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10 Words Oregonians say Differently than New Yorkers

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Hey everyone! I have been living in New York for three years now and from day one I’ve noticed people over on the East Coast say a lot of words differently. I would get into deep discussions with how to pronounce a word or how I use a different word for the same thing. So here are 10 words that are completely wrong to my ears.

  1. CaramelI pronounce it KAR-muhl, like everyone else in Oregon and over here in New York, when I try to order a caramel macchiato I get asked “Do you mean KARR-uh-muhl?” That just sounds like you’re being too fancy with your words.
  2. Sneakers/Tennis ShoesFact: the NIKE and Adidas Headquarters are both in Portland, Oregon. And since people in Oregon say ‘Tennis Shoes’ instead of ‘Sneakers’ we are obviously right.
  3. Nips/ShootersI just found out recently that over here on the East Coast these lovely little containers of alcohol are called ‘nips.’ How does that work? I call them ‘shooters,’ because they are similar in size to a shot. Which makes more sense?
  4. OregonI CAN NOT STRESS THIS ONE ENOUGH. It is pronounced Or-A-gun. Not Or-eh-GONE. NO ONE ON THE WEST COAST SAYS IT THAT WAY. I have lived there my whole life and I have never once heard it the ‘Gone’ way until I came out here for school. If you or someone you know says it the ‘Gone’ way you are wrong.
  5. NevadaAnother state that is improperly pronounced. It’s Nev-AD-a. Not Nev-AH-da. I have been there a few times and once again the locals don’t say it with the ‘AH’ sound. I even ask some family that lives there and they say it’s Nev-AD-a. So, there you go.
  6. RadiatorThanks in help to the fabulous Jayliss, I learned a crazy way some people pronounce this machine right here. A radiator is called by most people, RAY-diator, but thanks to this lady, I found out some called it a RADD-iator. What. Is. That?
  7. CrayonYou color with a cray-awn not a cray-ahn.
  8. Lollipops/SuckersI would go to my grandparent’s house and get some suckers. Not lollipops. I don’t think I have ever used that word before.
  9. Crawfish/CrawdadsThese little lobsters are found in rivers. I would go help my cousins look for ‘Crawdads’ on family reunions. ‘Crawfish’ doesn’t flow as much as ‘Crawdads’ do.
  10. PecansThese nuts go on pie. People eat Pee-KAHN Pie. Not PEE-can Pie.

So there you go. If someone who lives on the East Coast comes visit us on the West Coast, make sure to pronounce some words our way unless you want some weird looks.

About the Writer
Caroline Newman, Impact Staff
Caroline is a senior at Mercy College. Her major is Radio & Television Production. She is from the picturesque valleys of Medford, Oregon. She is a member of the production team and helps film our videos. In her free time instead of being a responsible adult she enjoys Netflix, Hulu, and chocolate. Her favorite binge...
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10 Words Oregonians say Differently than New Yorkers