. He used Grandpop and Granddad and Grandmom. I used Grandpa and Grandma.
8. Cart
9. ? I'm with Megan on this one...
10. Remote - what else do people call it?

Julie Clarke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julie Clarke said...


What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house? Paper
What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball? Rolly Polly
What is the bubbly carbonated drink called? Pop
What do you call gym shoes? Tennis shoes
What do you say to address a group of people? Hey
What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs? daddy long legs
What do you call your grandparents? Gma, grandpa
What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket? Cart
What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining? there's gonna be a rainbow.
What is the thing you change the TV channel with? remote, clicker, flipper flapper

A new one. What do you say when you hook fingers with someone else to have a thumb war? one two three four I declare a pinochle war!

Jeff H. said...

What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house? paper
What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball? potato bug
What is the bubbly carbonated drink called? soda, pop is what you call your grandfather/Uncle Ned.
What do you call gym shoes? In Portland, dress shoes.
What do you say to address a group of people? Hello
What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs? Daddy long legs
What do you call your grandparents? Grandmom, Granddad, and Pop
What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket? Kart
What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining? Shower. But I may change to what Cheryl said.
What is the thing you change the TV channel with? The remote

Other tells:
What's sold at party store?
What's sold at package store?