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Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada
My virtue is that I say what I think, my vice that what I think doesn't amount to much.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Soda, Pop, or Coke?

America’s First Dictionary of Dialects, a comprehensive lexicon of local language quirks, nears completion
Here are a few examples of American regional expressions:

monkey’s wedding
Like dog’s breakfast, this expression (found in Maine) describes a hot mess, a real cluster-something.

This New Englandism makes the standard discombobulated seem succinct and restrained. Just a few words down is the even more extravagant discumgalligumfricated.

cockroach killers
Found in New Jersey, this is a term for shoes that are pointy enough to go medieval on our revolting friends.

to fight one’s hat
This southwestern expression means “to struggle uselessly,” which makes sense if you’ve ever tried to pick a fight with a lid, most of which are neither pugnacious nor easily offended.

death balls
You may know them as dust bunnies, but in the dust bunny community, this southwestern Missouri term is favored since it commands more respect. The example in DARE indicates that death balls reveal not only past squalor: they foretell future death. (Note to self: clean under couch).

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