Posted by: Genny Colby | October 31, 2012


I am always interested in language, dialects, words that are region specific.  One such word for me is bubbler.  It was such a common word for me growing up.  Everyone I knew used it.  Then I ventured outside my little world of our neighborhood/church/school, which really were all connected.  And people gave me blank stares or laughed when I asked about the bubbler.

What is a bubbler?  It is a drinking fountain!  And apparently it is a very Wisconsin word…more specifically it is a very Milwaukee word that has spread out to the state.  Given that my parents grew up in Milwaukee, no surprise I guess that we used this word!

It apparently started as a marketing term by the makers for the first bubbler…Kohler Inc of Kohler WI.  The contained “bubbling valves” that would shoot the water up about 1 inch and the whole unit became known as a bubbler!  And the word stuck and is still used today in all parts of WI…and beyond.

I think my new goal will be to get everyone I know to use it here in Colorado..except we don’t actually really use them anymore since we all carry our own water bottles where ever we go….

and here are a few sources/interesting articles on the word

Lesson #1…This is a Bubbler

Origin of the word bubbler




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