US dialect quiz asks 25 questions, tells you where you are from

Each question in the quiz presents some dialect options. You pick the option that feels most comfortable to you.

Most of the questions used in this quiz are based on those in the Harvard Dialect Survey, a linguistics project begun in 2002 by Bert Vaux and Scott Golder. The original questions and results for that survey can be found on Dr. Vaux’s current website.

The data for the quiz and maps shown here come from over 350,000 survey responses collected from August to October 2013 by Josh Katz, a graphics editor for the New York Times who developed this quiz. The colors on the large heat map correspond to the probability that a randomly selected person in that location would respond to a randomly selected survey question the same way that you did. The three smaller maps show which answer most contributed to those cities being named the most (or least) similar to you.

With each answer you provide, the quiz shows a map showing what your choice says about where you are from via a distribution map. I took the quiz and it did an excellent job picking up the place where I grew up.



  • samdchuck

    Drive through liquor store? Please tell me there’s no such thing.

    • Billy Razzle

      I assumed these were everywhere.

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/PACMan3000/ Paul A. Chapel

        I’ve never heard of a drive-through liquor store either. Where are they usually located? What part of the country?

        • Billy Razzle

          I live in Georgia. Not sure why they’d be regional.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/PACMan3000/ Paul A. Chapel

            It would be regional because some states have very strict laws about liquor stores.

  • nilp

    Hmm, it’s pretty adamant that I’m from Alabama but I’ve never been there. I’m from Northern Ireland and I’ve lived in San Francisco for the past 14 years.

  • Neal McAuley

    It nailed where I grew up and lived. It was spot on.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/PACMan3000/ Paul A. Chapel

    I did it twice and put me in the state right above the one I live, which was strange. I guess that’s close enough. I think a few of my answers threw it off because I’ve picked up some language after going to college 3000 miles from home.

  • Richard Thompson

    I took it out of curiosity, I’m near Melbourne in Australia, and it placed me as Minneapolis.

    Even taking into account movies and pop culture (I watch a few foreign films) I was surprised at how many words were common to both countries – beyond the expected overlap due to a common language.

    Wildly extrapolating from a sample size of one I’m speculating that I was placed that far north because Canada and Australia (in very general terms) have a fair whack of commonality.