Arts & Culture
2:00 am
Mon March 19, 2012

Do You Know These Florida Words From The Dictionary of American Regional English?

My grandma used to say, "up yonder" and "man alive."  She was from Gainesville, Georgia.  My family's roots on my dad's side are steeped in Florida.  My ancestors were here before Florida became a state. 
 
So you'd think I'd be a veritable cornucopia of Florida-based words. Well, not really.  I do know that my dad used the term, "mosquito hawk" for a dragonfly when he was a boy.  And that's the same word my friend's mom used for mosquito.  She grew up in Hillsborough County, as my father did.

But other than that, I can't really say what term my family used for a heavy rain, for instance.  Was it gullywasher?  I only wish I knew. 

The University of Wisconsin recently completed its Dictionary of American Regional English and for logophiles like myself, it's a treasure trove.  For some reason, many of the Florida words in there are related to birds.  Like longwhite for an egret with a long white plume in mating season. 

I did find one more term that DARE noted in Florida, that my family also used.  It was "Florida sores" for impetigo.
 

NPR talked about this recently.

And the Diane Rehm show also talked about this the other day.

Are there any "Florida" words you have that you want to share?