The way people speak in L.A. and New England is wicked different, Merriam-Webster says

Football fans of the Patriots brave the cold and snow.

The Super Bowl kicks off Sunday, so you still have time to stock up on snacks — chips and guacamole, if you’re a Los Angeles Rams fan, or for the New England Patriots supporters, whatever it is that you eat in New England. (Clam nachos with maple syrup? We’re not exactly sure.)

Los Angeles and Boston might have great football teams in common, but that’s about it — the cities are divided by a host of things, and that includes language. Dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster has highlighted these linguistic contrasts on their website, which explores the differences in the regionalisms you’re likely to come across in sunny L.A. and much-less-sunny New England.

Among the examples they offer is “milkshake” versus “frappe.” The word “milkshake” needs no introduction to lovers of ice cream-based desserts, but it’s only in New England you’ll hear them referred to as"frappes.” ("[T]he logic of this choice has been lost to time,” Merriam-Webster notes.)

It’s also only in New England (and, for reasons unknown, a part of Wisconsin — hi, Packers fans!) that you’ll hear a water fountain referred to as a “bubbler,” Merriam-Webster says. (This word also pops up in Portland, Ore., where you’ll find the Rose City’s iconic “Benson bubblers.”)


Merriam-Webster also takes a look at the cuisines of Los Angeles and Boston, with the latter city getting a shout-out for its famous (and famously expensive) lobster roll sandwich. L.A., meanwhile, is credited with the birth of the Cobb salad. (We would have gone with the L.A.-born French dip, or even an animal-style In-N-Out burger, but nobody asked us.)

If you think Boston and L.A. would be able to find some common ground in intensifiers, you’d be wicked wrong. “Wicked” is the adverb of choice for New Englanders, while Merriam-Webster has L.A. represented with “hella.”

(We know, we know. And so does the dictionary publisher, which acknowledges that “hella” is a Northern California thing — “It seems that its use has spread more north to the Pacific Northwest than south to L.A., so this one is more a ‘California vs. New England’ than specifically ‘L.A. vs. Boston’ thing,” they say.)

Regardless of the many differences between the two regions, there’s at least one thing both Angelenos and Bostonians can agree on — the Rams are going to walk out of Mercedes-Benz Stadium this weekend with rings. (OK, New Englanders, you don’t have to agree on that. But it would be wicked cool if you did.)


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