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Reference Review    

 
The Dixie Dictionary
Compiled and edited by Thomas W. Howard
Crane Hill, 2002
Trade paper $12.95 (144pp)
ISBN:  1-57587-200-5
 
  Thomas Howard's mission in compiling The Dixie Dictionary is to preserve the "southern language."  According to the author, "The Southern language is more than just an accent and a dialect.  It is a rich verbal tradition of descriptive words and phrases, a wealth of expressions and colloquialisms." 

The states sometimes are part of the phrase.  A buzzard is a "South Carolina Eagle."  A dirt road is "Arkansas asphalt."  A man who has his trousers stick to his body during hot weather is said to be suffering from "North Carolina heartburn." 

The Bible Belt provides Satan will several names: Old Harry, Old Nick, Old Red, the Dark Stranger, Harry Scratch, Old Scratch, Old Horny, Old Blackie, and Old Samson.  A tent revival is also called a "lightening bug revival" because it goes out quickly.  A "stump-knocker" is a traveling preacher.

The Dixie Dictionary is a linguistic guide to Southern heritage and culture.  It reflects the diversity within the region.  

Howard worked as an editor and reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch for almost forty years and has served as the Virginia correspondent for McGraw-Hill World News and for Fortune magazine.

 

Joyce Dixon
Southern Scribe Reviews 

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