How to Spot a Northerner Anywhere

By Emily Thomas
Distinguished Young Woman of Massachusetts for 2012

When I first arrived in Mobile for the Distinguished Young Women finals, I stuck out like a sore thumb.  Here I am from Boston walking around say “Wow! This place is wicked cool!” It was pretty easy to pick me and the other Northerners out amongst all the “y’alls” and southern drawls. When I read Christina’s post about how to spot a southerner anywhere, I felt I needed to educate the world on the ways of the North, particularly New England.

1) Defining “New England”

New England is made up of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. It does not include New York or New Jersey. That’s pretty much it.

2) We sadly don’t have Krispy Kreme or Chick Fil-A

As Christina pointed out, people from the North don’t know of Krispy Kreme or Chick Fil-A. Before coming to Mobile, I had never tried Krispy Kreme or Chick Fil-A, in fact I had never even heard of Chick Fil-A. We do make up for it with Papa Gino’s pizza and Friendly’s ice cream. I always knew that Papa Gino’s was a New England thing, but I didn’t know the same was true about Friendly’s until I went to Mobile. I mentioned it to my host family and they both asked what Friendly’s was. For all of you asking the same question, Friendly’s is a diner style restaurant famous for the gourmet sundaes. Many are kid-friendly (no pun intended) like the Monster Mash. My favorite is the Giant Crowd pleaser, which is meant to be shared; 12 scoops of ice cream and 6 toppings! You can mix and match and get as creative as you want.

 



3) We don’t say “y’all”, but we do say “wicked”…

…and we often fahget to use the lettah “r”. We also call water fountains “bubblers” (a term I was laughed at for using in Mobile).

4) Don’t even bother checking the weather because it will most likely change in an hour.

Last week it was 45 degrees and partly sunny. This weekend was a blizzard. Today it’s raining. Tomorrow will be in the 40s again.

5) The slogan may be “America Runs on Dunkin”, but it should be “New England runs on Dunkin.”

There are 4 Dunkin Donuts in my town.  And regardless of the weather, people will most likely be drinking an iced coffee. Hot coffee really isn’t our thing.  

6) We take our sports very seriously.

New England, and Boston in particular, has some die-hard sports fans. Walking around Boston wearing Yankees gear during baseball season is probably not the best idea. We are full of pride and team spirit.

7) The best part about New England is the four seasons

I will never get sick of experiencing a hot summer day in July, a crisp fall day in October where the leaves change, a white Christmas in December, a blizzard in January, and the warm spring that melts it all away. I can never say which season is my favorite, and I love that I get to experience the height of each one every year.

Unlike Christina, I stayed in New England for College but I have still been able to recognize the differences between New England and other places around the country. Some of my classmates are from places like Ohio and Illinois, and they often point out the differences I just talked about. I love living in New England, and I love sharing our unique culture with others. 

Emily Thomas is a college freshman at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts majoring in Chemistry and Secondary Education. Originally from Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Emily was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Massachusetts for 2012. Learn more about Emily here!

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