For carb-lovers, stuffing is the ultimate thanksgiving side dish. That delicious blend of bread, celery, onions and seasonings when smothered with gravy and served atop roast turkey is truly a feast to be thankful for. (Heck. Forget the turkey! I’d be happy with stuffing alone!)

That said, while we all unanimously seem to agree that stuffing reigns supreme, what we disagree on is what to call it. Some people say stuffing. Others call it dressing. So what gives?

Avoid these 8 common stuffing mistakes.

Well, historically, some people used the terms to note the difference between stuffing (cooked inside the bird) and dressing (cooked outside of the bird, likely in a baking dish). But this wasn’t really ever “official.” Dictionaries no longer even really distinguish the two.

The difference in the terminology is actually due to regional dialects.

Though both dishes contain the same ingredients, if you’re from a southern state like Georgia, Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, or North or South Carolina, you’re more likely to use the word dressing. Google Trends shows that Missourians are actually the most likely to express a preference for dressing, as 86% of its Google searches for this recipe went to dressing.

Interestingly, the only non-southern state to prefer dressing over stuffing was Indiana.

If you’re from states a state like Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, or other areas in New England, you almost certainly call it stuffing.

And just to make things a little more confusing, some parts of Pennsylvania call it filling — a little too literal of a word choice to be appetizing.

So why does it matter?

Well, it doesn’t. Not really. At this point, if you ask for one over the other, most people will know what you mean. It’s just a little more polite if you’re visiting family a few states away to use their lingo.

Now, to debate if this stuffing recipe should be made in a crock pot or a slow cooker.

Also see, 9 of the funniest Thanksgiving scenes on television. 

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Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. She’s thrown away just as many meals as she’s proud of.