Sunday, February 25, 2007

He's Drinking a Frappe Down Cellar

I found myself at a sub shop the other day deciding whether I wanted an Italian or a Meatball parm. After weighing the pros and cons of each decision, I decided to go with the Italian. I put in my order and ask them to load it up. I turn around to start the same selection process at the chip rack and realize that the guy behind the counter is not done with me yet. He asks me if I want a roll or a wedge. I reply “a what”, he says “a wedge”… I am pretty puzzled at this point, but in an effort discover what the hell is occurring and end the current stand off I was in, I go with the wedge. Turns out it is just a sub, which I got me thinking about the whole sub category in general. Is there any other food group that has so many aliases? I thought I had heard them all, then “Wedge” gets thrown at me. Are there more variations beyond this that I have yet to come across? Well, hopefully some of you here can help me avoid any future situations where I stand in front of a sub shop employee feeling like Paris Hilton in a monastery.

I have now come across:
-The Submarine (Sub)
-The Hero
-The Grinder
-The Hoagie
-The Po’boy
-The Wedge

Furthermore, what other food/drink names are dependent on their geographic resting point. Well, after doing some google research I found myself at this website that compiles surveys analyzing dialect dispersion around the country. Some other categories I found entertaining are listed below

Thick drink made with Milk and Ice Cream:
-Thick Shake

Now, here at 10CFP it is a Frappe and it will always be so, but more than 96% of the people surveyed call it a Milkshake, which is just chocolate syrup and milk in our book. And I have never heard of it being called a Cabinet and Velvet.

Sweetened Carbonated Beverage
-Soft Drink
-Fizzy Drink
-Other (2.5)

These are all familiar with the exception of Dope and if you are calling it Fizzy Drink and are over the age of 8, then you have some issues to deal with.

I guess the difference in dialect always intrigued me because I did not know I had such a distinct one until I was in college. Instantly after I arrived people began asking me what the hell everything I said meant. Words like cellar, rubbish barrel, elastic, bubbler (the fountain water you hippie), rotary, clicker, packie, jimmies, breakdown lane and hoodsies all rendered looks of confusion. It is a great moment when you first start to realize that you know very little and will be learning so much.


Mark said...

When I worked at the Brigham's in Belmont, MA in 8th grade, we had both "Frappes" and "Milkshakes" on the menu as distinctly different products. I learned fairly quickly that if someone who didn't sound like they were the greater New England area asked for a "Milkshake", that they were looking for a Frappe.

I live in Seattle now and after two and a half years, I still haven't gotten used to people using the term "pop" to refer to soda.

d raymond said...

great article.. enjoyed every sentence... in england i used to get sandwiches on a Bap... that's brit for subroll.