usb thumb drives

An informal language experiment

I heard a random language observation somewhere on the Internet: Regional differences are emerging in the anglosphere for the term for “a small data storage device you plug into a computer’s USB port,” even though they’ve existed in the mainstream for about seven or eight years.

Here’s an informal, unscientific experiment: Write a comment on this post stating which term you usually use, and specify roughly where you live. Choose from the following:

  • Flash drive
  • Memory stick
  • Thumb drive
  • USB drive
  • Another term (specify)
  • I know what this is, but I don’t have a specific term for it

I’ll get the ball rolling: I say “flash drive,” and I’m from Southern California. What term do you use?