Talk:American English regional vocabulary/Archive 1

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Archive 1


Is "Midland" a specific linguistic term, or is that some strange way of saying "Midwest"? Qqqqqq (talk) 08:25, 13 March 2009 (UTC)[]

A specific linguistic term. See Midland American English. By contrast, "Midwest" has little linguistic significance, since several different dialect areas can be found in what we call "the Midwest," including the Midland and the Inland North. I'm Jack(Lumber) and I approve this message. 01:04, 14 March 2009 (UTC)[]
Thank you for that explanation. I'll wikilink the first instance of that term's appearance here. Qqqqqq (talk) 02:21, 14 March 2009 (UTC)[]

Sources, sources, sources

Please be sure to cite reliable, third-party sources for any additions to this page. The presence of large amounts of unsourced materials has been a problem in the past. We appreciate your help in keeping this page free of original research. Cnilep (talk) 22:24, 29 May 2009 (UTC)[]

Thanks for your hard work cleaning it up, Cnilep! +Angr 07:56, 30 May 2009 (UTC)[]

Dictionary of American Regional English

At long last, the second volume of the Dictionary of American Regional English is being published, at least according to media reports. This may provide a source for additional regional vocabulary. Cnilep (talk) 20:14, 15 June 2009 (UTC)[]

'Soda', 'Coke' in DARE?

I hate to doubt the work of another editor, but I have a question about one bit of sourcing. User:Save wildlife attributes regional definitions of coke and soda to the Dictionary of American Regional English (Cassidy 2002). Unfortunately I don't have a copy at hand right now, but I do know that the dictionary only contains head words beginning with the letters A-SK. I assume that soda will be covered in volume two, due out next year. Sorry if I seem to be casting aspersions, but this page has seen an awful lot of poorly sourced additions in the past. I've commented out the definitions but left them intact, on the theory that Save wildlife or another user might be able to verify them with other sources. Cnilep (talk) 17:50, 10 July 2009 (UTC)[]


While the suggestion that teeter-totter is widespread accords with my own experience, note that all additions need to be verifiable. That means we need to cite a source for this description. If one can be found, great. Cnilep (talk) 20:08, 27 August 2009 (UTC)[]

WTF on Pacific Northwest English?

As a pacific northwesterner, I have never heard any of the words listed on this page under that heading. Are you sure these aren't just used by loggers? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:53, 8 November 2009 (UTC)[]

I have lived 40 years in Seattle and have never heard of most of these terms. I've deleted all except potlatch and skid road/skid row and adjusted the definitions. Here's the original list.

"Potlatch" is used only for the Indian ceremony, not for just any social gathering. Has it ever been used generically? "Tyee" is used only in names. As for "skookum"< I'd assume it meant something like money or chutzpah. So its vague connotation remains, but not the specific meaning. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sluggoster (talkcontribs) 00:55, 7 June 2010

I have reverted Sluggoster's edits, not because I disbelieve his/her expressions or those of the IP user above, but because they are sourced to reliable published sources. These users' individual impressions form a variant of original research; that is, they are impressions based on the two individuals' language use within the region. Those experiences may well be valid, but they are not verifiable, and in any case original research is dispreferred when published sources are available.
Given that two denizens of the northwest express disbelief at this list, the usages may well be outdated or rare. We should try to find a source stating as much. In the meantime, though, the Oxford English Dictionary and the Dictionary of American Regional English stand as acceptable sources for items on this page. Cnilep (talk) 16:36, 7 June 2010 (UTC)[]
I have partially restored Sluggoster's definition of potlatch, as it is consistent with sources at potlatch. Cnilep (talk) 16:39, 7 June 2010 (UTC)[]
I really think the words should be removed from the article, or at least be under a "historical" subheading. How can you find a negative source when most people haven't heard of these words so they can't write about them? I'm sure I could find a thousand people who haven't heard of these words. "Skookum" and "chechaco" are not like "hoosier" and "tonic" and "davenport", which are either current or from a few decades ago. They're not even like "Beauty, eh?", which few people in Canada say but everybody recognizes the stereotype. If you said these words, people wouldn't know what you're saying, and they wouldn't even recognize them as Native American terms. Especially "crummy" and "gyppo", which sound like something else. (The ordinary English terms "crummy" and "gyp".) Sluggoster (talk) 08:05, 13 June 2010 (UTC)[]
I have lived in the Pacific Northwest my whole life and I haven't heard and of those words used. Agree completely with the motion to delete them. Alázhlis (talk) 23:15, 7 June 2012 (UTC)[]


