Badger Blog Alliance

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bubbler Or Water Fountain?

We have a lot of very important decisions on our plate as a nation and as a state right now. But despite all of these weighty decisions, we are this much closer to answering the question: "Bubbler or water fountain?"

One of Wisconsin's most prominent regional terms -- calling a drinking fountain a "bubbler" -- probably comes from a 1910s corporate marketing campaign.Joan Hall is editor of the Dictionary of American Regional English. She said the term bubbler is used mainly in southeast Wisconsin, where the Kohler Co. marketed its early drinking fountains around 1917. Those porcelain bowls contained "bubbling valves" that made the water bubble as it came through.Pretty soon, Hall said, the valves became known as "bubblers." Then, people started calling the whole product by that name.Hall said as the product changed to look more like drinking fountains, the name stayed the same.Hall said the term is used most often in Wisconsin but researchers have found examples of its use in Ohio and Massachusetts.

Now, if we can just get to the root of the pop or soda question.