Some Regional Words and Features

Maps of the following can be found in either the Word Map or Camp Talk sections with the exception of a-prefixing, plural was, fixing to, like(d) to, existential they, and pronoun hit. These are included in Michael Ellis. 2016. “Mapping Southern American English, 1861-1865.” Journal of Linguistic Geography 4.1: 1-14. Maps of words marked with * can be found in the Camp Talk section, “Sowbelly and Hardtack.” For a description of the major dialect regions see the Introduction to this Word Maps section

General Patterns found throughout the country a-prefixing haint for have not, has not shall and shant with first-person subjects was with a plural or second-person subject

North [These are characteristic of the North but not the North Midland] *baked beans, noun (eastern New England) brown bread, noun (New England) gain, verb: “to become healthy” had ought to, verb phrase *salt horse, noun (Northeast) see, past tense (Northeast) smart, adjective: “healthy” to for at, preposition want you should, verb phrase (mainly Northeast)

North and North Midland crick, noun forenoon, noun *grub, noun *hardtack, noun rod, noun: “5 ½ yards” soft bread, noun: “loaf bread” *sowbelly, noun (Northwest and West Midland)

North Midland middling, adverb: “rather, somewhat” (esp. PA)

North Midland and South Midland against, preposition and conjunction: “before, by, by the time” till, preposition and conjunction: “before, by, by the time” (esp. PA., w NC) apple butter, noun

South Midland daddy, noun fixing to, present participle of fix followed by an infinitive: “to intend, get ready” slips, noun: “men’s underpants” (esp. wNC) Midland and South knowed, past tense and past participle like(d) to, adverb phrase: “almost” *light bread, noun, “loaf bread” pap, noun: “a father” *roasting ear, noun: “immature field corn” seen, past tense of see stout, adjective: “healthy” they, existential subject: “there” South, South Midland [These are features that are the most characteristically “Southern” and not shared with the North Midland] all to, preposition: “except for” cear, verb and noun: variant form of care connection, noun: “relatives, kinfolk” heap, noun: “a large number, amount” hearn, past tense and past participle of hear hit, pronoun: “it” hope, past tense and past participle of help horsespittle, noun: variant form of hospital howdy, interjection and noun mighty, adverb: “very” one, pronoun: “one or the other, one of two alternatives” right smart, noun: “a large amount” seed, past tense and past participle of see smart, adjective: “helpful, productive” sorrow, adjective: “sorry” tolerable, adverb: “rather, somewhat” tolerable, adjective: “average”

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