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I saw these questions on greyweirdo's journal, and since they're relevant to the linguistics stuff I'm currently studying, decided that it's actually more interesting than the typical meme.

What do you call these ordinary things?

1. A body of water, smaller than a river, contained within relatively narrow banks?: a creek

2. What the thing you push around the grocery store is called?: a shopping cart

3. A metal container to carry a meal in?: a lunchbox

4. The thing that you cook bacon and eggs in?: a frying pan

5. The piece of furniture that seats three people?: a couch/a sofa

6. The device on the outside of the house that carries rain off the roof?: the gutters

7. The covered area outside a house where people sit in the evening?: a porch

8. Carbonated, sweetened, non-alcoholic beverages?: pop (or Ribeena with soda water in it, to mock greyweirdo

9. A flat, round breakfast food served with syrup?: pancakes!

10. A long sandwich designed to be a whole meal in itself?: a sub/a sub sandwich

11. The piece of clothing worn by men at the beach?: bathing suit/swimming trunks/trunks

12. Shoes worn for sports?: running shoes (and rarely sneakers/runners)

13. Putting a room in order?: tidying up/tidying

14. A flying insect that glows in the dark?: a firefly (but we don't have them here)

15. The little arthropod that curls up into a ball?: potato bug/pill bug/woodlice

16. The children's playground equipment where one kid sits on one side and goes up while the other sits on the other side and goes down?: a teeter-totter

17. How do you eat your pizza?: I haven't a clue what this question is asking. By chewing it? EDIT: apparently the intended distinction is between picking it up and eating it, using utensils, or folding it or some other manipulation. I eat it with my hands but sometimes use a knife and fork. However, when I use utensils people look at me funny: it's just not done here, especially with street-side dollar pizza being the norm.

18. What's it called when private citizens put up signs and sell their used stuff?: a garage sale/a yard sale

19A. What's the midday meal?: lunch

19B. What's the evening meal?: dinner, and more rarely, supper

20. The thing under a house where the furnace and perhaps a rec room are?: the basement

21. What do you call the thing that you can get water out of to drink in public places?: a drinking fountain/a water fountain

I'd be curious to see these on all y'all's journals to see what regional differences there are. I know about the distribution of some of these, but some I've never looked at.

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17 wants to know if you fold your slices before eating them, a sign that you live too near an incompetent pizza place (ie, New York).

How does that indicate incompetent pizza-making? I've had very good pizza, and I've had bad. Sometimes folding it is convenient if the ingredients are flat... but that's not a custom I've really noticed as a custom here, so I can't see any correlation to any particular influence like quality.

Structurally unsound pizza is badly made pizza. Structurally unsound pizza requires folding. I'm an engineer not a cook!

Ah! Right, that thin soggy stuff. Yeah, that's either never meant to leave the plate (like some gourmet pizza I've had), or is just badly designed if it's not dinner-plate stuff.

Thins soggu stuff was just not made properly, makes a strong man weep to see food so abused.

Properly made pizza takes time. The glutens have to soak up water and become very thick. Pizza that has been properly should be fairly stiff and firm when cooked (assuming it's been cooked properly as well) and at leas the bottom of the crust should be crispy.

Unless you go to an expensive place that does stone oven pizza (or whatever they call it) its rarely done well anywhere.

17. How do you eat your pizza?: I haven't a clue what this question is asking. By chewing it?
There is a small percentage of people who use a knife and fork. Why? I don't know.

I realised that when I went to read the entry where you got the meme from. I do that sometimes, but it's really unusual and I never see other people doing it.


It keeps my hands clean while eating the pizza. It feels more like a proper sit down meal when eaten that way. Most importantly, when the pizza is hot and the crust is soft, it keeps the pizza from falling apart while I am trying to eat it.

Hot, soft pizza is my reason, too. "Gourmet" pizzas at good pubs and the like are particularly suited to knife-and-fork eating. Still, even there I hardly ever see other people eat their pizza that way.

Well yes techinically I know why, but it's still weird!

A properly made pizza shouldn't fall apart though, not really. I can dig things sliding off, but the crust should be firm if it was made and cooked peoperly.

I had a friend in college whose teeth would not meet when his jaw was closed, so when he tried to eat pizza in a more conventional fashion he would simply strip off the toppings. He preferred knife and fork. I doubt this quialifies as custom, though. :)

I would answer this as well in my journal, only most of mine are the same to yours. The only thing I might change is adding "settee" to the couch/sofa question, but really that's only going way back to my childhood days when my mum still spoke with all her British jargon. ;)

The Albertan adds:

15. woodbug
16. see-saw

Otherwise, our regionalisms overlap.

They were woodbugs for me, too, and I grew up in Campbell River...

My nomenclature for the rolly little things is mostly Ontarian. "Woodlice" is a recently-acquired term for them, since I discovered that "potato bug" is ambiguous with the American "Jerusalem cricket". Scary-looking things.

I always assumed that a Potato Bug was any bug that ate potatos. Out here a slug qualifies for that!


To me, those are just weird crickets and not potato bugs. Ah. here's the one's I'm thinking of:


1. creek
2. buggy
5. couch in New England, chesterfield in Quebec, davenport in New Jersey
11. swimsuit
12. sneakers
15. woodlice - a potato bug is black, winged with an orange-red head
16. see-saw
17. We didn't have pizza.
19A. dinner for the working class, lunch for the middle class, luncheon for the upper class.
19B. inner for middle and upper class, supper for the working class.
20. the cellar.

1. Creek
2. Shopping cart
3. Frypan or skillet. Or griddle.
4. Couch
5. Eavestrough
6. Porch, or stoop
7. Pancake
8. Sub
9. Bathing suit
10. Running shoes
11. Tidying
12. Firefly
13. Potato bug.
14. Teeter-totter, or see-saw.
15. If pizza is so soggy and greasy that I need to use a knife and fork, it is an abomination and shall not pass through my lips.
16. Yard sale, or garage sale
17. Lunch
18. Dinner
19. Water fountain

Most of these I know where my peculiarities come from (equal parts Scottish, Welsh, Maritime, and *cough* Texan family history)... but a bunch of them I'm not even aware are peculiar!!

1. A creek or stream
2. A shopping cart
3. A lunchbox (although they're not always metal anymore)
4. A frying pan (I don't distinguish between the cast-iron kind and the aluminum "skillet" kind either, they're all frying pans)
5. A couch
6. I'm assuming you mean the gutters/eavestroughs and not the downspouts here....
7. A porch
8. Pop
9. Pancakes, unless they have little square dents, in which case they are waffles
10. A sub
11. Bathing suit/swim trunks
12. Runners/running shoes
13. Tidying up/cleaning up
14. A firefly
15. A pillbug (Armidillidium vulgare), and they aren't insects!
16. A teeter-totter
17. In an informal situation (such as when I have pizza for lunch at school, which isn't often) I'll just pick it up. Generally I start off eating with knife and fork, to keep things tidy (I can be an embarrassingly sloppy eater) but pick it up when I get about halfway through.
18. A garage sale
19A. Lunch
19B. Dinner
20. The basement - I'm curious, what else would someone call it?
21. A water fountain.

15. Yeah, that was pointed out. And now that you've reminded me, I'm gonna change that right now so that I'm not responsible for propagating the mistake of the author.

20. Could be "cellar" or... I dunno. Maybe "bomb shelter".

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