How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk

What does the way you speak say about where you’re from? Answer all the questions below to see your personal dialect map.  Most of the questions used in this quiz are based on those in the Harvard Dialect Survey, a linguistics project begun in 2002 by Bert Vaux and Scott Golder. The original questions and results for that survey can be found on Dr. Vaux’s current website.

I took the quiz.  It narrowed me down to three locations.  Here are my results:  Click to enlarge.

Dialect quiz results

Take the quiz

Thanks Annie


30 comments to How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk

  • Karen

    I took it, it put me in the south. I am from Louisville. Fairly close though.

  • Richard

    Two of my results said Washington, DC or Baltimore, MD. I grew up in Montgomery County, midway between the two…

  • Deborah

    I got St. Louis, Washington DC and Baltimore

  • grumpy

    Hmmm, I got Washington and Baltimore too. And, WTF, St. Louis?

    I would have thought Seattle or at least, west coast.
    Did I just blow my cover as a CIA agent?

    People that say “a-boot”:
    5% Canadians.
    95% Americans. Making fun of Canadians

  • Joe

    Completely wrong for me

  • uhm hum

    Seems like I’d be out of place in the north east, Minnesota, the Dakotas, and New Orleans.

  • Barbwire

    I got Sacramento, Stockton, and Santa Rosa, all in northern California. I have never lived there. I was born in NYC, lived in Hartford CT, Newtonville MA, Lake Winnesquam, NH, Whitefish Bay WI, Milwaukee WI, Stoughton WI, Bellevue WA, and the rest of the time (most of my life) in the greater Los Angeles area.

  • eyeball

    My results show a heavy red area in mid-New York state, and metro NYC. Of course, I don’t think I have an accent, so it’s more likely that THEY speak like ME.

  • xalaskan

    I lived a very transient childhood, but was born in Provo, Utah.
    The test said Salt Lake City or Boise Idaho. WOW! (kinda freaky)
    I don’t think people from Alaska have a specific way of speaking because we are all ‘from’ somewhere else!


    • that1chick

      My aunt lives in Fairbanks, and has for well over 30 years. She was an Army brat, but she comes to visit us every year (mainly to shop, I think) I swear she says y’all. We live in Texas, she never has. LOL, I guess you pick things up as you go.

  • llstan

    Three cities I’d least want to live in, Salt Lake City, Wichita, and Lexington, KY; that’s a puzzler to me because I was Missouri born, moved to Minnesota at age 12 and have now lived in Washington State for 47 years.

  • g-bull

    HA that’s awesome.

    My map was darkest red in Minnesota, with “Minneapolis / Saint Paul” highlighted as one of my three cities (along with Grand Rapids, MI and Santa Rosa, CA)

    Born and raised in Minneapolis.

  • It was dead on for me. Worcester, Ma. – Boston, Ma. – Providence, RI. If you were to draw a triangle between these cities, I live somewhere in the middle 🙂

  • Blake

    Here’s mine:

    Springfield, St. Louis, Indianapolis. The first 2 make sense. Born in Edwardsville (a bit outside of STL for any of you non St. Louisans.) and lived there until I was 9. Went to College in Springfield for 6 years. As for Indianapolis, well, I’ve been there a couple of times.

  • Warren

    As a New Zealander, it looks like I would be most at home in New York, New Jersey or Yonkers.

  • Steve

    Well I grew up in Eastern Canada and I lived outside of Boston as a kid. It showed me for Boston, Springfield, and Buffalo. All red as along the eastern Canadian Border. My wife grew up in Northwestern British Columbia. It showed her all around Northern Washington, right on the Canadian border. It is really accurate for us.

  • that1chick

    Wow! That was pretty interesting, it gave me Jackson, Mobile, and Columbus. I’ve lived a number of different places, never that deep in the south.
    I thought for sure it was going to put me in La. I kept watching that little map on the side as the test progressed, and that was popping up quite often. It missed by a little. It showed Central Texas, one time. That was the question about the drive thru beer store. We call them beer barns. Handy things they are too.

  • James

    Pretty accurate. I was born, grew up and currently live in the western suburbs of Toronto and this placed me in Buffalo and Rochester, with Minneapolis as the outlier.

  • Put me between Chicago and Rockford. Grew up on the north side of Chicago. It would be even better if it distinguished between north side and south side of Chicago. There is a big difference in slang, the Chicagoeze. it said gym shoes was the give away.

  • DJ

    Nailed it. Detroit/Cleveland/Buffalo. There I am.

  • mikey

    Exact for me, Paterson NJ . Cool to know I have my own distinct dialect

  • Rockford, Milwaukee, and Madison – direct hit. And actually a rather tight grouping.

  • Dumpsterkitty

    Dead on…NYC/Newark/Yonkers. Grew up in Brooklyn. I currently live a few hours north of the city and most people can’t tell where I’m from. I did agonize over one. Growing up the sandwich was called a hero. Where I live now it’s a sub. I had to go with what I call it now. I never knew sneakers was so limited to the northeast. Fascinating stuff!

  • Kevin

    While my individual answers were all over the place, my final results were all in Cali. I’m thinking it has to do with there being so many transplants here? I’ve picked up a lot of words from friends from other parts of the country.

  • Mathman54

    Stockton, CA, Albuquerque, NM, and Wichta, KS. That puts me squarely west of the Mississippi, which is where I have lived my entire life, though in none of the places listed.

  • zpors

    I am Australian, lived there all my life (minus 2 years when I lived in The Philippines), and apparently my accent is similar to people from Yonkers, New York and Jersey City. I have no idea why because I live in far north Queensland, and I have a very strong Australian accent. I have had New Yorkers say my accent is funny and weird (i’ve never been, my friend was from New York). Strange. I don’t think this survey is very accurate.

    • Jonco

      But it’s not about accents. It’s about using different words for the same thing … like soda or pop to describe a carbonated soft drink like Pepsi or Coke.

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