The Great Word Debate. Where does Montana fall online?


Each region has its own thing. What I mean by that is that there are certain ways of referring to certain things. I bring this up because this weekend my wife and I got together with some friends to watch football and visit. One of the topics of conversation is the way we pronounce words.

A perfect example, and which can be discussed in detail, do you call it pop or soda? I call it soda, but I have several friends and family members who call it pop. My southern friends just call it Coke.

It seems the Montanans are a mixed bag, referring to it as both soda and pop.

Here is another one, what do you call these insects that light up at night in summer? Growing up in the south, we called them lightning bugs, but a lot of people call them fireflies.

Are any other examples pronounced “Creek” or “Crick”? Or, do you call it a “roof” or “ruff”? Is it a “bag” or a “baag”? Is it a drinking fountain or a water fountain?

How about when you decide to have a sale in front of your house. Is it a yard sale or is it a yard sale? And a flea market? What if you could throw stuff in it? Is it a trash can or a trash can? Before returning to Montana, I spent a few years in North Dakota. North Dakotans are known to refer to what most people call a casserole as a hot dish. It’s not just North Dakotans either, Minnesotans are in on the action as well.

TaterTot Casserole
Andrea Skjold

It seems like with so many transplants coming to Montana, we’re ready for a bit of everything when it comes to some of these words. Are there any we missed? What words would you add to the list?

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