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15 Regional Words for Vomiting

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Whether from a nasty virus, nauseating taxi ride, or wicked hangover, there will be times you’ll need to blow chunks. At those moments, you probably won’t care to search for a bevy of barfing synonyms. The Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) is here to help. DARE offers at least 37 vomiting variations from across the United States; here are 15 for the next time you need to pray to the porcelain god.


Ever been so sick you feel like you’re disgorging your Doc Martens? This phrase is for you. Meaning to vomit profusely, throw up your boots might be heard in Michigan and Washington. In California and Connecticut, you might say throw up your bootheels; in Colorado, New York, and Ohio, heave up your boots; and in Alaska, heave up your bootheels.

Still more variations include throw up one’s shoes and heave up one’s shoelaces in the North and West, and throw up one's socks, which has scattered usage but might especially be said in Texas and Central states.


Another way to say vomit violently, especially in the North. In Michigan, California, New York, and Wisconsin, you might say heave up your toes; in Ohio, turn up your toes; and in Illinois, vomit clear from your toes. Even more variations include vomit up your toenails, throw up everything but your toenails, urp your toenails up, and, if you’re really in a bad way, throw up your boots and toe nails.


Definitely not the kind you want to stand under. This spewtastic term is used especially in South Carolina but was common in England before it projectiled across the Atlantic, according to Bartlett's Dictionary of Americanisms (1848). The earliest citation of cascade in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is from 1771.


Kotz comes from the German kotzen, which means "to puke," and might be used in German and Pennsylvania-German settlement areas.


Regurgitating in Texas? You can say you’re airing your paunch or belly. To air one’s paunch also means “to boast.”


Originally a nautical term meaning to be seasick, feed the fishes eventually came to mean to vomit in general. Variations include feed fish and feed the goldfish.

7., 8., AND 9. URP, EARL, AND BURK

All imitative in origin. Urp is chiefly used in the Mississippi Valley, Georgia, and the Southwest; earl in Indiana; and burk in Georgia. Earl might also be used as a proper noun as in, “Earl’s knocking at the door” or “I’m going to see Earl.” Burk also refers to “an expulsion of intestinal gas.”


Another echoic term, ralph might be used as a verb (“Sounds like Tom’s ralphing”), a common noun (“There’s ralph on your shirt”), or a proper noun (“I think Ralph’s coming round again”). According to the OED, the term originated in the U.S. in the mid-1960s.

11. YORK

You might hear this synonym for chunder (which, by the way, is Australian slang) especially in Pennsylvania and the Great Lakes region. A colorful (and insulting) extension is holler New York, yet another way to say "throw up."


In case you’re not familiar with the Old Testament story, Jonah was swallowed by a whale, lived in its belly for three days, then was unceremoniously spit up. Hence, heave up Jonah meaning to hurl. Used especially in the North and North Midland.


Lose, spill, or toss your cookies is chiefly used in the North and North Midland. According to the OED, the phrase originated in the late 1920s as college slang: “An hour later, according to the log, ‘McFie shot his cookies’, the only sea-sickness on the voyage.” You can also say flash, park, cough up, or drop your cookies.


Need a less delicate way to say toss your cookies? Try blow your groceries. Might be heard in southwest Georgia and northwest Arkansas.


And if you're feeling queasy in Louisiana, you can say you might lose your okra.

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iStock // Ekaterina Minaeva
Man Buys Two Metric Tons of LEGO Bricks; Sorts Them Via Machine Learning
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iStock // Ekaterina Minaeva

Jacques Mattheij made a small, but awesome, mistake. He went on eBay one evening and bid on a bunch of bulk LEGO brick auctions, then went to sleep. Upon waking, he discovered that he was the high bidder on many, and was now the proud owner of two tons of LEGO bricks. (This is about 4400 pounds.) He wrote, "[L]esson 1: if you win almost all bids you are bidding too high."

