The Student News Site of Roger Williams University

The Hawks' Herald

The Student News Site of Roger Williams University

The Hawks' Herald

The Student News Site of Roger Williams University

The Hawks' Herald

Bubbler vs. Water Fountain

Elizabeth Van Liew

Team Bubbler:

I have lived in Rhode Island for my entire life, and I have grown up with unique Rhode Island things like Del’s Lemonade in the summer, having a wicked fun time down the beach, and drinking out of bubblers. 

For people who may not know, a bubbler, or sometimes (incorrectly) called a water fountain, where people can easily get a refreshing splash of water.  

In a recent poll on Instagram from @thehawksherald, 46% of voters voted bubbler (28 out of 61 votes) when asked to identify a photo between “bubbler” and “water fountain.” 

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While I can see how people who say bubbler are in the minority of votes, you have to keep in mind the demographic of Roger Williams University. For instance, the majority of students are either from Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, or New Jersey. In those states, they typically refer to a bubbler as a water fountain. It just goes to show that people in Rhode Island have a different vernacular than even our closest two neighbors; Massachusetts and Connecticut! 

Additionally, the word bubbler helps to differentiate a beautiful fountain from a place to get a quick sip of water. I mean, you wouldn’t stop and take a drink to cool off in the hot sun at a water fountain with frogs, pennies, and other organisms! So why would you call a bubbler a water fountain?

No matter what you call it, a bubbler will always be a part of Rhode Island’s iconic culture and no matter how hard people will try to convince us it’s ‘water fountain,’ we will always be right in saying bubbler.


Team Water Fountain:

By coming to a college like Roger where many different cultures mix together, it has encouraged me to learn the different names for things that have the same use. In this case, is it a water fountain or a bubbler? 

Typically, if you have to explain something to me about what something is called, I will always go with what is easier to understand. When someone says “I’m going to get water from the water fountain”, it is easy to understand because everyone knows exactly what you mean. But when you come up with alternate names, like bubbler, it becomes confusing because that notion only pertains to a smaller demographic of people. 

Based on our poll on Instagram, 54% of voters voted for the water fountain and I don’t blame them. Although the demographic may be different, you have to look at what makes the most sense. 

More literally speaking though, I have a good motive for why I believe in it being called a water fountain. A bubbler is simple where you put a 5 or 10 gallon water tank upside down in the holder and can dispense the water into a cup which allows the air to be sucked into the bottle, ultimately creating air bubbles, hence the name a bubbler. A water fountain differs from this because the water is dispensed in a fountain arch which makes it simple for the user to drink directly from it. 

Overall, water fountain is the only correct name for it as I will continually believe this over calling it a “bubbler”. I would love to hear more feedback from students and faculty but you can’t disagree that I am right. 

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About the Contributors
Lily Neves, News Editor
Lily has been the News Editor for the Hawks Herald since the Fall of 2023. She enjoys keeping the campus updated on the current events around campus. Lily is a Legal Studies and Political Science double major. Outside of the newsroom, Lily enjoys grabbing coffee with friends, working out, and watching sunsets.
Nolan Abitabilo, Features Editor
Nolan is the Features Editor for the Hawks' Herald since the Fall of 2023. He is a Creative Writing Major with a Minor in Psychology and loves to keep the campus updated on current events and changes. Aside from the newspaper he also loves to be outside, listen to music, and explore everything that Rhode Island has to offer.
Elizabeth Van Liew, Chief Designer
Lizzie is the Chief Designer of the Hawks' Herald. She is a Graphic Design major and plans to minor in Marketing. On campus she is also Secretary of the Design Club and works in the design lab as part of the Design Collective. For fun she enjoys reading stories, writing them and baking.

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