12 Aug 2019: Regional words in my writing

One issue I come across in my writing is trying to make sure I use the correct regional words for my characters. I’ll admit, I fudge around this issue a lot because all my main characters are from my home town in New York State. If I grew up calling an item a certain word, it’s accurate for them. But supporting characters are always an issue.  Thankfully, living here in Orlando, I know folks from all over the country.  We’re a bit of a modern-day melting pot of Americans from all over this great country.  Most of these friends are used to random questions from me, like “Sneakers” or “Tennis shoes?”  “Ballcap” or “Baseball hat?”

A while ago I was leafing through a Reader’s Digest and came across this interesting article on regional words.

I thought this one odd. I mean, growing up on Long Island, I’d say Fireflys and Lightning Bugs were pretty interchangeable. Maybe more Lightning Bugs.  Never knew it had real regional variation.

I disagree here. We were Yard Sale folks out on Long Island. I see some green there saying garage sale.

“You guys” vs. “Y’all.”  Humm … Where “Alls you’s?”  On Long Island, it would be “Are alls you’s guys going?” or “I don’t think alls you’s guys are gonna fit in that car.”

Ok, straight up, A garbage can and a trash can are two different things. A garbage can is what you leave at the curb for the garbage man. A trash can is what you have in your kitchen or bathroom (inside the house). I think this is an unfair question to ask.

A Bubbler? Yeah, never heard that one before?!?!?!

Caramel (three syllables) is the candy. Two syllables is the town in California. Guess that makes sense now.


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