Unique local/regional names for common things

Random thought time, These happen to be food, but could be anything. And may not be well known outside of Asian communities. These are some of mine from Hawaii.

Manapua - char siu bao https://www.google.com/search?q=char+siu+bao&rlz=1C1ASVC_enUS940US940&oq=char+siu+bao&aqs=chrome…69i57.4873j0j9&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Saimin - ramen. Originally a combination of Japanese ramen broth and the eggier heavier Chinese noodle (mein). But local saimin varies from thin light noodles to the heavier Chinese style noodles. I don’t remember seeing any Japanese ramen restaurants until the '80’s and certainly not any gourmet shops.

Cracked seed / crack seed - pronounced crack seed without the d. Chinese preserved fruits that can be sweet or savory, with the seed or without (seedless). While cracked seed is the name for all types of these preserved fruits, there is cracked seed, which is a preserved plum that’s smashed, cracking the seed inside into 1/8" to 1/4" bits. It’s eaten whole, but takes practice to separate the flesh from the tiny bits of seed.

Shave ice / Ice shave - Different from snow cones in that the ice isn’t crushed, but shaved by shave ice machines. If you can crunch the ice, it’s not shave ice! Unlike cracked seed, it’s never shaved ice. It’s always shave ice or if you’re from Hilo, Hawaii, ice shave.

Pear = avocado - This may not be unique to Hawaii, but avocados were always called pears during my youth. People had pear trees, but it was always understood that it mean avocado trees. The name’s origin is obviously from the shape.

I thought they were called “Crocodile Pears” because of their hard pebbled skins.

The only time I’ve ever had shaved ice was in Hawaii, so of course I didn’t know any other names. The closest thing I’ve seen here are slushlies. They are ubiquitous and cheap.

I’ve heard them referred to as alligator pears and just assumed it was because of the shape.They were just pears when I was young.

What about the Snoopy Sno Cone machine?

I haven’t seen Snoopy Sno Cone machines in a million years.

You ever hear about Graupel - Wikipedia? Folks in the Valley of the Sun get to see it every few years. Folks who don’t live around here probably call it sleet or snow.

The funny part about the alligator pear name is that Florida avocados have light green, thin smooth skins, the California ones are the ones that really look like alligator skin, but no alligators.

There is a bison ranch a few miles outback. Many people call them buffalo, but they are very different.

The Wisconsin “bubbler” is a time-honored example – = public drinking fountain.

I’m from the Michigan/Ohio/Indiana region and I have never heard it called shave ice, always shaved ice.

In Montreal - we go to the “dep” for late-night groceries. “Dep” is short for “dépanneur”, or “corner grocery/convenience store” in Quebecois French.

However - if you’re in France and want a “dépanneur”, you will get a repairman or troubleshooter. (if something is “en panne” - it’s broken. Your food/beer supply is “broken”, so you need to “repair” it. :slight_smile: )

That was the first thing I thought of as well. Asking for a ‘bubbler’ when on vacation gets you some off looks.

I’ve heard it both ways here (Wisconsin), but glancing at the local vendors at our big summer music festival I see that one of them is Hawaiian Shave Ice. I feel like I remember seeing ‘shave ice’ because the grammar feels wrong.

These two might not count. I recently learned that a ‘fish fry’ isn’t a thing once you get out of my region (state?). But in my area, if there’s a restaurant (often a supper club) with a drive through fish fry, you can expect a line of cars around the block on Friday night.
The other being cheese curds. I know that’s not a local name, but where most of you think of cheese curds as breaded, fried cheese, these are what ‘real’ cheese curds look like. And if you get them while they’re fresh (same day they’re made, never seen the inside of a refrigerator*, they squeak when you bite them. In fact, when people buy them that’s a question they ask. Like, people ask if the watermelons are sweet or if the asparagus is tender. They ask if the cheese curds are squeaky.

*Even if they’ve been refrigerated, you can usually get them to squeak by bringing them up to room temp or, from what I understand, microwaving them for something like 7 seconds.

Also, another thing. Being located near the UP (and having yooper family members) and my area having a large Serbian population. There’s a difference between pasties and bureks. Asking a serb for a pastie would be like ordering a calzone in an authentic Mexican restaurant.

We have a lot of robots in South Africa.

Hoagies, subs, grinders, heroes - are all different names for the same damn thing as far as I’m concerned.

Speaking of Wisconsin, I also have a memory from the late 80s/early 90s of a Wisconsinite asking me where he could find a “time machine.” After ascertaining he had not stumbled out of an HG Wells novel, I said “excuse me?” and he said “a cash machine.” Back then [though looking it up, it seems it still exists], the TYME automated teller machine network was big in Wisconsin and a few other states (apparently, it was also in parts of Illinois, I assume near Wisconsin.)

For me, at that time, we called them “Cash Stations” (after another interbank network), but at some point the term just became the generic ATM.

“Gangway” for the narrow space between two urban buildings is generally regarded as a local term. “Jagoff” as a general curse term for a type of asshole is centered on Chicago and Pittsburgh.

Another regional Wisconsinism (common in the Sheboygan-Manitowoc region) is to use the term Hot Tamale to describe what’s essentially a sloppy joe sandwich. We’ve discussed this before in this hot tamale thread.

We have fish fries in Ohio, but you wouldn’t find one at a restaurant. It’ll be in a church basement or maybe school cafeteria or VFW hall or the like, and will be a fundraiser for some group or other.

One that’s gotten a lot of discussion on this board before is the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street, which apparently has a thousand different names, in different parts of the country. Around here (Cleveland), it’s a tree lawn. But even as close by as Akron, it’s a devil’s strip.

Many examples in the link are pronunciations, but there also some usage. Crawfish? Crayfish? Crawdad?

I grew up in the Midwest, and I remember among kids, every carbonated beverage was a Coke. What kind of Coke do you want? A Sprite. Then we realized it’s better to call it pop. Now that I moved to the South, I ask for pop any time I feel like being ridiculed. Any soda in the fridge?

“Fish fry” is most definitely a thing in the Finger Lakes area of New York; and common enough as a Friday night thing that there may well not be long lines because you can get one lots of places.

And cheese curds as you describe them are also available here, though I don’t know that people ask if they’re squeaky; maybe we’re more likely to get them prepackaged at the store. I think it may be relatively recent for them to be common here, though; as in maybe the last twenty years or so.

Depending on your definition of “local”, the same species of animal is called a mountain lion in the western US, and a panther in the eastern US. Or a cougar, or puma in other places.

Or a Cougar could be a untameable , ferocious, insatiable, wild and sexy beast . . . or it could just be a cat found in the wild.

I recently learned that “bunnyhug” is Saskatchewanese for hoodie (hooded sweatshirt).

The first time I heard the term alligator pear for an avocado was in Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. It really stuck in my memory, and is one of the first things I think of when I think of that book (the other is when she described male genitals as “turkey neck and turkey gizzards.”). So, for me, alligator pear is an old-fashioned term.

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen "shaved " ice. It’s always “shave ice” when I see it.