This companion volume to the Dictionary of American Regional English vastly enhances readers' use of the five volumes of DARE text. Those who want to investigate the regional synonyms for a rustic, or a submarine sandwich, or that strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street can search through the five volumes and compare the distributional maps. Or, with this volume, they can open to a page with all those maps displayed side by side. Not only is it an extraordinary teaching tool, it is also a browser's delight.
The user who wants to know what words characterize a given state or region is also in luck. The Index to the five volumes not only answers that question but also satisfies the reader's curiosity about words that have come into English from other languages, and words that vary with the speakers' age, sex, race, education, and community type.
And those who simply love to explore the variety and ingenuity of American expression will be seduced by the lists of answers to the DARE fieldwork questions. Dust balls under the bed? Americans have at least 176 names for them. Names for a heavy rainstorm? There are more than 200, including the fanciful frog-strangler, goose-drownder, lightwood-knot floater, and trash-mover. More than 400 questions and all of their answers are included in this treasure trove of American linguistic creativity.