Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Yankee Doodle Dandy


Here’s a little pronounciation quiz that diagnoses if you are a Yankee (northern USA) or a Rebel (southern USA). The Alpha Dictionary will compute your score and tell you where you’re coming from: are you (all) speaking Dixie English or are you(se) a Yankee Doodle Dandy? The higher your score, the deeper from the south you are coming; the lower your score, the more northern you are.

What’s your score?

My score: 25% Dixie. I am a Yankee Doodle Dandy.

This makes sense since I am a true northern bicoastal grrl, and have been so my entire life (well, I’ve lived farther south on the west coast than I have on the east coast, where I am strictly a nor’easter).


  1. #1 Alon Levy
    March 25, 2006

    Well, I live more to the south than any American, but I got only a 38% – maybe because the only areas of the US I’ve been to are New York, New Haven, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, and California?

  2. #2 Thomas Winwood
    March 25, 2006

    I was interested to see how true English pronunciation is mapped – it seems to correlate with the English spoken around the Great Lakes (although I couldn’t answer a few questions – throwing toilet paper at houses is not a phenomenon I’ve encountered in this country, so we don’t have a word for it!).

  3. #3 Cait
    March 25, 2006

    61% Dixie. Just under the Mason-Dixon Line

    Surprisingly accurate since I grew up about 10 miles south of the Missouri border in the Arkansas Ozarks, putting me as close to being “just under the Mason Dixon line” as possible. (I think using Coke as a generic term for soft drinks pushed me into the south).

  4. #4 Sean Foley
    March 25, 2006

    I think using Coke as a generic term for soft drinks pushed me into the south

    I took issue with using that as an exclusively Southern linguistic marker. I grew up in the Mountain West (Denver) and picked it up there. Oh, and I rated 26% Dixie.

  5. #5 karen
    March 25, 2006

    Oddly enough, though I’ve lived my entire life in California, I ended up with a lot of responses indicating a Midwest/Great Lakes source. My parents are from urban Wisconsin and rural Minnesota. Interesting… (33% Dixie)

  6. #6 Mechanophile
    March 25, 2006

    Well, I’m not American, but I’m apparently 44% Dixie.

    I’m from southern Ontario, so I was expecting to be more Yankee than that, but I think my accent is kind of screwy – I grew up here, but my family is split between northern England and London, so I’ve got kind of a mishmash of pronunciations and slang going.

  7. #7 GrrlScientist
    March 25, 2006

    i think this test is confounded by parental inlfuence.

  8. #8 Fred Gray
    March 25, 2006

    I’m from Hampton, SC, just N/E of Savannah GA. by
    60 miles. We always say yall and dhayham.(one sylable,
    sometimes three.)

  9. #9 John
    March 25, 2006

    40% Dixie. You are definitely a Yankee.

    Even though I grew up only in the Northeast, I do not use a lot of the stereotypically Northeastern phrases like the New York “youse”.

  10. #10 Lab Cat
    March 25, 2006

    50% Dixie. Barely in Yankeedom.

    As I’m English, I assume that it is the English Englishisms the South still use that must have pushed me over into Dixie. I’m probably not more Dixie as I’ve picked up phrases (especially “you guys”) and my second syllable in pajamas rhymes with jar, which wasn’t an option. And I really say Arnt for Aunt, but I ended up chosing Ant as I do use that sometimes. Arh, those long English As.

    I also don’t call it anything when you throw toilet paper over a house – um – vandalism?

  11. #11 Tim Lambert
    March 25, 2006

    I got 43%, though there were a few questions where none of the answers fitted. I’m Australian.

  12. #12 Glenn
    March 25, 2006

    Interesting…I’m originally from Savannah, GA, (been in NYC now for 9 years) and I got exactly the same (68) as Fred Gray, above.

  13. #13 Nathan Myers
    March 26, 2006

    I grew up in Hawaii — on the Big Island — which is as far south as you can go and still be in the U.S. I came up only 29% Dixie.

    “… When there was no crawdads, we ate sand.”

    “You ate sand?”

    “We ate sand.”

    (Coen Brothers, Raising Arizona)

  14. #14 Nathan Myers
    March 26, 2006

    By the way, I’m teaching my kids to say (or at least expect to hear) “doe-awg”, “crick”, “bar”, “skonk”, and whatever other Yosemite Sam-isms I come across. For most of two decades, though, I couldn’t figure out why dictionaries used different vowel symbols for (e.g.) “don” and “dawn”.

  15. #15 sciencewoman
    March 26, 2006

    This was a really interesting test – with the intermediate results much more revealing than the end (41% dixie. just barely yankee). I’m from the Upper Midwest but have moved around a fair bit and this test made me realize that i change they way I say things depending on who I’ve been hanging around with or am speaking to.

  16. #16 outeast
    March 27, 2006

    Yikes. Brit-proof:)

  17. #17 biosparite
    March 27, 2006

    66. Not surprising for an Atlanta native raised on Co-Cola.

  18. #18 latina marie
    March 27, 2006

    “34% Dixie. You are definitely a Yankee.”

    i find this very funny since i have lived my entire life in the deep south. i grew up in pensacola, FL and now live in mobile, AL. spent my high school years in a tiny hick town on the AL/FL state line. only two of my answers reflected my southeastern U.S. heritage. apparently i don’t talk like people who live along the gulf of mexico should.

  19. #19 Stephen Uitti
    March 27, 2006

    33%. When i tell people that there is a difference between ‘Don’ and ‘Dawn’, they look at me strange. Really only a few people who live near me can hear the difference – and they believe everyone can hear it.

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