I heard the expression “up north” in a local commercial recently, and it got me wondering how common this expression is in other states. Here in SE Michigan, specifically the greater metropolitan Detroit area, when we say we’re going “up north” it’s understood to mean we are going to do outdoor woodsy recreational activities like camping, hiking, fishing, boating, shooting, hunting, etc. Of course where one is from would make a big difference. A person who lives in New York city or surrounding environs might also refer to going “up north” as shorthand for going camping or generally roughing it. Or might not, I don’t know. But if you are in a large population area that happens to be in the northern part of a state, the term probably doesn’t exist. At least, not with he same meaning.
Another regionalism we have is the term “party store” to refer to a convenience store which sells beer, wine, liquor, snacks, and some limited grocery items. I didn’t realize it was local until I’d mention going to the “party store” with someone who was from out of state, and they were confused-- “what, to buy like confetti and streamers?” they thought I meant party supplies store.
And of course there is the famous “pop vs. soda” regionalism. I was 19, working my way through college as a food and beverage cashier in a Detroit hotel, before I learned this. I was working a convention with an out-of-state group, selling tickets for pop, beer & wine or liquor drinks that would be given to the bartenders (so they didn’t have to handle payments). Someone came up and asked to buy a ticket for a soda. I said, “soda water? That’s free, just ask the bartender”. “No, soda, like Coke, Sprite, 7-up…”. Was a new one on me.