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September 08, 2022


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It was stunning news this morning for sure. I have mixed feelings about the concept of royalty and how that fits in our world now but as a person I believe Elizabeth will be remembered well. As to a blog title--I've often wondered if humans forced into elite roles of prestige and power ever sit alone at night and ponder on what life might have been like as a regular old commoner. I'd like to envision an anonymous lady writing of the hope for a more normal life...
I'd have more faith in that list of PNW words if it had things on it like REI, birkenstocks, the pass, ferry schedule, Ivars, east of the Cascades, foothills, the Gorge... I mean, what the heck is a tennie anyway!

Jenni Elyse

I’m sad Queen Elizabeth is gone too. I really liked her. She had a hard life. She was a good leader.

That little flower for the motorcyclist is really nice.

I say cougar, mountain lion, and puma. It just depends on what comes to mind. I have heard the two different pronunciations of Dawn and Don. I know a family in New Jersey who has a daughter named Dawn and a son named Don. To me, they’re the same name just spelled differently but they insist that they’re two different names/words. Whatever. I also say beg and bag differently, but unless I really think about it hill and heal and heel are pronounced similarly. Language is fascinating to me and my intro to Linguistics class was my favorite because I learned all the ins and outs of why people say things the way they do.

DrumMajor Linda in Kansas

Ok: tennies are tennis shoes, no matter the style. "Go put your tennies on so we can go walking." What's a banana belt? One of those small zipper bags that has a webbed belt for carry essentials when you want your hands free? Some people think you're a tourist if you're seen wearing one, but I guess they're pretty functional for all of the healthy walkers in the PNW. Yes, it's sad the Queen is gone. Hospice was started in England, but it doesn't sound like she had hospice services. The news said she was "comfortable," which is good. To have been greeting the new PM on Tuesday, and quickly decline, it sounds like something rather sudden like a stroke or heart attack, and opting not to go to a hospital. She was ready, and had accomplished so much. Americans like following the royalty because we miss the Kennedy days of Camelot. Linda in Kansas


One of the networks compared what happened in Britain around COVID after QEII came on the TV and asked everyone to work together and remain calm. They didn't say anything about how Trump handled things, but the comparison hung in the air.


I often wondered what would happen if the queen secretly wrote an anonymous venting blog...

I had only heard of a few of those Pacific Northwest words. I think cougars have umpteen different names in different parts of the US. I would pronounce 'dawn' with a quite long 'w'.

That's a great shot of the mountain.

Arkansas Patti

I was very saddened by the Queen's passing. I have always admired her for her courage, compassion, humor and willingness to get her hands dirty. She trained as a truck driver and mechanic during the war. She didn't put herself above the people but was the people. I hope she is again with her prince.


I've always been more fascinated by the British public that not only subject themselves to hereditary rule, but actually seem to prefer it. But I do admit, she was a classy lady and I'm guessing her son will not have classy used to describe him.

Yours is the second post on regional accents and dialects I have read this morning. I'm pretty good at talking to someone and narrowing down where they are from by their speech. I guess because I have traveled around quite a bit. Of your list, I've never heard of banana belt or tennie but the first three words and widow-maker are used a almost exclusively here in the Midwest too. Sasquatch and Chinook wind are both terms I've heard many times but don't use in reference to Iowa and we don't have any cougars, panthers or mountain lions either. I don't find it surprising that there are linguistic differences as every country I have been to, all of them much smaller than us, often have linguistic differences AND multiple languages.


The queen was certainly beloved and will be properly feted and memorialized, as she should be. Almost all those words are used in the northeast, except tennies and banana belts. I often wonder who writes these types of columns, and envision a 20-something doing their best with a writing assignment like that. That is basically my daughter's job as a writer for an internet company.
I love a photo of a perfect flower like your rose. I do the same when I get one.


While I am sure that we have some different words and a few different pronunciations, I have felt that in general US left coasters sound very much like Canadians. I say those words just as you do, and I don’t say tennies either. 😀


A chinook is a lovely, warm wind that arrives in the middle of winter, usually, and melts a lot of snow. We don't get many in Edmonton but Calgary gets a lot of chinooks. They make winter much more bearable.


How else would you pronouce Dawn? And of course beg and bag are pronounced differently.

The queen was a regal lady, in the true sense of the word. RIP Elizabeth.

Ally Bean

I studied in England when I was in college and, of course, became fascinated with the royal family. I've never lived in a world where Elizabeth wasn't queen and it seems odd to realize that. Did you watch The Crown? I like how it pulled back the curtain on the monarchy, they're not the best people all the time.


I have relatives in England and have spent lots of time there. It is hard to imagine England without their Queen. She seemed very alone after her beloved Philip passed. Dialects and language - always fascinating. Living in the Northeast, we drop our "r's". The test is: Repeat. Park the car in Harvard Square.

Donna W

I never thought of Queen Elizabeth much until I watched the PBS series about her. Then I liked her admired her a lot. I think New Yorkers pronounce the "w" in dawn. Here in Missouri, we say don.

Donna W

Oh, and I just put "Take My Hand" on hold. Looks like I'll have quite a wait.


You (and Montana) have Chinook Winds, down here in Arizona we have monsoons. And yes the death of the Queen was a bit of a shock since she had looked "on her game" just two days before. I will miss her presence in this world.

kayak woman

I don't really use *most* of the PacNW words here in the Great Lake State but I do use cabin fever ALL the time and black ice is a huge part of my life here in the winter. Cougars? There keep being sightings here in our state but I'm not sure if they really live here or not. I may be mistaken but I think catamount is another (archaic?) name for cougar. If true, a much better word.

Joanne Noragon

QEII was much of the news today. I think Charles' eulogy was excellent.
Mount Rainier is quite a sight.


Since I was little when she became queen, she's the only Queen of England I've ever known. She's certainly had a hard job, but she did it well with responsibility and devotion. She and her family should be proud.

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