American Regionalisms Redux
Travel Blog • Jenna Schnuer • 04.10.09 | 1:33 PM ET
We know that loads of you take notice of regional speak as you do your state-to-state wandering. So you’ll definitely want to know about this. But even if you don’t normally listen up for regionalisms and English is your first language, you’re still not off the hook when it comes to Frank Bures’ recommendation that travelers tote along a dictionary on trips.
No, thanks to several decades of work by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, there’s a nearly-complete multivolume dictionary that will help you understand what’s going on when you get invited to a “pitch-in” in Indiana or which “scrimptions” you should save down South.
The first volume (A-C) of the Dictionary of American Regional English was released in 1985 and Volume V (Sl-Z) will make its way into the world later this year. A volume of maps and other end matter will follow later.
Beware, you best have room on your credit card and a strong back (or a huge extra wheelie suitcase or giant car trunk) if you’re going to take this dictionary on—it’s as far from pocket-sized as a dictionary can be. (Oh, so it doesn’t bug you: a pitch-in is a potluck dinner and scrimptions are scraps.)