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| | |-+  bubbler vs. drinking fountain
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Question: What do you think its is?
bubbler   -5 (17.2%)
drinking fountain   -13 (44.8%)
something else   -11 (37.9%)
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Total Voters: 29

Author Topic: bubbler vs. drinking fountain  (Read 7423 times)
Mr. Morden
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« on: October 17, 2010, 12:06:02 am »
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In the spirit of "soda vs. pop".

I guess we could also ask "Is it jimmies or sprinkles?"
« Last Edit: October 17, 2010, 12:08:22 am by Mr. Morden »Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2010, 12:16:09 am »
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"water fountain"
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ilikeverin
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« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2010, 08:04:50 am »
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Yeah, you forgot "water fountain", which I think the majority of the country uses.

I say "drinking fountain", but that's because I'm Minnesotan and all Tongue
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« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2010, 08:37:40 am »
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"water fountain"
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« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2010, 01:25:24 pm »
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I call it a "water fountain." And I say "water" all funny and weird, because I'm from New Jersey.
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« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2010, 06:21:46 pm »
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Bubbler
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Mr. Morden
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« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2010, 07:41:36 pm »
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Btw, I say "bubbler", since I grew up in the Milwaukee area.  Then I lived in a bunch of places in the US where the term is unknown.  Now I've moved to Sydney, and I find that people actually say "bubbler" here as well.  Weird.
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« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2010, 08:07:40 pm »
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Drinking fountain.  Water fountain to me seems to imply an artistic fountain in a plaza.
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« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2010, 08:10:38 pm »
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Water fountain.

Water fountain to me seems to imply an artistic fountain in a plaza.

That's just a fountain.
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« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2010, 09:44:21 pm »
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Water fountain.
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« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2010, 12:25:26 am »
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People say bubbler in Milwaukee? Thought it was just a New Hampshire-ish term.

edit:


Crappy map but interesting... didn't know the term originated from Wisconsin.
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« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2010, 02:11:41 am »
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Bubble taps in Melbourne.
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ilikeverin
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« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2010, 09:19:43 am »
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People say bubbler in Milwaukee? Thought it was just a New Hampshire-ish term.

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Crappy map but interesting... didn't know the term originated from Wisconsin.

It didn't, necessarily.  It could be an independent innovation in both locations.
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John Dibble
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« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2010, 10:00:35 am »
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It didn't, necessarily.  It could be an independent innovation in both locations.

I kind of find that unlikely considering that "bubbler" doesn't exactly describe what the object in question actually does. I've never really seen a water fountain bubble in any significant fashion.

Actually looking it up shows that it was a trademarked brand name for the original water fountains. The name apparently didn't stick for the product in general, which is the opposite of the escalator, which was also a trademarked brand name originally, but since the general public began to associate the name with any moving stairs the trademark was lost and "escalator" became public domain. There's your useless fact of the day.
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« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2010, 10:02:23 am »
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Glorified spittoons
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Mr. Morden
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« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2010, 03:12:20 pm »
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http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/lifestyle/31844089.html

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How come we say bubbler? You can probably credit the Kohler Co. The regional dictionary researcher who mapped bubbler's isogloss (the line on a map that defines where the word is generally used) found that the line was very close to the market-area boundaries of the Kohler Co. in 1915. That's according to a podcast by the Madison-based Wisconsin Englishes Project.

Back then, Kohler made drinking fountains (or whatever you call them) with a "bubbling valve," a ball-shaped thing in the middle of the bowl, out of which water shot vertically. The whole unit came to be called a bubbler, and the term was generalized to include devices that sent out a single stream of water, such as the ones we have today. Joan Houston Hall, chief editor of the regional dictionary, says on the podcast that she thought a similar process must have happened separately in New England, though they don't have specific evidence of it.

But Bert Vaux, a linguist at the University of Cambridge in England who used to be at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and who created those cool maps I linked to, says he thinks bubbler started in Wisconsin and then spread east to New England, eventually dying out everywhere but here and there. In an e-mail to me, he said, "This is a common pattern with linguistic changes, in fact – the core innovates, and the periphery is conservative."
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I should add that bubblers can also be found in Portland, Ore., where a teetotaling lumber baron once installed "Benson Bubblers" to cut down on local beer consumption, as well as in Australia, of all places. A City of Sydney Web site says bubblers were installed there in the early 20th century because the practice of drinking out of shared cups and city water taps was considered unhygienic.
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« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2010, 03:15:26 pm »
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I've only heard the term "bubbler" used in reference to a water pipe for smoking weed. I usually say water or drinking fountain interchangeably.
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« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2010, 03:18:06 pm »

I have never, in my life, hear the word "bubbler", except in some obscure moment that I definitely do not remember.
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StatesRights
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« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2010, 12:35:55 am »
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Just fountain.
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Eraserhead
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« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2010, 12:43:12 am »
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Water fountain or just fountain.
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« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2010, 12:23:21 pm »
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Water fountain or just fountain.
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