Wicked Good Words: From Johnnycakes to Jug Handles, a Roundup of America's Regionalisms

Overview

How to sound like you're from here, no matter where you are in America

"Simultaneously full of witty asides and linguistic erudition, Wicked Good Words is one of those rare books that you will read too fast and will find yourself wishing you could read for the first time all over again."
-Ammon Shea, author of Reading the OED

"As someone who grew up in the land of wicked pissa Sox games, what a delight it was ...

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Wicked Good Words: From Johnnycakes to Jug Handles, a Roundup of America's Regionalisms

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Overview

How to sound like you're from here, no matter where you are in America

"Simultaneously full of witty asides and linguistic erudition, Wicked Good Words is one of those rare books that you will read too fast and will find yourself wishing you could read for the first time all over again."
-Ammon Shea, author of Reading the OED

"As someone who grew up in the land of wicked pissa Sox games, what a delight it was to read about alligator pears, sundogs, piggling, sad cakes, doodinkus, jacklegs, and so many other American regionalisms."
-David Wolman, author of Righting the Mother Tongue

Wicked Good Words is a collection of words and phrases from places across the United States. Organized by region and peppered with engaging sidebars, it's a uniquely American road trip. You'll discover:

• In Ohio, that titillating talk about a four-way is all about a type of chili.

• When you rush the growler in Appalachia, you're filling your lunch pail with beer.

• A frog strangler in the South will send you running for cover: it's a heavy rain.

• In Louisiana and Texas, someone caught pirooting is nosing around.

• In the Northwest, something that's spendy is too expensive.

• A skeeter hawk, darning needle, snake feeder, spindle, ear sewer, needle, snake doctor, and stinger all refer to the same thing: a mosquito, depending on where you get attacked.

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Editorial Reviews

-AmericanProfile
"[A] breezy cultural road trip through American regionalisms... lively, enlightening and witty."
-St. Petersburg Times
"A fascinating survey of idioms."
-Ammon Shea
"Simultaneously full of witty asides and linguistic erudition, Wicked Good Words is one of those rare books that you will read too fast and will find yourself wishing you could read for the first time all over again."
-David Wolman
"As someone who grew up in the land of wicked pissa Sox games, what a delight it was to read about alligator pears, sundogs, piggling, sad cakes, doodinkus, jacklegs, and so many other American regionalisms."
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399536762
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/2/2011
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 539,670
  • Product dimensions: 4.40 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Mim Harrison is the author of Smart Words and Words at Work, and the founding editor of Levenger Press. She invites readers to post their favorite regionalisms on her blog, which can be found at mimharrison.com.
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