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This one puts a crick in the pump handle!

(Nonfiction, Reference) Permanent link

As might be expected, KPL owns a wide range of English language dictionaries, including the esteemed Oxford English Dictionary, the Random House, and the American Heritage. What many may not know is that we also have many specialized sources for word information. One of my favorites is NTC’S Dictionary of Folksy, Regional, and Rural Sayings, edited by Anne Bertram. The purpose of this volume is to catalog and provide examples of usage of words, expressions, and idioms not likely to be found in the standard repertoire of sources that one usually consults. Here are some of the entries: buffalo chip, take a look-see, like tryin’ to scratch your ear with your elbow, I’ll eat my hat, thisaway, think a heap of, sorry-lookin,’ boughten, tarnation, prolly, your eyes are bigger than your stomach, it’s raining pitchforks, get shed of it, etc. etc. Maybe it’s because my family lived for many years in the rural parts of Iowa and Michigan when they first came to this country that many phrases in this book sound very familiar to me. Or, possibly when the editor included the word “regional” in the title she also meant the Midwest! This unique work nicely fills a niche in the documentation of American speech and dialect. [Please note that I had this all written and ready to go before the review of the Strunk volume appeared!]


NTC's dictionary of folksy, regional, and rural sayings

Posted by David DeVries at 04/09/2009 08:06:13 PM