This post was written as part of Peeve Week 2: Culture/Relationships.
I’ve lived all over the place. My childhood was split between Tonapah, Nevada and Angeles City, Philippines. I spent time in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Texarkana (Texas), Springfield (Colorado), Fairbanks (Alaska), and now Huntsville, Alabama. I’ve even had some ventures to the east coast in the form of Orlando, Atlanta, and Washington D.C.
As much as I have moved and traveled, I can never get used to some of the pronunciations and phrases that are used in the south and several other places.
I Want a Pop or Coke
Whenever someone tells me they want a pop, I think about giving that someone a perpetual smack in the face. A guy who manned the fountain beverages at neighborhood drugstores in the early twentieth century was called a soda-jerk. He wasn’t called a pop-jerk or a coke-jerk.
There have been many times in the south that I have ordered a coke. The waiter proceeds to ask me, “So what kind of drink do you want?” I shrug and reply, “I want a coke.” Little did I know that coke is a generic term in the south and refers to pretty much anything carbonated. I haven’t had this problem much since I started asking for Diet Coke, however.
It’s Pronounced Ne-vaa-da
I lived in Las Vegas, Nevada for roughly six years. Not once while I was there did I hear Nevada being pronounced Ne-va-duh (a as in father). I always heard Nevada being pronounced Ne-vaa-da (aa as in apple). Ne-va-duh may be the correct Spanish pronunciation, but the locals call it Ne-vaa-da.
Would You Like a Buggy?
Sometimes I would walk into the local area crap-mart (aka, Wal-Mart) and the greeter would ask if I wanted a buggy? I’d sigh and scoff and hesitantly accept the kind gesture. Why in the world is a shopping cart called a buggy in the south?
A quick Google search of the term “buggy” brings several definitions to the forefront:
- A small light-weight carriage, drawn by a horse.
- Infested with bugs.
- A powered cart used to transport golf equipment.
So when someone asks me if I want a buggy, are they calling me a horse since I will be the one pushing it?
A quick Google search of the term “shopping cart” reveals these definitions:
- A handcart that holds groceries while shopping.
- A shopping cart (also called a buggy, or a trolley in British English; sometimes referred to as a carriage or shopping carriage in the U.S. region of New England) is a cart supplied by a shop, especially a supermarket, for use by customers inside the shop for transport of merchandise to the check-out counter, and, after paying, often also to the car on the parking lot.
No offense to the Brits, but I would think the southern United States would be extremely opposed to using a term that is British English. However, since a shopping cart is so commonly referred to as buggy down here, I suppose not.