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March 22, 2009 1:23 PM   Subscribe


 
Y'all fixin' to read it?
posted by box at 1:33 PM on March 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wicked pissah idea!
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:34 PM on March 22, 2009


I love stuff like this. Thank you.

I wish my maternal grandmother had been interviewed for a project like this when she was still alive (and lucid!). She was born and raised in Wyoming in the early 20th century, and had an extraordinary number of weird and wonderful terms and pronunciations that were unlike anything I've ever heard since.
posted by scody at 1:42 PM on March 22, 2009


This read is going to be choicer than a persian kitten's whiskers.
posted by clearly at 1:47 PM on March 22, 2009


D.A.R.E. to be different!

Linguistically speaking. Obviously you should give in to peer pressure and do drugs.
posted by Lemurrhea at 1:55 PM on March 22, 2009


Don't you mean it's a'nearin' completion?
posted by brundlefly at 2:01 PM on March 22, 2009


Awesome. Bookmarked. Thanks!
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 2:05 PM on March 22, 2009




Splendid.
posted by Elmore at 2:08 PM on March 22, 2009


The Dictionary of American Regional English is nearing completion...and probably already out of date.
posted by incessant at 2:20 PM on March 22, 2009


Oooh, I'm so curious if this will contain the Southern definition of the word "uppity". I focused part of a research paper last year on Rep. Lynn Westmoreland's (R) use of the word "uppity" in reference to the Obamas. Westmoreland of course denied any racist overtones that his use of the word may have conveyed. A few months later, the word showed up in my OED email Word of the Day. I was surprised that the OED had no index of the racially-loaded meaning, despite a whole region of the US being well-aware of the term, with a history that goes back many, many decades. I wrote them a letter asking about the omission and stating my position – I feel that the lack of acknowledgement of the racially-loaded usage could potentially de-legitimize any claims that the media or others make against those in positions of power or influence that have used the term with this nefarious intention. I did receive a prompt reply back from somebody at the Oxford University Press, stating that they would look into it for the next overhaul of the OED. We'll see.

Long story short, I look forward to references like these because, when done well, they can be legitimate and credible sources for discourse analysis work, as well as countless other fields of study, linguistic or otherwise.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:24 PM on March 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


If you'll be my honeyfuggle, I'll be your pussytoes.

(Not proper usage, but *sounds* so fun!)
posted by quietalittlewild at 2:30 PM on March 22, 2009


The Dictionary of American Regional English is nearing completion...and probably already out of date.

I was going to say "nearing completion and less relevant by the day as regional dialects become increasingly homogenized." But it will be a valuable historical document.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:31 PM on March 22, 2009




Workers often slept in "word wagons" — vans emblazoned with the UW logo — and even were chased out of a few Southern towns.

I don't know... Maybe them word wagons was a little uppity.
posted by jonp72 at 2:36 PM on March 22, 2009


if you have a scrap or small piece of something, it's a scrid in New England

I've lived in New England for the past twenty-plus years, and I've never heard that word.

From the sample list: bear claw n  Also bear’s claw, bear paw chiefly West, esp Pacific See Map A large sweet pastry shaped like a bear’s paw.

That's not universal? I've used the word and purchased the item a number of times. Also it was on last week's House episode, which takes place in New Jersey.

frowy adj1  Also sp froughy, frowey [frough, frow brittle, fragile] chiefly NEng

I'm sensing a pattern here.
posted by Plutor at 2:40 PM on March 22, 2009


I wonder how long American English will have significant regional differences?
posted by pracowity at 2:51 PM on March 22, 2009


They *better* have "party store" in there.
posted by NoMich at 2:51 PM on March 22, 2009


Will the regional pronunciations of words be included? I'd hate for any eye-talians out there to get offended.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 3:08 PM on March 22, 2009


Party store is regional? Does it mean something other than a place you buy balloons and Halloween costumes?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:19 PM on March 22, 2009


This is great, thanks for posting.
posted by nola at 3:20 PM on March 22, 2009


Awsome.
posted by Science! at 3:21 PM on March 22, 2009


Party store is regional? Does it mean something other than a place you buy balloons and Halloween costumes?

Quite. A "party store" is where you go to get kegs, liquor, beer, wine, cigarettes, pop, chips, lottery tickets. The *real* party supplies; no balloons or Halloween costumes to be found anywhere.
posted by NoMich at 3:24 PM on March 22, 2009


It's wicked retahded that there's so little specificity with regard to the AmInd etymologies. It's like when they hit the point of, "oh--it's from one of those Indian languages," they just shrug and move on to the next word.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:27 PM on March 22, 2009


"Spendy" is one of my favorite regionalisms. I've heard it no where but the Northwest where it seems extremely common.
posted by etaoin at 3:28 PM on March 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


A "party store" is where you go to get kegs, liquor, beer, wine, cigarettes, pop, chips, lottery tickets.

