If you were tickled by my doozy of a dialect post a while back

or delighted with this humdinger of a dictionary,

then you’ll definitely want to try this …

The New York Times published a quirky quiz last year based on the Harvard Dialect Survey, and it turned out to be the most popular piece posted in 2013 (wouldn’t you love to be the intern who created it?).

It’s called:

How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk.

If you haven’t taken it already, just click the link above, answer the questions, and watch for the maps that link your lingo to certain regions of the country. According to the Times, “The colors on the large heat map correspond to the probability that a randomly selected person in that location would respond to a randomly selected survey question the same way that you did. The three smaller maps show which answer most contributed to those cities being named the most (or least) similar to you.”

So, is this a highway or a freeway?


Photo by SayCheeeeeese via Wikimedia Commons

A pop or a soda?

Pill bug or roly poly?


Photo by Walter Siegmund via Wikimedia Commons

Did the quiz pin you down to the right place?

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Yep! Pretty much hit the nail on the head, except for Pecan and a few others. I am in that 1% group that does not say “PeeCan”. There are some other differences and perhaps I fall out of the group because I grew up in Virginia with parents from the mid-west. And that last photo? Definitely a ropy-poly!!

  2. CJ Armstrong says:

    Mine was pretty accurate as well! Winnie, we must have had some difference in questions because i didn’t get one about pecans!

  3. Gail says:

    Some of the questions must have been different! I didn’t get the pe-can question at all. I will say, though, that the results were spot on as to where I live! Fascinating survey!

  4. Anne says:

    Funny survey but I have never used many of the terms provided as answers in the survey. The survey concluded I was from the deep South, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee area. It was easy off. I am from Naples Fla. My family had been her for 7 generations and I have only left briefly twice.. I think you might need to come here and tall to real natives. You might get many more words.

  5. Sandi says:

    This was so far off, guess I am from no where or everywhere. Growing up my family moved across the US from the east coast of New York State to the west coast of California and Arizona. I’ve lived in Arizona, California, New York, Indiana, Kentucky, and Oregon, but mostly in Indiana and Kentucky the last part of my 71 years. The map said Illinois, Michigan or Louisiana, which I have never lived in. Guess I just picked up the lingo from people I know or knew. Some of the questions I had to put ‘other’ or ‘none’ or ‘no difference’ as I never heard of the ‘lingo’ they had as answers. We use ‘pill bug’ not roly poly and pa’con for pecan. But when I first come here to this area, I was confused when someone would say oral meaning oil, and war meaning wire. It took me a while to understand them.

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