How Do You Pronounce 'Caramel'? Depends Where You Live!

Editor
A map of regional variations has been published, and the results are fascinating
NCSU

Do you pronounce the word "caramel" with two or three syllables? If you’re from the East Coast of Gulf region, odds are it’s three. And do you pronounce mayonnaise "man-aise" or "may-oh-naise"? If you’re from the Southeast, it’s "man-aise" all the way.

A fascinating new interactive map of America published by North Carolina State University’s Department of Statistics breaks down the country's population not only by how they pronounce various foods, but also by what they call various everyday items and activities. One hundred twenty-two regional quirks are mapped out according to color, and the results paint a vivid picture of not only regional dialects but national variations in everything from what we call a sweetened carbonated beverage (soda, pop, or coke?) to how we address a group of people (you, you guys, you all, or y’all?).

As for who calls it soda vs. pop vs. coke, it looks like those in the Northeast, California, and the area around St. Louis (for some reason) call it soda, Northerners and those in the Plains states call it pop, and in Gulf states and up into Kentucky it’s called coke (you can find the map at right). 

Spend some time tinkering around — it’s a really wild way to while away an hour or so. 

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