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Are You A-Where of These Regional Terms?

Rob Kyff on

6. Slatch: A. New England. "Slatch" derives from the Old English "slaec," the same root that gives us "slack."

7. Stoop: H. New York. "Stoop," from the Dutch "stoep" (front verandah), survives from the 17th-century Dutch settlement of New York City and its environs.

8. Hosey: B. New England. "I hosey" may come from the French "je choisis" (I choose) or the pronunciation of "choose" with a heavy Irish brogue.

9. Gum band: J. Pennsylvania. Many Pennsylvanians are of German descent, and "gum band" is a variant of the German word for rubber band -- "Gummiband."

 

10. Wanigan: E. Alaska. "Wanigan," derived from the Ojibiwa "waanikaan" (storage pit), originally denoted a small shed towed behind a tractor or train as a shelter for a work crew. (In New England, a "wanigan" is a boat or chest filled with supplies for a cabin or lumber camp.)

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Rob Kyff, a teacher and writer in West Hartford, Connecticut, invites your language sightings. Send your reports of misuse and abuse, as well as examples of good writing, via email to WordGuy@aol.com or by regular mail to Rob Kyff, Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.

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