The Dialect Quiz: How Well Do You Know Dialects From Around the Country?

The Dictionary of American Regional English showcases the diverse dialects of different areas of the United States. The fifth and final volume has now been published, 50 years after its inception. It covers Sl through Z, from "slab" to "zydeco."

The project, a series of five volumes, began in 1962 when Frederic Cassidy, a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was appointed editor of the first dictionary that highlighted the diversity of the American language.

To test your knowledge of dialects from all areas of the country, take The Dialect Quiz:

1. Upscuddle  (Southern Appalachian)

a. To walk quickly

b. A noisy quarrel

c. To travel uphill

d. To turn over rocks

2.  The sound made by a frog (Northeast)

a. Humarum

b. Peep

c. Goozle

d. Jugarum

3. Rumpelkammer (Michigan)

a. A type of hammer

b. A storage closet or similar space in a house

c. A spinning wheel

d. An old truck

4.  To knock something over  (The South)

a. Flump

b. Lump over

c. Tump over

d. Jog over

5. Flug (Southern California, Kansas)

a. Dust or lint that collects in pockets, under beds and in similar places

b. A snide remark, insult

c. A mishap

d. A grave mistake

6. Feest (New York)

a. A large meal

b. Disgusted with, made nauseous by

c. To overeat

d. To stare

7. In what region do people use the term  Goozlum to describe  a viscous food such as a sauce, gravy or pudding?

a. Alabama

b. Michigan

c. New York

d. Arizona

8.  Pinkletink (Martha's Vineyard)

a. A young frog

b. A salamander

c. A small, pink flower

d. A young pig

9.  Something extraordinary of its kind; a large or strong drink (Wisconsin)

a. Looney

b. Hoopensocker

c. Whoopensocker

d. Whoopy

10.  To fool around, idle, waste time. (Chicago)

a. fitz

b. futz

c. mutz

d. ditz

11.  Strubbly (Pennsylvania German)

a. Facial hair, stubble

b. Stocky

c. Untidy, messy

d. To say something with confidence

12. In what region do people use the term  Tolo to describe  a dance to which women invite men?

a. Washington state

b. Washington, D.C.

c. Chicago

d. Montana

13.  On the fritz (The North)

a. Tangled hair

b. Out of order, in a state of disrepair or ruin.

c. On the radio

d. On a trip

14.  Rantum scoot (New York, Massachusetts) 

a. An outing with no definite destination

b. To go on a rant

c. To ride a bike

d. To play the harmonica

15.  The throat as a whole, or specifically the gullet, windpipe or Adam's apple  (Gulf Region)

a. Millet

b. Gillet

c. Guzzle

d. Goozle


1. B;  2. D;  3. B;  4. C;  5. A;  6. B;  7. D;  8. A;  9. C;  10. B;  11. C;  12. A;  13. B;  14. A;  15. D

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