According to the DARE survey, a heavy metal pan for frying might be a skillet, frying pan, or spider. Somebody who studies all the time might be called a bookworm, brain, greasy grind, egghead, brain, or a crammar. It all depends on where in the States you’re chewing the fat.
DARE Chief Editor Frederic G. Cassidy with Fieldworkers Reino Maki (left) and Ben Crane in front of a “Word Wagon” in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo courtesy of University of Wisconsin-Madison Archives, 1965.
Fieldworker Ruth Porter with a skillet—or is it a fry pan, or a spider? Photo courtesy of University of Wisconsin-Madison Archives, 1965.
The UTC Library now provides online access to the Dictionary of American Regional English. This is the authoritative resource for the vocabulary of the United States built from a survey of over 1,000 communities. The dictionary documents words, phrases, and pronunciations that pop up only in certain parts of the country passed along through families and communities, rather than through formal education. As an online resource, you are able to browse by region using the interactive map as well as create your own map. There are also audio recordings captured by the researchers creating the dictionary of actual people from these regions using the words and phrases. Each entry features contextual examples from sources like literature and government documents.
Take a look at the entries for Tennessee and see if you use these words at home.