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mcheiss

Northwest Arkansas

NWA, Southern or Midwestern?   24 members have voted

  1. 1. Is the Area Southern or Midwestern?

    • Southern
      3
    • Midwestern
      2
    • Hybrid Southern & Midwestern
      18
    • None, Be Specific
      1

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36 posts in this topic

I know this has been lingering in everyones minds for a while.

Do you guys think the area is more Midwestern or Southern?

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I know this has been lingering in everyones minds for a while.

Do you guys think the area is more Midwestern or Southern?

I voted hybrid, because while the area seems Midwestern to me most of the time, there are definitely times when something "Southern" happens. A good example is the produce section of the grocery stores, there is a large amount of space devoted to all the "Southern" vegetables. Grocery stores in Joplin don't stock many of these things and they are geographically very near us. Another example, most doctors use the Southeastern US allergen chart when testing people in NWA. The states covered by this chart are Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and maybe Tennessee. The allergens present in NWA are a LOT more like those in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri than those other states (vote for Midwestern), but the doctors still still use them because we are technically listed on this chart and not the others (vote for Southern).

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I know this has been lingering in everyones minds for a while.

Do you guys think the area is more Midwestern or Southern?

mcheiss:

1. Kansas City is different than its neighbors to the north Omaha, Des Moines and Minneapolis, but it's definitely midwestern.

2. Joplin is definitely more southern than Kansas City...the Osage Prairie (flatland between the two Missouri cities) pretty much begins at Webb City north of Joplin, and immediately west of Joplin. In our homogenizing culture this may be different now, but the southwest Missouri accent of the 60s and 70s was much more southern than midwestern. (People would say "Hah" meaning "Hi", "That's mahn" meaning "That's mine", etc.)

3. Hilly Ozark McDonald County seems more southern than Joplin...in an "eastern Oklahoma" kind of way. (Some debate over whether Oklahoma's a midwestern (naah) or southern state...traveling from Pryor OK to Gravette last Saturday I saw a rebel flag flying in front of a house in the Delaware County OK hills.) My former HR manager once said north of the Missouri/Arkansas line at Benton/McDonald people would say "you'uns" (eastern Kansas people used to say that, too) while south of the (Mason-Dixon) line people would say "ya'll".

4. Bella Vista, even with its myriad University of Nebraska paraphernalia and dark-colored civic buildings, seems more southern than McDonald County. Driving on the highway between Macadoodles and Hiwasse one drives on roads that just "feel" southern. You also pretty much (with one exception) have left the farm architecture of the midwest behind...most midwestern farms seem to have different looking silos, etc.

5. Bentonville, with its occasional magnolia trees and confederate soldier statue in the square, definitely feels more southern than BV...Bentonville's also farther south than any place in Kentucky or Virginia and even some places in Tennessee and North Carolina.

6. Fayetteville, with even more big homes (many of them obviously in the U of A greek community) downtown with grecian style pillars, etc. seems more southern than Bentonville. I defy anyone to find a football school in the midwest surrounded by big forested hills like the U of A's is.

7. Fort Smith, with its river valley heat/humidity, different (for now) racial makeup and impending proximity to Texas is definitely more southern than Fayetteville.

8. And anything south of Fort Smith is pretty much in the Ouachitas, is farther south than Memphis, TN and on the way to either Louisiana and/or Texas and is DEFINITELY southern.

Changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes... :good:

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mcheiss:

1. Kansas City is different than its neighbors to the north Omaha, Des Moines and Minneapolis, but it's definitely midwestern.

2. Joplin is definitely more southern than Kansas City...the Osage Prairie (flatland between the two Missouri cities) pretty much begins at Webb City north of Joplin, and immediately west of Joplin. In our homogenizing culture this may be different now, but the southwest Missouri accent of the 60s and 70s was much more southern than midwestern. (People would say "Hah" meaning "Hi", "That's mahn" meaning "That's mine", etc.)

