C is for Car-ml

What? What is this car-ml? Here is a visual clue:


Ah! car-ml is carAmEl, that yummy thing that happens when you heat up sugar. The strange pronunciation of caramel in these parts has long been a bugbear for Mr T, so I was very happy to come across the following dialect map on Facebook today.


I can confirm that we live (just) in an area indicated in red on the map and so we are in two syllable car-ml territory. The research was done by Joseph Katz at NC State University and his wonderful project of US dialect maps can be viewed here.

There are some great (and important) questions addressed. My favourites include:

What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket? Trolley is not even an option!

What do you call the act of covering a house or area in front of a house with toilet paper? There is a name for that? Other than stupid? Apparently it is “tp’ing”

What do you call an easy course? Okay. Now I am lost! The sample answers are “other”, “blow-of”, “gut” and “crip course”. Suggestions on a postcard please šŸ˜‰


3 Comments Add yours

  1. The pedant says:

    As a pedant, I don’t like words with hyphens in them – it just feels wrong in English.

    I assume that tp-ing is a real thing, and not just something invented in films. Have you seen it done?

  2. The Translator says:

    Well Pedant, I need to make a correction. That should have been tp’ing with an apostrophe, not a hyphen. Does that make you feel better? Or not?

  3. The pedant says:


    Katz’s charts have popped up in two of my other regular newsfeeds today. But you got there first.

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