Different Names For The Same Thing: The Regional Words That Divide Us

American English is a unique beast. Taken from British English and then purposefully tweaked to be different, the American variation has itself taken on diverse forms. We know this, of course, but you might not have realized just how pronunciations remain. As new data visualizations from Joshua Katz of NC State University (based on data from Bert Vaux and Scott Golder) show, even in the age of television, Americans can hardly agree on how things the same way.

The data itself is fascinating, as is the state breakdown (if you want to check out how your state is unique, go here. The survey was conducted by asking 122 different pronunciation questions ranging from how to pronounce crayon to the (apparently) four different ways to say pecan.

The responses to each of these questions were then individually plotted on a map of the United States before a composite image was made, showing how the different pronunciations all mix together based on geography. You can view all of the maps on Joshua Katz’s website, but we collected some of the best for you to see.

Bin? Ben? Bean?

Poor Wisconsin and their “Baegs”

Again Wisconsin, “Bubbler”? And Rhode Island? You know better

The cot catcher was caught catching a cot

Poor Craig doesn’t even know his own name

If Dinner is before Supper, when is Lunch?

A bit sinister, but lifeless bodies are mostly “dragged”

Pajama jamboree

Just try not to say this word

Calling “Shotgun” is mostly universal

The North-East is known for their sneakiness

Floridians respect New York’s metropolitan domination

What about “You Guyses”?


Joshua Katz
via Business Insider

  • Steve

    I don’t get how people would pronounce cot and caught differently.

    • TB

      Caught:cot :: hawt:hot

  • Curious

    Do you guys regurgitate Business Insider?

    • No

      I’ve seen the Business Insider post. Of the two, this is the only one that actually uses data and information from the ORIGINAL report

  • Florida Hafner


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