Mattheij had noticed that bulk, unsorted bricks sell for something like €10/kilogram, whereas sets are roughly €40/kg and rare parts go for up to €100/kg. Much of the value of the bricks is in their sorting. If he could reduce the entropy of these bins of unsorted bricks, he could make a tidy profit. While many people do this work by hand, the problem is enormous—just the kind of challenge for a computer. Mattheij writes:

There are 38000+ shapes and there are 100+ possible shades of color (you can roughly tell how old someone is by asking them what lego colors they remember from their youth).

In the following months, Mattheij built a proof-of-concept sorting system using, of course, LEGO. He broke the problem down into a series of sub-problems (including "feeding LEGO reliably from a hopper is surprisingly hard," one of those facts of nature that will stymie even the best system design). After tinkering with the prototype at length, he expanded the system to a surprisingly complex system of conveyer belts (powered by a home treadmill), various pieces of cabinetry, and "copious quantities of crazy glue."

Here's a video showing the current system running at low speed:

The key part of the system was running the bricks past a camera paired with a computer running a neural net-based image classifier. That allows the computer (when sufficiently trained on brick images) to recognize bricks and thus categorize them by color, shape, or other parameters. Remember that as bricks pass by, they can be in any orientation, can be dirty, can even be stuck to other pieces. So having a flexible software system is key to recognizing—in a fraction of a second—what a given brick is, in order to sort it out. When a match is found, a jet of compressed air pops the piece off the conveyer belt and into a waiting bin.

After much experimentation, Mattheij rewrote the software (several times in fact) to accomplish a variety of basic tasks. At its core, the system takes images from a webcam and feeds them to a neural network to do the classification. Of course, the neural net needs to be "trained" by showing it lots of images, and telling it what those images represent. Mattheij's breakthrough was allowing the machine to effectively train itself, with guidance: Running pieces through allows the system to take its own photos, make a guess, and build on that guess. As long as Mattheij corrects the incorrect guesses, he ends up with a decent (and self-reinforcing) corpus of training data. As the machine continues running, it can rack up more training, allowing it to recognize a broad variety of pieces on the fly.

Here's another video, focusing on how the pieces move on conveyer belts (running at slow speed so puny humans can follow). You can also see the air jets in action:

In an email interview, Mattheij told Mental Floss that the system currently sorts LEGO bricks into more than 50 categories. It can also be run in a color-sorting mode to bin the parts across 12 color groups. (Thus at present you'd likely do a two-pass sort on the bricks: once for shape, then a separate pass for color.) He continues to refine the system, with a focus on making its recognition abilities faster. At some point down the line, he plans to make the software portion open source. You're on your own as far as building conveyer belts, bins, and so forth.

Check out Mattheij's writeup in two parts for more information. It starts with an overview of the story, followed up with a deep dive on the software. He's also tweeting about the project (among other things). And if you look around a bit, you'll find bulk LEGO brick auctions online—it's definitely a thing!

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Here's How to Change Your Name on Facebook
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Whether you want to change your legal name, adopt a new nickname, or simply reinvent your online persona, it's helpful to know the process of resetting your name on Facebook. The social media site isn't a fan of fake accounts, and as a result changing your name is a little more complicated than updating your profile picture or relationship status. Luckily, Daily Dot laid out the steps.

Start by going to the blue bar at the top of the page in desktop view and clicking the down arrow to the far right. From here, go to Settings. This should take you to the General Account Settings page. Find your name as it appears on your profile and click the Edit link to the right of it. Now, you can input your preferred first and last name, and if you’d like, your middle name.

The steps are similar in Facebook mobile. To find Settings, tap the More option in the bottom right corner. Go to Account Settings, then General, then hit your name to change it.

Whatever you type should adhere to Facebook's guidelines, which prohibit symbols, numbers, unusual capitalization, and honorifics like Mr., Ms., and Dr. Before landing on a name, make sure you’re ready to commit to it: Facebook won’t let you update it again for 60 days. If you aren’t happy with these restrictions, adding a secondary name or a name pronunciation might better suit your needs. You can do this by going to the Details About You heading under the About page of your profile.

[h/t Daily Dot]