From School Library Journal
Gr 9-Up Previously published as a five-volume series, this entertaining resource provides definitions and examples of words and phrases used in different parts of the U.S. Arranged by seven broad regions, it gives an overview of each area's history and idiomatic developments before offering an alphabetical listing of specific colloquialisms. While other reference books provide geographically oriented regionalisms, this is the only one-volume work that sets out to cover the entire country. However, the arrangement is counter-intuitive. For example, the three sections dealing with speech in New York, New England, and of the Pennsylvania Dutch are separated by chapters on the sayings of the western U.S., Hawaiian dialect, and colloquialisms common to the South. A concluding chapter discusses the Bawlamerese, Bonac, Conch, Gullah, and Boont dialects (and subdialects). The cumulative index of words and phrases is comprehensive. While this work suffers from inevitable lapses, it does provide insights into why Americans speak the way they do. It will be an asset to collections that do not have the five-volume set. J. B. MacDonald, Milner Library, Illinois State University, Normal
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