This was something I learned when I spent several weeks working in Woonsocket, R.I. back in the early 1990s. Some colleagues from the local area introduced me to Newport Creamery (a dairy bar) and the drink they call an awful-awful. I fell in love with 'em. Just hearing the term awful-awful puts a dopey smile on my face.
I wrote this post about the awful-awful last July. Proof that New Englanders love their ice cream (and like to reminisce) is the fact that this post has received several comments in the months after I wrote it.
So if you find yourself in Rhode Island and a few of the locals ask if you wanna go buy a "cabinet," don't worry -- they aren't expecting you to purchase a $600 piece of Chippendale furniture. They're only asking you if you want to join them for an ice cream drink. This web page (courtesy of Rhode Island Monthly) can help you make sense of the different names for different beverages.
No one knows how to make BBQ like Southerners. And no one knows how to make ice cream and milkshakes like New Englanders.