Letters: Bubbler Bonanza

Barbara Belzer Adams’s entertaining piece about the Wisconsin word bubbler was delightful and informative [Spring 2012, “Bubbler: A Secret Code,” Sifting & Winnowing]. I have lived in eight different states since leaving Madison, and have always found that noun useful in ferreting out Badgers in social thickets.

Jack French ’58 Fairfax, Virginia

Greatly enjoyed Barbara Belzer Adams’s article. Having grown up in Madison in the ’50s, I remember bubblers well, and still refer to water fountains as bubblers. The only fault I found was that the picture showed a fountain, not a bubbler. A bubbler “bubbled” the water straight up from the middle of the fountain, and was probably not too sanitary.

Bill Cuthbert ’66 Lake Villa, Illinois

The Spring issue of On Wisconsin was excellent! When I got to the bit on bubblers (just now my spell-check is having a fit … obviously, it’s not from Wisconsin), I remembered a trip we took south with our children. We stopped to get gas, and the kids had a hard time trying to make the attendant understand that they would like to have a drink of water. When they finally found a drinking fountain, they couldn’t understand why there were “white and black” bubblers. They said they had tried both of them and the water was the same in both. Ain’t it the truth!

Phyllis Anderson ’48, MA’68 Madison

Published in the Summer 2012 issue


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