3. Hilly Ozark McDonald County seems more southern than Joplin...in an "eastern Oklahoma" kind of way. (Some debate over whether Oklahoma's a midwestern (naah) or southern state...traveling from Pryor OK to Gravette last Saturday I saw a rebel flag flying in front of a house in the Delaware County OK hills.) My former HR manager once said north of the Missouri/Arkansas line at Benton/McDonald people would say "you'uns" (eastern Kansas people used to say that, too) while south of the (Mason-Dixon) line people would say "ya'll".

4. Bella Vista, even with its myriad University of Nebraska paraphernalia and dark-colored civic buildings, seems more southern than McDonald County. Driving on the highway between Macadoodles and Hiwasse one drives on roads that just "feel" southern. You also pretty much (with one exception) have left the farm architecture of the midwest behind...most midwestern farms seem to have different looking silos, etc.

5. Bentonville, with its occasional magnolia trees and confederate soldier statue in the square, definitely feels more southern than BV...Bentonville's also farther south than any place in Kentucky or Virginia and even some places in Tennessee and North Carolina.

6. Fayetteville, with even more big homes (many of them obviously in the U of A greek community) downtown with grecian style pillars, etc. seems more southern than Bentonville. I defy anyone to find a football school in the midwest surrounded by big forested hills like the U of A's is.

7. Fort Smith, with its river valley heat/humidity, different (for now) racial makeup and impending proximity to Texas is definitely more southern than Fayetteville.

8. And anything south of Fort Smith is pretty much in the Ouachitas, is farther south than Memphis, TN and on the way to either Louisiana and/or Texas and is DEFINITELY southern.

Changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes... :good:

There are a lot of Southeasterners that don't consider Texas at all Southern. Most Southerners don't consider Oklahoma Southern. I'm not sure where it ends but I think Little Rock is still Southern, KC is Midwestern, maybe Fayetteville is halfway between the two culturally as well as geographically.

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I chose Hybrid, simply because there are still plenty of Southern Features in NWA: Dixeland Street in Rogers, The Confederate Soldier Statue in Downtown Bentonville, Southern Architecture in Downtown Fayetteville, Rogers, and Bentonville. Some Mid-western features are clearly present from all of the new growth and transplants from all over the country.

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Yeah I'd vote a mixture as well. NWA is still a part of Arkansas which is a 'southern' state. But being so close to Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma has given us some midwestern influences as well. In many ways I'd consider Oklahoma in the same situation. The eastern parts of the state seem to have some southern influence. I don't know if I'd say that about the western part though. I don't think I'd say all the newcomers are the cause of Arkansas not being as southern as the rest of the state. But to be honest this area has been drawing people from other areas since the 60's. Back then it wasn't as drastic as it is now but there were people from other parts of the state and area moving to NWA. If anything I think you could say NWA might have picked up more southern tendencies back then because it started drawing people from other parts of the state. One thing I'd like to point out while studying about Fayetteville's history is that for some odd reason it had attracted a number of people from the northeast part of the country. It was many of them who was teachers and such and helped instill an educational aspect to the area that helped get people to go after the university. So even back in the early days there was a non-southern minority in the area.

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I'm not sure about culture and actual features, but I'd say about half of the people I've met from the NWA region have a southern dialect and say "y'all," and the other half seem to sound more midwestern. And obviously there are some pretty big differences between the two dialects.

FYI: My area of northwest Louisiana is similar in that it's in a corner of the state where dialects vary. While we used to have a more Cajun influence... I knew quite a few Cajuns back in the 80s... now that seems to be gone and our dialect is more similar to that of east Texas.

My vote for your area, before I saw the results, was 'hybrid.' I believe it's obvious, at least from the people I know and have met from that region.

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I'm not sure about culture and actual features, but I'd say about half of the people I've met from the NWA region have a southern dialect and say "y'all," and the other half seem to sound more midwestern. And obviously there are some pretty big differences between the two dialects.

