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Discovering New Resources: Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE)


The Library has added a number of cool new electronic resources in the past few months. This weekly series will provide some ideas on how you can get the most out of them. Questions? Contact Paula Hammett hammett@sonoma.edu.

What is it?

The Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) focuses on the regional aspects of our language; documenting words, phrases, and pronunciations that vary in usage in different regions of the U.S. It features audio, interactive maps, and insights into how the information was gathered. 

When should I use it?

DARE is useful if you have a linguistics class and you’re supposed to look at how language varies in different locations in the U.S. Or maybe you’re reading for English class and keep seeing reference to “johnnycakes.” Find out what it means and where it was most used.

An example:

Researching the word "johnnycake": 

A screenshot of a map of the word "johnnycake" and its use across the United States. The word is primarily found in the North and Northeast.

Access this collection and the rest of our e-resources from the Library's A-Z list of article databases. For more on new e-resources, check out the rest of the series.