Tuesday, May 5, 2009

What’s in a Name?

200px-Garden_hose What do you call this thing that’s pictured there to the left?  If you’re like me, you call it simply a “hose.”  Some of the rest of you may call it a bit more formally a “garden hose.”

It’s used to water the garden or wash the car or give the dog a bath.  You can even attach a sprinkler to it and snake it out across the yard and water the whole thing.

But do you know what they call this thing in Alabama?  For a clue, just look at this statement by Alabama Slacker Mama.  Reading her blog this morning was the inspiration for this post.

“You can water it with a hose pipe all you want, but nothing makes a garden grow like good ol' rain.”

Before I moved to Alabama, I had never heard of a “hose pipe,” and I’ve lived most of my life in the South.  I remember the first time one of my subcontractors asked me if I had a hose pipe he could borrow I wondered what in the world he was talking about.

It turns out that I was the ignorant one.  Searching the internet for a picture of a green garden hose, I found it right there on Wikipedia, that source of all useful information.  It’s even a term used by the British, those proper people from across the pond.

“A garden hose or hosepipe is a flexible tube used to carry water.”

Just goes to show you that you that you’re never too old to learn.


Joyce said...

They are called hosepipes in the UK as well. The summer after we moved here there was a hosepipe ban. Took me a while to figure out if that impacted me : ) You couldn't water or wash cars, that kind of thing. It was actually a dry summer plus one of the big resevoirs was leaking. Hard to imagine there would ever be an occasion where there wasn't enough water in this country!

btw-about the word y'all here...occasionally someone has commented on it. Lots of words I say here get comments : ) Sometimes I say something and the person laughs and I am not sure why. When they explain I ususally laugh too.

Have a great day!

Rhonda said...

Hi, thanks for stopping by my blog. I will have to check out that new marble game...

I call it a garden hose. I wouldn't have known what they were talking about either. Good to know.

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

Well, I've called it a hosepipe or waterpipe all my life...but never thought about it before....funny how one little word can be so interesting.

Malvie said...

"Hosepipe" got me too, when I moved to Nashville. I'd never heard that term either. Don't know if it extends to Atlanta, but in Tennessee, it's a hosepipe.

That big expanse of concrete we all drive on, the one with the multiple lanes, green signs, entrances and exits, etc.? I grew up mostly in Texas and Arkansas, and we always called it the "freeway" (Ok, many Dallasites call it the "expressway", a Chicago-ism expanded to Texas via "Central Expressway").

The Tennesseans quickly corrected me. I kept saying things like, "Well, get on the freeway and go into town, exit 440 east..." and they would look at me funny, then say, "Freeway? What is that? OH, you mean the INTERSTATE!?!" In Tennessee, it's an INTERSTATE, regardless of whether it actually goes inter-state (IH 65, IH 40) or not (IH 440).

And in Texas, all freeways have side roads (I was surprised, upon moving to other states, to learn this is unusual). In Dallas, these are "Frontage Roads", in San Antonio and most of the rest of Texas they are "Access Roads", but in Houston they're "Feeders". "Where is Luby's?" "Oh, it's on Katy Freeway, on the eastbound feeder right past Kirkwood".

Also, Houston and Dallas (like some other cities, LA and Chicago notably) NAME the freeways. "Katy Freeway" "LBJ" "Southwest Freeway" "R. L. Thornton" "Eastex" "Stemmons" "Gulf" "Carpenter", etc. represent IH 10 West, IH 635, US 59 South, IH 30 and IH 35 E South, US 59 North,IH 35 E North, IH 45 South, and Texas 114 respectively. This confuses the heck out of visiting southerners, who don't understand the naming of "interstates".

I love little quirks of language. In our current homogenized global village, it's refreshing to run into these little regional differences.

Nancy @ La Chambre Rose said...

For me, a native New Yorker, it is a hose. We get right to the point and move on. I never would have know what a hose pipe was without your post. On the Dallas Freeways, we lived in Dallas longer than anywhere else, about 9 years, total, and I cannot to this day remember one from the other because people use the name more than the route. I had to draw a map (pre-iPhone days) every time I went somewhere new.

tale of many cities said...

guess us ARKIES just call it a garden hose.. we just simple folk..LOLOLOL ;)

PS.. hope the grandbaby comes on time!!! >>fingers crossed for ya!<<


Lou Cinda said...

Girlfriend, I was RAISED calling it a "hose pipe"! Sounds SO funny. I have dropped the "pipe" in my old age and simply call it a hose now. But "hose pipe", I know exactly what they are talking about!

Lou Cinda :)

Robin said...

KBeau....I just knew when I posted "HOSE PIPE" I would get some sort of response from someone...lol! I almost deleted it, but then I thought...NAAAHHH, that's what I would say in "real life" so just leave it!

I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who knows what it is!


Robin :o)

Sares said...

I have never heard the term "hose pipe" until I read your post. Up here in Washington State, it's just a hose. I guess we're a bit lazy with the English language, hose pipe sounds so fancy! Next time my niece wants to use the sprinkler or slip-n-slide I'm going to tell her to go get the "hose Pipe" and see what her response is, LOL! We'll see if she can wrap her little 8 year old noggin around it. Have a loveleigh day!

Keetha said...

I've heard of a hose pipe, I've used a hose pipe, I've even BOUGHT several of them - - - - only I usually call them a plain ole hose.

Leigh of Bloggeritaville said...

I too call ir a hose, but all my relatives, its a hosepipe!

FrankandMary said...

Now my Dad, being the creative type, used thick black marker to give ours BIG EYES and used to tell kids it was a garden snake.~Mary

ps hosepipe reminds me of gaspipe which reminds me of Sylvia Plath, just doesn't work for me.

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Kathy, that is so funny. I read that on Robin's blog, and I thought she was talking about some kind of underground pipe for automatic watering! Thanks for educating me on this subject! laurie

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

I've never heard of "hose pipe" -- I think I'll use that sometime to see if anybody knows what that means!

Kim @ Manning Family Tree said...

I am from California & I've never heard of a hosepipe. I know hose or garden hose, but hosepipe, nope. So I learned something new today as well. I love how things have different names depending on what part of the country you are from. I always called a purse, a purse. But my friend from Maine called it a pocketbook.

Leann said...

I tried to visit on Pink Saturday, but with so many participating it was hard to get to everyone. I've enjoyed reading all of your posts, and will be back to visit again soon.


momma said...

i have learned a lot of new words and phrases since dating/being married to a southern boy. now that i live in the south, i am using those "odd" words. my favorite was toboggan. in the north, that's a big sled. in the south, it's a hat. that word caused some major confusion one winter with my mom :)