I still think it's interesting the big change in dialects between areas of Washington County. Not sure if this applies as well to Benton County. eastern and southern areas of Washington County seem to have a much stronger southern accent, almost Appalachian in fact. But this would seem to fit because those areas are hillier. But in the flater areas there seems to be more of a less southern accent. Now it's certainly not hard to find some stronger southern accents in the metro. But then again are those people who moved in more recently. For that matter I think some of it is possibly even due to an influx of migration that started back in the 60's possibly even in the 50's.

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There are a lot of Southeasterners that don't consider Texas at all Southern. Most Southerners don't consider Oklahoma Southern. I'm not sure where it ends but I think Little Rock is still Southern, KC is Midwestern, maybe Fayetteville is halfway between the two culturally as well as geographically.

A couple of years ago Southern living magazine ran a feature on Kenton Oklahoma (at the far NW tip of the Oklahoma panhandle) as "the most northwesterly city in the south"...so they, too, consider Oklahoma southern.

Texas, particularly east of Dallas, Austin and San Antonio, seems quite southern...west of that line you get a blur between southwest and Oklahoma. ">)

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A couple of years ago Southern living magazine ran a feature on Kenton Oklahoma (at the far NW tip of the Oklahoma panhandle) as "the most northwesterly city in the south"...so they, too, consider Oklahoma southern.

Texas, particularly east of Dallas, Austin and San Antonio, seems quite southern...west of that line you get a blur between southwest and Oklahoma. ">)

Yeah I think there becomes a blur in western Oklahoma and western Texas. Of course in west Texas it's more southwestern than anything else.

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Yeah I think there becomes a blur in western Oklahoma and western Texas. Of course in west Texas it's more southwestern than anything else.

I saw two good maps somewhere that were maps of the country by whether you called soft drinks "Coke, pop, or soda" and by predominant religions that defined the South as well as any. I agree that East Texas is definitely Southern. San Antonio and West of this is definitely NOT. Even the difference between Dallas and Ft Worth is striking for those that have spend time in both. I personally don't think OK is Southern, it's probably no man's land as much as NWA. SE Missouri in the Mississippi River valley is definitely Southern but St Louis, Columbia, Springfield, and KC aren't. The line is awful blurry.

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Interesting maps. But if you were looking at the soft drink one you might think New Mexico was more southern than North Carolina. :lol: Although I've actually heard some people consider parts of east New Mexico as being somewhat 'southern'. I also like how in the second map Baptists and Mormons seem to be very well defined. Baptists very quickly die off at the edge of New Mexico as you enter a very strong Catholic area. Lutherans weren't as defined up north as I thought they might.

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I saw two good maps somewhere that were maps of the country by whether you called soft drinks "Coke, pop, or soda" and by predominant religions that defined the South as well as any. I agree that East Texas is definitely Southern. San Antonio and West of this is definitely NOT. Even the difference between Dallas and Ft Worth is striking for those that have spend time in both. I personally don't think OK is Southern, it's probably no man's land as much as NWA. SE Missouri in the Mississippi River valley is definitely Southern but St Louis, Columbia, Springfield, and KC aren't. The line is awful blurry.

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I know a family from north-central Arkansas, where this map shows that the people say "pop," but they call it "sodie pop." Uh... yeah. I say "coke" out of habit, and I believe this map represents my region very well with that. I am, however, more specific when ordering soft drinks at restaurants because if you say "I want a coke," you're going to get Coca-Cola.

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I know a family from north-central Arkansas, where this map shows that the people say "pop," but they call it "sodie pop." Uh... yeah. I say "coke" out of habit, and I believe this map represents my region very well with that. I am, however, more specific when ordering soft drinks at restaurants because if you say "I want a coke," you're going to get Coca-Cola.

I do find it interesting that NWA seems very heavy in the coke classification. I wouldn't have guessed it was that strong. I think I hear quite a few people calling it pop or soda as well. I could still see coke being used quite a bit but not quite as dominant as that. But that map appears to be 2003, not too long ago.

