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What Kind of American English Do You Speak?

Your Linguistic Profile:

50% General American English
25% Yankee
15% Dixie
0% Midwestern
0% Upper Midwestern

I get where the American English thing dominates, because I pretty much talk like a TV set (and that’s probably not a good thing). It’s interesting to see that having learned to speak in Massachusetts I still retain quite a bit of “Yankee” despite not having lived there since I was 8, and I know where the “Dixie” (nice word for “hillbilly”) comes from — my dad. But one of the questions was on the use of the term “catty-corner,” which I DO use, and I know that I got from my mom, who came from Missouri and whose expressions are largely midwesternisms. Answer.com lists the derivation of the word as “From obsolete cater, four at dice, from Middle English, from Old French catre, four, from Latin quattuor.” So who knows how and where it entered the American vocabulary. I’m not going to argue with them, but I was always under the impression that it was a midwestern expression, along with “cattywompas” and “kittybysaw,” words that nobody else in my little red school house in Attleborough, Massachusetts knew the meaning of, either.

So how do you test out?

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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