Some Milwaukeeans may attending at you abnormally if you emphasis the “L” in their city’s name. For abounding natives, the name is Mi-waukee, not Mil-waukee.
But that’s not the alone affair that Wisconsinites say differently.
Many readers wrote to What the Wisconsin? — a affection in which we acknowledgment questions ample and baby about our burghal and our accompaniment — about Wisconsin’s, well, unique pronunciations and phrases.
Here’s the backstory on a few of the best accepted ones.
MORE: 17 words alone a accurate Wisconsinite knows how to pronounce
The “soda vs. pop” action is not altered to Wisconsin, but what bodies alarm carbonated alcohol does alter above the state.
Throughout best of the Midwest and Wisconsin at large, the chat tends to be “pop,” but the Milwaukee breadth tends to say “soda,” according to emphasis maps created by Josh Katz for his book “Speaking American.”
Kelsie Pattillo, a chief academician in the administration of linguistics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, said this has a lot to do with how companies that awash soda pop were announcement the artefact back it originally came out. If advertisers beneath the chat to “soda,” bodies would accredit to it as soda, or carnality versa with pop.
“It has to do with whoever was distributing the artefact beforehand on, and it sticks,” Pattillo said.
Wisconsinites additionally like to abbreviate words a lot, and Milwaukee is no exception. High-frequency words are generally beneath in the average to accomplish them easier to say, Pattillo said.
She mentioned examples such as “easside” for the east ancillary of Milwaukee.
“We do what’s alleged a reduction. … Usually back we abbreviate things, we do it in the average of the word,” Pattillo said, because it is harder to bethink the average vowels or syllables in the word.
She said this is referred to as “quick speech,” which aloof agency that bodies use it back speaking actual fast or application a chat actual often.
Pattillo said, however, it is absorbing that Wisconsinites say it for “Mi-waukee” but do not do the aforementioned for adjacent towns, such as Pewaukee. Bodies usually emphasis Pewaukee application the abounding word, instead of abridgement it, she said.
Pattillo, who’s from Seattle, anon noticed the aberrant accentuation of the chat “bag” in arctic Wisconsin.
Pattillo did a abstraction on the chat “bag” in “I bought a bag of bagels,” which analyzed how added Wisconsinites emphasis “bag” with the aforementioned beat complete as “bagel” rather than the beat complete in “back,” acclimated by abounding Americans.
This comes up in words such as “dragon” or “agriculture.” Garry Davis, addition assistant of linguistics at UWM, said it is adamantine to analyze breadth accentuation differences appear from, as we consistently change and acclimatize our accentuation of words in the avant-garde day.
However, Pattillo mentioned that chat differences or emphasis differences may be due to amusing contact, breadth bodies become either abandoned from a altered accentuation or apprehend a specific accentuation in college frequency.
Wisconsin additionally borrows a lot of words and book structures from German. Davis said this is due to the aerial bulk of immigrants that came from Germany above-mentioned to World War I. Before World War I, there were added German newspapers in the Milwaukee breadth than English-language newspapers.
Davis mentioned the delivery of “I’m activity to go by my dad,” acceptation “I’m activity to go to my dad’s house,” as a accepted archetype of German book anatomy he hears in Milwaukee.
The anti-German affect that took basis during World War I additionally afflicted the accentuation of words. Pattillo mentioned the boondocks of New Berlin, and how bodies began to accent the aboriginal affricate — New BER-lin — instead of the additional to differentiate it from its German counterpart.
Part of the acumen Wisconsin’s emphasis is so unique, Pattillo said, is the accompaniment is home to so abounding altered cultures and languages — able-bodied above the German influence.
She said it has a aerial bulk of indigenous-language families, which is aberrant in abounding added states.
“In Wisconsin, we accept abundant assortment because of the amusing acquaintance amid altered groups of people,” Pattillo said in an email. “The aforementioned things that brought bodies to Wisconsin in the accomplished (fresh water, forests, abundant farmland) still accompany tourists actuality today. We accept a lot of aberration because of clearing patterns in the 1800s, but we additionally accept a lot added linguistic assortment than best bodies realize.”
Readers additionally had questions about hot bowl vs. casserole, awkward joes vs. hot tamales, TYME vs. ATM and where, exactly, “ope!” and “er no?” came from. We’ll be extenuative these for approaching installments of What the Wisconsin.
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