Oh - you mean a packie!
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:34 PM on March 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh - you mean a packie!

RACIST!
posted by Sys Rq at 3:40 PM on March 22, 2009


Cool! Something to read when I go DTS.
posted by chiraena at 3:47 PM on March 22, 2009


Oh - you mean a packie!

Yeah, that's about right. You can't really count the national chain stores like 7-11 as a party store. They're pretty much just mom 'n pop outfits.
posted by NoMich at 3:59 PM on March 22, 2009


iamkimiam: Interesting. To me, "uppity" simply means "stuck up", with no racial tones what so ever, so that article makes for some bizarre reading. It's always fascinating for me (in some twisted sense, I suppose) to see people get upset about a word that I would have never ascribed negative meaning to.

Thanks to Urban Dictionary for explaining to me why this isn't a bunch of people getting upset over nothing.
posted by niles at 4:04 PM on March 22, 2009


Wicked awesome.
posted by Kinbote at 5:17 PM on March 22, 2009


I'd never heard the word uppity without the n word immediately following it, growing up in the dc area
posted by empath at 5:28 PM on March 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I worked for a summer in the midwest doing research with a group of students from all over the country (I'm from the southeast). A departmental fridge was kept generously supplied with all sorts of...um...non-alcoholic carbonated beverages (that is as neutral a term as I can imagine). A note on the fridge said to make sure that the "pop" was not shared with research students outside our department. After people had taken it upon themselves to scrawl "soda" and "soft-drinks" next to "pop", the research adviser printed out a long list of other terms for the substance in question and taped that to the fridge as well. It became custom to ask the adviser or other students in general if he or she would care for a "pop, soda, soft drink, carbonated beverage, soda pop, coke, etc." It reminded me of the signs around some of the aquariums I've been to telling people not to litter: "Do not throw/chuck/deep-six/hurl/launch.....trash/garbage/refuse/waste...."
posted by incompressible at 5:57 PM on March 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Nice article, thanks for the post!
posted by languagehat at 6:13 PM on March 22, 2009


I'm glad they have "scrod."

There was once a Boston woman who'd lived away for a long time and was coming back to visit. Nostalgic for her favorite fish, she got in a cab at the airport and asked the cabby if he knew where she could get scrod.

The cabby turns around and says, "Gee miss, I don't think I've ever heard it in the pluperfect before."
posted by jock@law at 6:26 PM on March 22, 2009 [9 favorites]


I'll read this right after I redd up the room a bit.
posted by stargell at 8:25 PM on March 22, 2009


To me, "uppity" simply means "stuck up", with no racial tones what so ever

It isn't the word by itself that's the problem, it's historical usage in the phrase "uppity negro", referring to those blacks under Jim Crow who failed to accept their place. As such, using it to refer to a black man such as Obama is at best questionable, at worst a slyly deniable slur.

Anyway, I'm shy. Can I pick T.R.U.T.H.?
posted by dhartung at 11:05 PM on March 22, 2009


This is terrific, as an Anglophone Quebecois who moved to eastern Virginia (where I got my first earful of that peculiar non-rhotic english that later became second-nature), I've always found the variety of American English a particularly beautiful and over-looked thing.

The audio section of this site I found particularly interesting.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:27 AM on March 23, 2009


Edmund: (to Prince) Oh, well, in that case, sir, I hope you will not object if I also offer the Doctor my most enthusiastic contrafribularities.

Dr. Johnson: What?

Edmund: `Contrafribularites', sir? It is a common word down our way...

Dr. Johnson:
Damn! (writes in the book)
posted by plinth at 6:49 AM on March 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


The entry on buck-buck omits this significant cultural reference. (13mb mp3)
posted by squalor at 9:01 AM on March 23, 2009


Of course these volumes have decades of research, editing and scholarly work behind them. And they are published by a prestigious university press. And I would love to have them as references. But I'm given pause to the high price tag of these volumes. Why oh why?
posted by asfuller at 1:10 PM on March 23, 2009


But I'm given pause to the high price tag of these volumes. Why oh why?

Because making books can be surprisingly expensive. First, there's the cost of labor that goes into producing content -- writing, research, editing, design, typesetting, etc. For specialized volumes like the DARE books, this is not a small cost.

Then there's physical production: paper, ink, printing, binding, and shipping costs are higher than ever, and they continue to rise steadily. It's also an economy of scale -- academic or specialty books are usually only made in print runs in the hundreds or low thousands, which boosts the unit cost considerably. I work in museum publishing and even when we copublish with major commerical art publishers, it's a financial struggle for us just to break even on any single book project.
posted by scody at 1:22 PM on March 23, 2009


I'd never heard any of the specifically Indiana words, except catalpa, of which we had four magnificent specimens shading the house I grew up in. But it doesn't look like it's all that regional.
posted by Michael Roberts at 9:24 PM on March 23, 2009


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