I grew up in Colchester and Old Lyme and they were always grinders. One distinction may be that the neon signs always said "hot grinders." Perhaps the cold ones were subs in some places?
In MA, asking for a grinder gets you a raised eyebrow. Always subs anywhere I've been in that state. Have read the word but have never heard anyone say "spuckie."
In Old Saybrook, across from Johnny Ad's was a sublime meatball grinder, alas gone from us now (as is the name of the establishment). We would stop by after a trip to McNulty's, where they had the good sense to serve us when we were but fifteen or sixteen years of age. Good times.
In Worcester MA, however, John and Sons II made the best meatball grinder I've ever eaten. They baked a special loaf which they would cut in half crosswise. Each half was called a "boot." They would hollow it out and spoon in meatballs that had been simmering in sauce long enough to achieve that astonishing transmutation, where the meatball gains an incredible texture and meatball and sauce almost become one.
I would step over my own mother for one more of those. I did, in fact, end up in Worcester City Hospital with a busted knee because of that grinder. I was riding back to my apartment with one in my backpack and I saw a car double parked just ahead. Instead of slowing down to assess the situation, I was so intoxicated with the prospect of eating said grinder I rode my bike between that car and the one parked curbside. Of course the passenger opened the door at just that moment, whacking me on the knee and sending me ass over teakettle. Never did get to eat that grinder.