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On another off topic note, I also find it interesting how Baptists really die off between the Missouri Iowa line as well.

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On another off topic note, I also find it interesting how Baptists really die off between the Missouri Iowa line as well.

Great, then it's settled. I now know where I'm moving to. ;)

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On another off topic note, I also find it interesting how Baptists really die off between the Missouri Iowa line as well.

Cool maps, Aporkalypse.

Mith, it seems you start getting a much higher scandinavian population once you cross the Iowa line...and lots (perhaps a majority) of old-line Scandinavians are Lutherans. (I'm guessing few Missourians know what an "Ole and Lena" joke is.)

As far as soft drinks, note the "brown patch" squarely in the St. Louis Major Trading Area. EVERYONE from St. Louis called soft drinks "sodas". It dips into far northeast Arkansas around Clay County...which almost could be in the St. L. MTA itself.

BTW, this brings us back to the "midwestern/southern" thing...St. Louis people have an upper midwestern accent, or they used to, like Minnesotans or South Dakotans (by contrast, Chicagoans used to have a similar accent but somewhat rougher..."Where AAR my SHOOZ?"). Springfield people had the aforementioned southern accent...while the Kansas Citians I knew didn't have much of an accent at all (neither did the Wichitans).

BTW #2, a co-worker/friend from Wesley/Huntsville, AR in the late 70s/early 80s in Springfield had a southern accent that made Springfield talk sound almost Bostonian by comparison.

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Cool maps, Aporkalypse.

Mith, it seems you start getting a much higher scandinavian population once you cross the Iowa line...and lots (perhaps a majority) of old-line Scandinavians are Lutherans. (I'm guessing few Missourians know what an "Ole and Lena" joke is.)

Yeah there's also a lot more Germans up there as well. Although that probably explains the Lutheran Catholic mixture, since Germany is mainly Lutheran to the north but Catholic in the south.

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Cool maps, Aporkalypse.

BTW, this brings us back to the "midwestern/southern" thing...St. Louis people have an upper midwestern accent, or they used to, like Minnesotans or South Dakotans (by contrast, Chicagoans used to have a similar accent but somewhat rougher..."Where AAR my SHOOZ?"). Springfield people had the aforementioned southern accent...while the Kansas Citians I knew didn't have much of an accent at all (neither did the Wichitans).

Yeah I could see Kansas City not having too much of an accent. I know for a long time there were quite a few telemarketing ccompanies in Nebraska because there's very little accent. Or maybe I should say the accent was of the type that it was easily understood by everyone. I think that went down into parts of Kansas as well and obviously Kansas City wouldn't be too far away from that area.

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I think someone from Detroit, Chicago, or Omaha would laugh at this discussion, as NWA to them is clearly Southern.

Of course they would, but when you start comparing cultures, dialetcs, etc, some southern regions just stand out as 'different.' Yours is one of those. Even Chicago is tecnhically considered midwestern, but they have a different dialect all their own and I have a hard time labelling them as midwestern. But still, they're not at quite the same kind of crossroads that you guys are. You are literally at the crossroads between the south and the midwest. That really makes your area unique and hard to label.

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Of course they would, but when you start comparing cultures, dialetcs, etc, some southern regions just stand out as 'different.' Yours is one of those. Even Chicago is tecnhically considered midwestern, but they have a different dialect all their own and I have a hard time labelling them as midwestern. But still, they're not at quite the same kind of crossroads that you guys are. You are literally at the crossroads between the south and the midwest. That really makes your area unique and hard to label.

I think we are somewhat also a crossroads to the west. Once you get into Oklahoma the west is a slow train coming, but the grass fires will light the way to desolation.

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My answer is that NWA is Southern, and I

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When I was in St. Louis, the Dean of the Business school (upon hearing I was from Arkansas) said something to the effect: "Oh, another midwestern state!"

I was surprised he considered it midwestern.

Take it with a grain of salt.

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