The Dictionary of American Regional English, a 40-year lexicographical labor of love, will be competed next year, Good reports—with compilers finally making it to Z. The tome, which revels in local disparities, has been a boon not only to word lovers; it helped bring down the Unabomber through his regional word use, and aids doctors in treating diabetes when their patients complain about having “the sugar.” Some examples of our dialectical bounty:
- Mubble-squibble: A more florid North Carolinian expression with roughly the same meaning as "noogie."
- Discomgollifusticated: When you're discombobulated in New England, you're this; if it goes further, try discumgalligumfricated.
- Devil strip: For some reason, the strip of grass between street and sidewalk in Akron, Ohio; one kidnapper's use of the word helped nail him.
- Death balls: Your standard dust-bunny in southwestern Missouri; the term has caught on in the cleaning community for its gravitas.