A publishing milestone recently occurred with the publication of the fifth and final volume of the Dictionary of American Regional English or DARE. The project began in 1962 and volume one was published in 1985. Its purpose is to document “words, phrases, and pronunciations that vary from one place to another across the United States.”
Whether you say soda, pop or coke to describe a carbonated drink can offer clues into which part of the country you are from. If you are from Wisconsin you might call a drinking fountain a bubbler, while people in other areas might not know what you are talking about.
If you ask for a pickle in Nebraska you might get a lottery ticket. On Cape Cod a tadpole is referred to as a pinkwink. A devil strip in northeast Ohio is the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street. Other regional phrases include supper on the ground for a picnic meal and sew buttons on lemons as a diversionary remark made to a child.
The last entry in volume five is zydeco, which is a style of music associated with Louisiana Creole culture.
If you would like to look up other interesting terms in DARE, you will find the set in the Reference area – REF 427.973 DIC.
We have lots of other dictionaries online.