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Let’s face it: we Americans talk weird. We have multiple dialects across the country, and all of these have their own terms. Read on for 15 examples of the strangest dialect words in all of America.
This word comes to us from the Ocracoke Dialect, spoken by people who live on the Outer Banks Island of Ocracoke in North Carolina.
Definition: I’m sorry
This phrase, of French origin, comes from the Cajun speakers of Louisiana.
Definition: An amulet or talisman that is meant to protect the wearer from evil
This term is also from the Cajun speakers of Louisiana, but the word itself probably came from the African word juju.
Definition: Outsider, stranger
This word comes from the Smoky Mountain people (who live in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee), whose language comes from a large variety of sources, including Scots-Irish, English, German, Polish, Swiss, Portuguese, Spanish, French and Native Americans.
This comes from the same source as “goaty” – the Ocracoke dialect from North Carolina.
Definition: Sweets or desserts
This word comes from one of the most unique dialects of American English – the Smith Island dialect from Chesapeake Bay, Maryland. It’s such an isolated dialect that it has been described as “Elizabethan,” “Shakespearean,” and “Old” English.
Open and Shut Day
Definition: A day with variable weather
When you come from a farming community, words for the weather become plentiful – this phrase comes from the plentiful farms of New England.
This is yet another word from the Louisiana Cajuns.
This word comes from a unique dialect of English – Lumbee vernacular English. Since the loss of their own language, the Lumbee Indians developed their own distinctive way of speaking English as a form of group identity.
Definition: Tilted or leaning at an angle
This word comes from the Smoky Mountain talkers, whose homeland is itself somewhat sigogglin.
Definition: Mess up
This odd term once again comes from that land of linguistic oddities, Ocrocoke Island, North Carolina.
This is yet another Lumbee Vernacular English word from North Carolina.
Definition: Where you park your car
This word comes from New England, especially southeast Maine.
Numb as a Hake
Definition: Not very bright
This phrase is from the same area as “dooryard” – southeast Maine.
Definition: Very bad
This is another Lumbee word, but it is shared with other Southern Coastal dialects.