Do you call that water flowing past a brook or a stream? How about an arroyo? It actually may be telling of where you are from. Derek Watkins put together “Mapping Generic Terms in the Contiguous United States,” shown below, which gives insight into how culture and environment come together.
He took the the place names contained in the USGS National Hydrography Dataset to show how the names of streams vary, leaving grey rivers and creeks (due to their ubiquity).