English words you think are unique to your country/region.

Here in Ireland we have the hot press, in Britain it’s an airing cupboard and in America it’s “what the hell is a hot press?”
I’ve been told that bold in the usage “the bold child broke the windows” is unique to Ireland too although it can also have the other meaning.
Less PC but there is a veritable cornucopia of terminology for what Americans would call white trash and what’s known in Britain as a chav/charver/ned. Skanger, scrote, towny, spide, langer, and there are others.
One I noticed yesterday was the construction “as the man says”,
“As the man says look after the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves”. Is that used elsewhere?
Do people use the term shift for kiss in other places?
What about riding for having sex?
Anyway what are some of your “you think they’re unique to your country/region” words?

A couple from my hometown of Buffalo, New York. There’s plenty more, but these are the first ones that come to mind:

Lawn fete: a carnival or festival, usually held at a Catholic church or the grounds of a volunteer fire department.

Shovel ready lot: vacant lot with road and utility connections, which requires no environmental remediation. Use of the term is growing outside of the region, but its roots are in Buffalo.

Riding someone I have heard of as meaning having sex with them.

Does this account for “That’s what the man says” in that Wings song?
“Package store” for liquor store I only heard after moving to New England. Also “bull and jam” for using brute force without smooth moves. The construction “So doesn’t Joe” to mean Joe does was new to me as well.

I think it’s only locally that “cabinet” refered to a frozen dairy drink, and even now it’s pretty much fallen out of usage. “Running all the way around Robinson’s barn” is another, meaning going to a lot of trouble.

Then there’s the whole “regular coffee” thing.

I heard that in upstate New York as well.

Most words unique to East Anglian dialects have disappeared, much being variants on standard vocabularly. One that I can think of that I have encountered, though, is ‘thrupple’, meaning ‘threshold’, specifically in the physical sense of a piece of wood/stone/tile across the bottom of a doorway.

how about “fuck this for a game of cowboys”?

gigi, I’m not familiar with that song. I’ve mainly only heard older people use it and I think it’s mainly used in Ulster. “As the man says, [wise old saying].”

Rhyming slang is potent enough here too. Jerry Lee or Daniel Day are used to refer to the Luas (‘lewis’ - the recently constructed tram system)
I’m not going on me tobler (toblerone = own).

I wonder if that’s an extremely local word, as I lived in Chautauqua County from birth 'till 12, and attended very many fire department festivals, and never recall hearing that word. So it’s either very local (which happens a lot in Buffalo, I hear,) or I just didn’t hear it, or it’s recent.

Does anyone else use ‘this aft’ for ‘this afternoon’? I wonder whether that was a family thing, or a Peterborough (Ontario) thing, or what.

‘Hydro’ for ‘electrical utility service’ (as in, “I paid the hydro bill”) is a well-known Canadianism.

Then there’s the expression ‘Bancroft tuxedo’ for a plaid flannel shirt–standard outer wear in the town of Bancroft and other semi-rural to rural areas.

Do phrases count?

Our state question, “Red or green?*”

*Refers to what type of chile you want your food smothered with. And the spell checker doesn’t even like the word “chile”! “Chile” is the pepper, chili is the sauce. Red chile is prepared by drying, boiling, and pureeing, while green chile is prepared by roasting, peeling, and chopping.

Apparently a variant of “all around Robin Hood’s barn”.

elmwood: As you can see, Indiana is one of the places where “shovel ready” has been adopted.

In Montana a country bumpkin or yokel is a “yodar” – YO-dar [rhymes with car] – presumably from the common Mennonite/Hutterite (and Amish, though no Amish in MT) name “Yoder.” I’ve never heard the term outside Montana. Also, to harass or bother someone is “to chew (or bite) their ankles,” presumably like an obnoxious little dog does. Not sure that’s used elsewhere.

I see that “Chile” can be an alternate for “Chili” but everything I’ve ever heard uses “Chile” only for the country and “Chili” for both the pepper and the dish.

I grew up hearing “down street” for “downtown” but only from older people. On the other hand, that thing you get a drink of water from is a bubbler.

I think Chiavettas is local. It’s chicken that has been soaked in Chiavetta marinade. When charities around here advertise for their summertime chicken dinner fundraisers, they’ll often just say they’re selling Chiavettas or Chiavetta dinners.

I’ve never heard lawn fete either.

When I lived in New York, I noticed people waiting “on line” for things, while in the rest of the country we wait “in line.”

Do people in the Milwaukee area say “bubbler” (drinking fountain) all that often anymore? My father-in-law does now and then.

I wonder if that’s regional too. I heard it lots growing up near Belleville both in my family and at school. I say it pretty regularly, and it drives my husband nuts. He grew up in the Niagara area and claims he never really heard it used until he met me.

I never have heard that Bancroft one, though it is kind of funny.

We have “pressed” around here, which means overly eager.

Game of soldiers, here.

I’ve heard that as part of local dialect here - no idea how widespread it is in Britain, nor whether there’s a connection to North American usage.

I’d never heard of such a differentiation within the food/plant context, either.

Is anyone else familiar with the term “gonch” or “ginch” (no idea of the spelling), meaning underpants? My family used this term, and I think it’s a Western Canadianism, but it may be more widespread. Or, hey, maybe my family is the only one that used it :slight_smile:

“Bubbler” is widely used in Australia. I’m not sure what the linguistic connection is with Wisconsin, or if they just developed independently.