Islands of Sconnie dialect

Eric Koeppel

See thos green splotches? That's where the crazies live.
See those green splotches? That's where the crazies live.

Have you ever referred to the night before Halloween as “Devil’s Night,” called drive-through liquor stores “brew thrus,” or ordered a “hoagie” at your local sub shop?  If so, you must not be from Wisconsin. 

Joshua Katz, a graduate student at North Carolina State University recently created a series of U.S. maps based on a national linguistics survey. All 122 maps went viral last week, and wouldn’t ya know it, Wisconsin has some unique quirks in its dialect.

For instance, in Wisconsin the word “pecan” is pronounced “PEE-kahn,” rather than the traditional “pee-KAHN.”  A classic case of putting the emPHAsis on the wrong sylLABle… Speaking of syllables, did you ever notice that we often tend to use just one when pronouncing “poem?” And apparently some of us don’t pronounce the first “d” in “candidate” as well.  But hey, what some may call mispronunciations I like to call time-savers.

True (south-eastern) Wisconsinites are probably well aware that we are alone in calling water fountains “bubblers” (besides Rhode Islanders), but did you know that other states call roundabouts “traffic circles” or “rotaries?” Or that they say “catty-corner” rather than “kitty-corner” in the south?”  Or that Minnesotans use the term “sunshower” when it rains while the sun is out?  So, tell me, who’s the weird state now, huh?

Now if only Wisconsin can finally decide on either “soda” or “pop” …