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7 American Words and Pronunciations That People From Wyoming Just Can’t Agree On

Photo courtesy of Flickr/HalfChinese

Nearly everyone in the states can rally behind a good ‘ol “USA! USA!” chant. But when it comes to other terms, every state has their own way of saying it.

A researcher dug into the data of the wildly different pronunciations and vocabulary that parts of this country use to define the exact same things. Here are the 7 words people in Wyoming just cannot seem to agree on…

Caramel. The East and the South usually go with “car-a-mel” . . . the Midwest and West including says Wyoming says “car-mil”

You Guys vs. Ya’ll. The South uses “ya’ll” . . . with the exception of except of Florida, which “you guys.” Wyoming says “you guys”, as well as the good majority of the nation . . . except central Kentucky, where the most popular version is “you all.”

Pecan. This might be the biggest differentiation of all. The Northeast describes it as “PEE-can” . . . Louisiana and its surrounding areas go with “pick-AHN” . . . Wyoming says “PEE-kahn” . . . and the rest say “pee-KAHN.”

Soda vs. Pop vs. Coke. The Midwest, including most of Wyoming, say “pop” (the bottom half of the state seems to say “soda” . . . the West Coast, Northeast, south Florida, and St. Louis area say “soda” . . . and the South says “Coke,” even if they’re talking about Sprite.

Traffic circle? When you get to a place where roads meet in a circle, what do you call it? The East Coast and Texas go with “traffic circle” . . . although the New England states say “rotary.” Most of the rest of the country says “roundabout.” The top half of Wyoming has no word to describe it, apparently, while the bottom half says “roundabout”

Fountains. The South and most of the Midwest say “water fountain” . . . the West, plus Michigan say “drinking fountain” . . . and eastern Wisconsin and all of Rhode Island go with “bubbler.” Wyoming is divided, as the outskirts of the state says “drinking fountain”, the central part of the state says “water fountain.”

Rain with the sun out. When the sun is shining and it rains, New Jersey, eastern New York, northeast Minnesota and south Florida call it a “sun shower.” Wyoming really has no particular words to describe this instance.

One other interesting find in this study, Mississippi and Alabama say “the devil is beating his wife.” Most of the rest of the country doesn’t have a common term for it.

(You can see a bunch of maps that show how divided we are on these terms and others here.)


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