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Zwen and Zwan

Robert Macfarlane’s book Landmarks, a collection of dialect terms for features of the natural landscape, includes zwen, the sound of partridges taking off, and zawn, a wave-smashed chasm in a cliff. This is part of a complete episode.

Civil War Letters

Private Voices, also known as the Corpus of American Civil War Letters, is an online archive of thousands of letters written by soldiers during the U.S. Civil War. Because the soldiers lacked formal education and wrote “by ear,” the...

A Rising in My Leader

A Huntsville, Alabama, physical therapist notes that patients with a hamstring cramp will sometimes say “I’ve got a rising in my leader.” Rising is a dialect term for swelling, and leader is a dialect term for tendon or muscle...

Butter Beans

What’s the difference between butter beans, lima beans, and wax beans? The answer depends on where you live and what dialect you speak. This is part of a complete episode.

On The Morrow

A woman in Monticello, Florida, is bothered by the phrase “on tomorrow,” and feels that the word on is redundant. However, this construction is a dialect feature, not a grammatical mistake. It has roots in the United Kingdom and probably...

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