  1. ^ a b c d Cite error: The named reference OED2 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ a b c d e Cite error: The named reference DARE was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

Some of these words don't seem to just be regional

Like "Fridge." I've heard that in every place I've lived. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:17, 5 September 2011 (UTC)[]

I agree. This article just plain sucks. Many of these words are used throughout the United States and the words listed as generic alternatives are laughable. Tennis shoe? Really? Nobody says tennis shoe except to refer to a shoe used to play tennis. Quodfui (talk) 02:27, 16 October 2014 (UTC)[]
I have never in my life heard someone refer to a scallion as a "spring onion," no matter where in the country I was living. Viciouslies (talk) 07:52, 15 February 2019 (UTC)[]

Is "spider" obsolete?

An editor has marked spider as a New England variant of frying pan as obsolete. The source cited, published in 1971, does not call the term obsolete. Even if use of the word has fallen off in the past forty years, I'm not aware of a consensus definition of the term "obsolete" for Wikipedia. In the absence of one, and given that the source fails to call the word obsolete, I think we should hold off unless and until we cite a current source that does. Other opinions? Cnilep (talk) 07:28, 5 December 2011 (UTC)[]

Its definatly Obsolete or archaic term it should be noted on this artical as such. The word skillet is more common term for frying pan in the north east. (talk) 01:08, 25 November 2012 (UTC)[]

wasted my time

yes I know the importance of references and sure glad I wasted my time updating this page — Preceding unsigned comment added by Otherbeach (talkcontribs) 17:52, 6 December 2011 (UTC)[]

pacific northwest: spendy

While looking for the requested better source, I found that the online OED says "orig. and chiefly U.S." about this word. The attestations given there are from an Indianapolis newspaper (1911), the American Thesaurus of Slang, Social Text, the Wall Street Journal, and Snowboarding UK. Maybe not so regional after all?— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 07:05, 30 August 2012 (UTC)[]

obsolescence in general?

I just self-reverted a bunch of Pacific Northwest entries because they seem to be specific to loggers and are possibly obsolete. There doesn't seem to be a way to tell for purposes of this page what to do about that kind of thing. They're all noted in the 1937 source as being specific to Pacific Northwest loggers. I just don't know. Probably you all do?— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 07:11, 30 August 2012 (UTC)[]

NYC as Mid-Atlantic?

Is there a reference on considering NYC to be part of the mid-Atlantic? The reason I'm confused is that New England is considered a subset of Northeast, so what else is in the Northeast if not New York state, and therefore NYC? --zandperl (talk) 01:19, 13 January 2014 (UTC)[]

I'm not sure how the divisions here were selected; they pre-date my editing this page. If memory serves, the Phonological Atlas of North American English considers Albany part of the "Northeast" (along with New England), western NY state in the "Inland North", and New Jersey and Pennsylvania in the "North Midlands". Again if memory serves, NYC is treated as unique, though it may be in the "Northeast" region. I haven't got the book — if someone else does, maybe they could check?
Although dialectologists use some common American names for regions, such as "New England", other common labels including "Mid-Atlantic" are not, as far as I know, precisely defined as dialect regions. (But I see that Ben Trawick-Smith uses the label on his blog.) For what it's worth, the Wikipedia article Mid-Atlantic states includes New York. Cnilep (talk) 01:42, 13 January 2014 (UTC)[]

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