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What the heck is a whistle pig?  I raised the question with several people who’ve lived in Idaho all their lives or for a very long time and couldn’t get an answer.  One guy at work did tell me it’s what people in Colorado call a marmot.  But he’s never heard anyone use the term in Idaho.

Then I asked him if he knew what a jockey box was.  He did.  It’s what a handful of people call a glove compartment.  He once mentioned this on-air and sparked a flurry of telephone calls from the audience on the subject.  Check out this web address.  It’s what got the conversation started.  It examines slang in all 50 states, which can also be limited to regions of some states, especially the larger ones.

I’ll give you an example of regionalism.  My sister lives near Buffalo, New York.  Coke and Pepsi are known as pop.  If you drive east to Syracuse, it’s called soda.

I’m told that pop used to be the most common reference in Idaho, but that soda has made great inroads.  Probably on the tongues of transplants from other parts of the country.  Only about one-third of Idahoans are any longer native-born.  My guess is there are also regional differences here.  Sarah Palin lived in the panhandle through grade school.  She says pop when she talks about Coke or Pepsi, however.  She may have picked up the word later in Alaska, where in neighboring Canada the word usually generally pop as well.

I recall some regional slang as a boy growing up, but most of it I can’t repeat to polite audiences.

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