Dictionary of American Regional English Complete – Finally


Cincinnati, OH


Nearly 26-years, an army of field workers, a questionairre with 1847 questions and 5000 pages contained in 5-volumes is completed. Produced by Harvard University Press, the Dictionary of American Regional English is now available. Each volume in the dictionary set is roughly 5000 pages long and contains pretty much every “regional” word used in the U.S.A.

It began as a project to compile all the variations of regional English. Field workers, mostly graduate students, took an 1800 word questionnaire to every corner of the country between 1965-1970. This dictionary also known as DARE is the completion of those questions.

Some entries:

pollynose A maple seed or samara as used by a child at play, who splits it and sticks it on his nose with the wing pointing forward
pank – To pack or tamp down; to crush. Our snow is often too deep to dig a path, so we don snowshoes and stamp along snow, and finally it becomes hard and crusted enough to walk in without snowshoes. The process we call ‘panking’ a path.
dew poison – Any of various rashes or infections of the feet or legs, believed to be caused by dew; the presumed agent causing such rashes or infections; rarely, a foot disease of cattle.

The wide range of readers for DARE is staggering. Writers, librarians, dialect coaches and lingusits will find a wealth of information that had never bee available before. DARE is now available and you can purchase it here.