Your Obedient Serpent (athelind) wrote,
Your Obedient Serpent

Vernacular Questionaire!

I am a 44 year old male. I grew up in suburban Southern California, and settled in semi-urban Northern California. Along the way, I spent a few years here and there in Texas and a couple of summers in Arkansas. I am, by training, trade, and temperament, an Environmental Scientist.

A body of water, smaller than a river, contained within relatively narrow banks: Storm Drain.
The Los Angeles River is a broad swath of concrete, seen in movies ranging from Them to Chinatown to Terminator 2. Smaller water channels are simply outside of the bounds of the local vernacular: you call'em whatever the locals call'em.

The thing you push around the grocery store: Shopping cart.

A metal container to carry a meal in: Cattle car.
Okay, that was Obligatory Dragon Humor. "Lunchbox."

The thing that you cook bacon and eggs in: microwave Frying pan.

The piece of furniture that seats three people: Couch or sofa, unless it's a futon.

The device on the outside of the house that carries rain off the roof: Rain gutter.

The covered area outside a house where people sit in the evening: Porch or patio.
Porches tend to be in front. "Front porch" is redundant; "back porch" is acceptable. Patios are always in back; they aren't always covered, but can be.

Carbonated, sweetened, non-alcoholic beverages: Soda.

A flat, round breakfast food served with syrup: Sausage! Oh, and pancakes.
What, you don't put maple syrup on your sausage patties?

A long sandwich designed to be a whole meal in itself: Sub.
It's short for "Subway", not "Submarine", because that's where you get them. There's also a "Philly Cheesesteak", which is not a "Sub", despite the superficial similarities. Leave Quizno's out of this; it's neither fish nor fowl.

The piece of clothing worn by men at the beach: Bathing suit, swimsuit, swimtrunks, trunks.

Shoes worn for sports: Shoes.
If I have to specify, they're "tennis shoes" (pronounce as one word: "tennishoes") or "sneakers". Other kinds of footwear includes "boots", "hiking boots", "dress shoes", "sandals", and "flip-flops". If I just say "shoes", I mean "tennishoes".

A flying insect that glows in the dark: Firefly.

The little insect that curls up into a ball: Pillbug.

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: Seesaw, teeter-totter, catapult.

How you eat pizza: Pointy-end first, holding the crust.
That's what the crust is for, right? It's the handle!

Where private citizens sell their household goods/stuff in their driveway/front yard: Garage sale, yard sale.

The thing under a house where the furnace and perhaps a rec room are: Crawlspace.
Postwar California houses don't have "things under them" that can actually be used as rooms. If I lived in a house so equipped, I'd probably call it a "basement", unless it had those neat sloping doors, which would make it a "cellar".

The thing that you can get water out of to drink in public places: Drinking fountain.
Tags: language, meme, vocabulary

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