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Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE). Aim: Goal: “to produce a work of useful scholarship …that will testify to the wondrous variety and creativeness.

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Presentation on theme: "Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE). Aim: Goal: “to produce a work of useful scholarship …that will testify to the wondrous variety and creativeness."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE)

2 Aim: Goal: “to produce a work of useful scholarship …that will testify to the wondrous variety and creativeness of human language, and specifically of the English language as it is used regionally in the United States.” (DARE, 1985, p. xxii) not to prescribe how Americans should speak or to describe “standard” English “It seeks to document the varieties of English that are not found everywhere in the United States--those words, pronunciations, and phrases that vary from one region to another, that we learn at home rather than at school, or that are part of our oral rather than our written culture.” (DARE website, Therefore, the DARE is a descriptivist dictionary.

3 What the DARE Includes: “(1) Any word or phrase whose form or meaning is not used generally throughout the United States but only in part (or parts) of it, or by a particular social group, is to be included. (2) Any word or phrase whose form or meaning is distinctively a folk usage (regardless of region) is to be included.” (DARE, p. xvi, 1985) *folk usage is that which comes from the home rather than from school

4 What it doesn’t include: –Technical, scientific, or other “learned” words or phrases –Occupational jargon (in the case that only those in the occupation can understand it) –Artificial languages Example Entry… HoH'egh!

5 cream cheese n 1 Cottage cheese. esp LA See Map 1941 LANE Map 299, The map shows the terms cottage cheese.. cream ch... and Irish ch... denoting a kind of cheese made of the curds of whole or skim milk, curdled either naturally or artificially... Cream cheese is often described as finer and smoother than the other varieties. 1962 Atwood Vocab. TX 61, The southern Louisiana cream cheese (also meaning cottage cheese) has penetrated into, but not much beyond, the southeastern counties of Texas. 1965- 70 DARE (Qu. H60, The lumpy white cheese that is made from sour milk) 25 Infs, esp LA, Cream cheese. 1967 LeCompte Word Atlas 290 seLA, (Homemade cheese made out of milk curd)—Cream cheese [17 of 21 infs]. 2 See quot. 1968 DARE FW Addit New Orleans LA, Cream cheese: A breakfast dessert with cream over sour cheese—sugar is spread over it. [FW: This is neither cottage cheese nor what is sold commercially as " cream cheese ".]

6 Brief History The American Dialect Society (founded 1889) sponsored the dictionary -purpose of the society: “the investigation of the English Dialects of America with regard to pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, phraseology, and geographical distribution.” -related projects Linguistic Atlas of the United States and Canada and the Dictionary of American English The ADS began publishing Dialect Notes, which consisted primarily of word lists, in 1890 and it lasted for 49 years and produced 6 volumes before the DARE seemed remotely within reach. DARE was a goal, but much more collecting was needed. Creation of the DARE was a long process that required lots of time, money, and contributions from hundreds of people.

7 Summer of 1964, established positions (Chief Editor Frederic Cassidy and Audrey R. Duckert), gave project focus and name. Collection took place 1965-1970 Volume I, covering letters A-C, was published in 1985 (it went into a fifth printing within a year of publication). Volume II (D-H) came out in 1991, Volume III (I-O) in 1996, and Volume IV (P-Sk) in 2002. Volume V (Sl-Z)is scheduled for 2009.

8 How are words selected for the DARE? Entries come from face-to-face interviews carried out in every state (1,002 communities) between 1965 and 1970 and on a collection of written materials (diaries, letters, novels, histories, biographies, newspapers, and government documents) covering U.S. history from the colonial period to the present Conducted research in urban, large city, small city, village, and rural communities.

9 For use in personal interviews, the DARE Questionnaire (QR) was created –Asks questions about time, weather, topography, houses, furniture, utensils, foods, abstract topics like honesty and emotions, etc., with a total of 1,847 questions –Questions seek to establish regional or local name for a single object or idea –Researchers were careful not to guide their respondents’ answers with leading questions.

10 To evaluate pronunciation, informants were asked to read the children’s tale, "Arthur the Rat" "Arthur the Rat"

11 Biographical info of each informant was recorded (family background, education, race, etc.) Selection of informants: Had to be born in or near the selected community Could not have traveled long enough for speech to have been affected Had to have English as home language Preferred older informants who had lived in the area for a long time Tried to balance race, sex, age, education, and community type

12 Received great reviews: –“This survey of spoken English is, as its publisher proudly proclaims, unprecedented. It’s also scholarly, endlessly fascinating and enlightening. You can hear America talking from its pages.” Howard S. Shapiro, Philadelphia Inquirer –The most exciting linguistic project going on in the United States.” William Safire, New York Times

13 Great in theory… let’s see it in action !

14 Madd… you know, as in “a lot”

15 Karen from New York agrees

16 Identifies “mad” as “a word or expression meaning violently angry.” Southern States: “mad as a wet hen” In New Jersey: “mad as a RED hen” In New York: “madder’n a hatter”

17 “Bubbler” Massachusetts Rhode Island

18 “Unfortunately, the rest of the country thinks a bubbler means a bong. So when I use the word in say California, people think I am a pot-head.”

