Regional variations of words: Word-atlas

Harpo

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It might help some if we have a thread showing where words or names for a thing vary according to which location they are in.

A sort of word-atlas, if you will.


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sknox

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The angle that fascinates me is different placenames and different names for plants and animals. It has been an item of curiosity ever since I learned that the French don't call it the English Channel, they call it the Sleeve. It instantly made me wonder if everyone calls them the Carpathian Mountains or the Red Sea or whatever. As a writer, I keep a sharp eye out for that because it can add color to my alternate Earth stories. Same goes for other names for poppies or daisies or elm trees, or foxes, bears, or dragons. Or mosquitos. And I don't necessarily mean simply the same term in another language but something rendered in English but imported from elsewhere. For example, "Our Sea" which is what the Romans, with typical Roman humility, called the Mediterranean. Sure I could use Mare Nostrum, but in an English language book, the English version feels like it carries more weight.

Don't the Norse (or the Danes?) call the North Sea the Western Sea? Are there other names for the Atlantic? and so on. It's a real rabbit hole.
 

Mouse

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I don't think anyone in the UK calls him Father Christmas anymore, which is really sad. I always try to say Father Christmas but still find myself saying Santa. (Which is annoying, because I never would've used Santa growing up!).

Also, I'm a southener (south west) and I say 'bun' whereas my Essex-boy husband says 'roll'. I tend to think the south-west has more in common with the north than the south and south-easterlies.

If you really want an interesting word map you need to do one on Billy Bakers... or woodlice to some. Is there anything else that goes by more names?!
 

Phyrebrat

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@Mouse —my family use Father Christmas. Father Christmas is a real person; Santa Claus is more like a movie star or something.

Anyone call wasps ‘jaspers’ or ‘jasps’? I’ve always wondered the provenance of that one.

Also, are ‘spelk’ and ‘bleb’ North Eastern? My family uses them and other people go ‘guh…?’ A spelk is a splinter, only metal, not wood; a bleb is a tiny blood blister.

All according to the late, fabulous Rhoda Georgina Andrews née Aylwin, of course.
 

Mouse

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@Mouse —my family use Father Christmas. Father Christmas is a real person; Santa Claus is more like a movie star or something.

Anyone call wasps ‘jaspers’ or ‘jasps’? I’ve always wondered the provenance of that one.

Also, are ‘spelk’ and ‘bleb’ North Eastern? My family uses them and other people go ‘guh…?’ A spelk is a splinter, only metal, not wood; a bleb is a tiny blood blister.

All according to the late, fabulous Rhoda Georgina Andrews née Aylwin, of course.

OMBFG I was going to mention jaspers in my post and decided not to! Me and @Lobster were talking about the names of things the other day (might've been yesterday actually) and I told him that we call wasps 'jaspers' in Somerset. I don't know if it's just Somerset, I think unlikely, but yes, I love the word jasper for a wasp.
 

Jo Zebedee

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OMBFG I was going to mention jaspers in my post and decided not to! Me and @Lobster were talking about the names of things the other day (might've been yesterday actually) and I told him that we call wasps 'jaspers' in Somerset. I don't know if it's just Somerset, I think unlikely, but yes, I love the word jasper for a wasp.
We call them b******ds
 

Elckerlyc

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As I see it, Father Christmas and Santa Claus are 2 different... persons. The name Santa Claus comes from Sinterklaas (Sint Nicolaas or Saint Nicolas in English) whose gift-giving day is on the evening of 5 December. Most Dutch families still celebrate 'pakjes-avond' (evening of the presents) on that day. But, as always, alien traditions and folklore seem unstoppable.
 

Phyrebrat

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OMBFG I was going to mention jaspers in my post and decided not to! Me and @Lobster were talking about the names of things the other day (might've been yesterday actually) and I told him that we call wasps 'jaspers' in Somerset. I don't know if it's just Somerset, I think unlikely, but yes, I love the word jasper for a wasp.

Yeah, but you didn’t ‘like’ my post. Go back and like it, you scoundrel on the Council of Div Scoundrels

As I see it, Father Christmas and Santa Claus are 2 different... persons. The name Santa Claus comes from Sinterklaas (Sint Nicolaas or Saint Nicolas in English) whose gift-giving day is on the evening of 5 December. Most Dutch families still celebrate 'pakjes-avond' (evening of the presents) on that day. But, as always, alien traditions and folklore seem unstoppable.

I think the original— proper ;) — name was Father Christmas but North Americans (probably :/ ) used Santa Claus otherwise lots of carols and Yuletide songs wouldn’t rhyme.

Or something about Coca-Cola :D
 

Ursa major

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I know Russian winters can be a bit grim...

...so it seems somewhat counterproductive to pile on the misery by calling Santa, Дед Мороз (i.e. Dead Morose).
 

Elckerlyc

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I noticed the name for woodlice in Kent is Peabugs. I wonder if originally this was Pee bugs. In Dutch we call woodlice 'pissbeds' and the story is that (a loooong time ago) children who wet their beds were given a medicine which contained grind woodlice.
Anyway, none of these names seem to make much sense, including woodlice.
 

Dave

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Also, are ‘spelk’ and ‘bleb’ North Eastern? My family uses them and other people go ‘guh…?’ A spelk is a splinter, only metal, not wood; a bleb is a tiny blood blister.
Yes, they are, but I disagree with you, a 'spelk' is a 'splinter', but it can be metal or wood. I've only heard 'splinter' used for wood, but that could be due to the geographical distribution of heavy engineering and manufacturing rather than anything else.

Has anyone got the map for a 'paper' of 'fish' and 'chips', ‘tats’, ‘tatties’, ‘taters’, ‘tatoes’, or ‘teddies’? I saw a map once and there are several names for fish portions too. Also, what do you call the bits of batter left over? 'Scratchings' or 'bits' or something else? The only thing I could find in an online search was this:

This is a discussion we've had before. In another thread, I've talked about the childhood tag game and the 'scinchies' or 'fanites' words that are used for safety. The map of those indicates the division of the Danelaw and Saxon regions. That's how far back these local variations go!

I find it quite fascinating.
 

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