I came across Jasika information Friday, because I've been listening to podcasts of Alice Isn't Dead, and... well, there's probably no way to put this without sounding like a crazy person, so. \o?
UM. Basically, I hit my limit on the number of times I could hear her say "wummin" for 'woman' without having to know her U.S. dialect right then and there. I started Googling for that pronunciation and dialect, and came across all sorts of interesting rat-hole information, none of which helped. So, I Googled her instead, and got "Alabama." Looks like she's hiding the rest of that accent pretty well overall, then, because you mostly don't hear it.
The dialect stuff included quizzes where people don't work hard enough to distinguish between word use and pronunciation, and don't seem to ever know where the Pacific Northwest is (hint: it's the part of the map where "pop" and "pill bug" are also used outside of the Midwest). I mean, the three years I worked in radio in Illinois, I would get calls asking, "What country are yew from?" The West Coast dialect is kind of the U.S. generic accent for TV news and entertainment, at least in large markets, but it was foreign enough to Illinois natives that they thought I might be from Canada or something.
One neat regional slang map was full of interesting words and phrases. And revelations. I didn't realize that "thunder egg" wasn't in common use outside where I grew up (I learned about "spendy" years ago). The geoduck thing... those people are right across the border in Washington, why are they calling it that? "Cow country" is used more broadly than just Nevada, though I grew up with "out in the tules"... and don't know how local to the Northwest that one is.
There are always terms originating from Native American language in the Northwest region that you really don't think about (muckety-muck is one), and even knowing that "potluck" comes from "potlatch"... what are the rest of you people calling potlucks? Is there another term for that? I thought that was pretty much it!
The pronunciation differences can be kind of subtle, too. My husband and our daughter both say "puh-JAH-muhs" for pajamas, and I grew up with "puh-JAM-uhs". Maybe the influence of my husband's Nebraska mother? His Florida grandmother? It's generally the second pronunciation around here. Our son pronounces tour like "tor", and for me it rhymes with "pure," but then again... he grew up in Northern California, and I didn't. I'm surrounded here by people who pronounce "Cal" so that it sounds like "cow," and my brain always goes to the wrong place with that.
The final surprise, from a phone call with our son last night. Maybe not a surprise to most of you, but... around here (and up north), we all pronounce "egg" and "leg" as if they rhyme with Haig. Our son says his UCLA classmates mostly say those words with the short vowel sound in "tech" or "neck." This includes people from all over the country. Buzzuh? Is everyone else really saying the other thing?