19 However, in the North, North Midlands, And especially in Wisconsin, the term most frequently used is drinking fountain. The Dictionary of American Regional English would tend to agree… On the other hand, in the Mississippi-Ohio Valleys, “bubbler” means bubbling fish; a remarkable peculiarity of this fish is the habit which it has of producing large bubbles in quick succession while digging through the mud or sand of a river.

20 Interestingly, two cities mentioned in particular were Boston and Worcester, MA!!

21 “ This would be used in the same way that wicked is used in New England, but it is very apparent that only people from the San Francisco area (or north of there) use it.”

22 Not surprisingly, the D.A.R.E. doesn’t list “hella,” but it does include “hellacious.” Definition: Extreme quality or remarkable with respect to a particular (usually negative) quality.

23 Arkansas (1975): meaning fantastic, terrific, or tremendous Florida (1966): In response to D.A.R.E. asking what one would call “a mean or disagreeable person” Pennsylvania (1934): Black student slang meaning “outstanding”

24 Parkie meaning “someone who works at the recreational center in my town... usually for a long time, doing like grounds crew work, sitting in chairs and 'monitoring' stuff....” From New York, near Queens/Long Island

25 ?

26 The term “parkie” is not mentioned in the dictionary. the term that we know as “parka” (chiefly used in Alaska) is sometimes pronounced “parkee” by “old time Alaskans and many natives.”

27 Amanda, David, and the D.A.R.E. concur… ”jimmies” are “tiny balls or rod-shaped bits of candy used as a topping for ice cream, cakes, and other sweets.”


29 At least that is how the term is used in the Northeast In the South, the South Midlands, and the West, the term is used in response to “When something keeps bothering a person and makes him nervous… It gives him the???” In NYC, it means “delirium tremens” which is associated with drunkenness.

30 Love that dirty water… (Boston/New England Terms) What do you call the things inside of this bag?

31 Hoodsies!!! Hoodsies!!! According to the DARE, “hoodsie” is only used in MA. “Hoodsie– a small paper cup of ice cream; it is the trade name of H.P. Hoods and Sons, Boston.” (DARE, p. 1082)

32 chowderhead If I were to call you a “chowderhead,” what would I mean by that? DARE: chiefly New England. “A stupid person, a dolt.” (p. 653)

33 packie What is a “packie?’ DARE: New England. “A liquor store.” (p. 5)

34 Just for fun… bang a ueyWhat does it mean to “bang a uey”? MehfuhIf I say I’m going to “Mehfuh,” where exactly am I going?

35 Gateway to the West Home of the Cards Nelly?? St. Louis, MO…my home town

36 St. Louis-isms If you're ever in St. Louis you'll notice that people love to add "r"s to words. People don't wash clothes they waRsh them! Sorry Indiana, but in St. Louis, being called a "hoosier" is an insult. Never ask for a pop, ask for a soda. Italian food is king. Forget about barbeque, go to Kansas City for that. Ted Drewes frozen custard is God's gift to St. Louis. (from

37 HOOSIER!! Kristen: “A hoosier is someone who is similar to a redneck… kind of backwards, awkward, country bumpkin…” She added, “A hoosier is someone who sticks his wheelbarrow on top of his roof upside down to cover a hole in the roof.” In other words, “white trash”!! Katie, who is a non-native St. Louisan: “I think hoosier is a St. Louis term used to describe a mix between white trash and a redneck.” As in, “there's a hoosier who lives down the street from me who bbq's on his front lawn and yells ‘gitter done.’”

38 Your fellow BC students say… “Hoosier: one from Indiana.” “Also the name of a basketball team.” Survey of students from Long Island, Milwaukee, and Boston. What do you think??

39 Hoo-zher: n meaning “a hillbilly or rustic; an unmannerly or objectionable person.” Attributed chiefly to the South and South Midlands. Example: “Old King is one of the most perfect samples of a Hoosier Texan I have met with. Fat, chubby, ignorant, and loquacious as Sancho Panza…we could believe nothing he said” (Gregg Diary, MO, 1800s).

40 Another feature of the D.A.R.E. is pronunciation clarification. (Spelling approximations compliments of text) haracan harricane harrycane harrykin herricane hurracane hurrycane ***Remember: Highway 40***

41 She had my nose open… And that’s no lie! To get one’s nose open: to be infatuated or in love; to cause someone to be infatuated or in love. Probably refers to the flaring nostrils characteristic of the sexually aroused stallion. This is attributed to use among Black speakers. Question: When a man goes to see a girl often and seems to want to marry her, he’s___ her. Also, A very special liking that a boy may have for a girl, or vice versa.

42 She hurt your nose open, did she?

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