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Dictionary of Southern Appalachian English

The splendid new Dictionary of Southern Appalachian English (Bookshop|Amazon), edited by Michael Montgomery and Jennifer Heinmiller, is a greatly expanded version of the Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English (Amazon), edited by Montgomery and Joseph...

Bedroom Suit vs. Suite

Beth in Springhill, Tennessee, wonders which is correct to denote a particular grouping of furniture: bedroom suit or bedroom suite? Both are correct, although their use varies from region to region. If you don’t want to invite controversy...

Out in the Bundus

Bundu is a Bantu word meaning “a largely uninhabited wild region far from town.” It was adopted into South African slang and ultimately into British English, and appears in the phrase out in the bundus, with the same meaning. Although it...

Long John Donuts

Max from Sacramento, California, is curious about why the long, frosted doughnut with no filling that he grew up calling a long john goes by so many other names, including longie, bar doughnut, chocolate bar, maple bar, and maple stick. Food names...

Brass on Your Face

The expression to have brass on one’s face is used in the South Atlantic region of the United States to describe someone who is bold or overconfident. There’s a similar idea in the word brazen, which derives from an Old English word for brass. This...