“Two peoples divided by a common language” is a phrase often used to describe the differences between the Americans & the Brits. Even within the United States there are divisions as well. None more so than between the Yankee North and ‘Redneck’ South. So how many of these (Southern) American-English words do you know? Improve and test your (American) wordpower by matching each of the words below to one of the multiple possible definitions.

Vocabulary Ratings
14-15 correct ………………….. excellent
12-13 correct ………………….. good
9-11 correct ………………….. fair

<b>(1) juke</b> {jook} <i> v</i> <b>A:</b> to attack verbally. <b>B:</b> weep quietly. <b>C:</b> dance.

C: dance. From Gullah juke, meaning disorderly. Gullah is the language of the black people of the South Carolina coast.

<b>(2) blat</b> <i>n</i> <b>A:</b> newspaper. B drinking mug. <b>C:</b> gold tooth.

A: newspaper. “Her wedding was all over the Sunday blats.” From German Blatt (newspaper).

<b>(3) roustabout</b> {rowst-about} <i>n</i> <b>A:</b> amusement arcade. <b>B:</b> casual labourer. <b>C:</b> late-night party,

B: casual labourer. Nineteenth century, from roust (to rouse).

<b>(4) gumshoe</b> <i>n</i> <b>A:</b> detective. <b>B:</b> bad athlete. <b>C:</b> ancient tree.

A: detective. Early 20th century, from the sort of shoe that suggested stealth.

<b>(5) caboose</b> {cab-oos} <i>n</i> <b>A:</b> railway carriage. <b>B:</b> leather bag. <b>C:</b> chatterbox.

A: railway carriage. Borrowing from Dutch kabuis.

<b>(6) stoop</b> <i>n</i> <b>A:</b> boxing punch. <b>B:</b> front-door steps. <b>C:</b> steeply sloping roof.

B: front-door steps. “She sat on the stoop all day.” Mid-18th century, from Dutch stoep (verandah).

<b>(7) mego</b> {megg-oh} <i>n</i> <b>A:</b> resignation letter. <b>B:</b> Californian sushi. <b>C:</b> boring topic.

C: boring topic. Mego (My Eyes Glaze Over) was first used by Nixon White House staff.

<b>(8) foosball</b> {foohs-ball} <i>n</i> <b>A:</b> battered book. <b>B:</b> unpopular girl. <b>C:</b> table football.

C: table football. Twentieth- century slang term for football.”]

<b>(9) eelskin</b> {eels-kin} <i>n</i> <b>A:</b> thin sandwich. <b>B:</b> a dollar. <b>C:</b> paper hat.

B: a dollar. Early 19th century (the thin nature of a note, like an eel’s skin).

<b>(10) cootie</b> {kooh-tee} <i>n</i> <b>A:</b> louse. <b>B:</b> dancing partner. <b>C:</b> imitation duck.

A: louse. First World War term, from Malay kutu (parasitic insect).

<b>(11) oatburner</b> <i>n</i> <b>A:</b> expensive combine harvester. <b>B:</b> farmer's wife. <b>C:</b> worthless horse.

C: worthless horse. ‘That oatburner will be no good on the farm.’ Early 20th century.

<b>(12) bunkum</b> <i>n</i> <b>A:</b> nonsense. <b>B:</b> sleeping bag. <b>C:</b> fine sand.

A: nonsense. Mid-i9th century, from Buncombe County, North Carolina, where a congressman made a second-rate speech.

<b>(13) sophomore</b> {soff-more} <i>n</i> <b>A:</b> conman. <b>B:</b> genius professor. <b>C:</b> second-year student.

C: second-year student. “The sophomores got the best room in the frat house.” Originally from Greek sophos (wise).

<b>(14) looie</b> {loo-ee} <i>n</i> <b>A:</b> doctor's note. <b>B:</b> copper coin. <b>C:</b> lieutenant.

C: lieutenant. Early 20th- century abbreviation.

<b>(15) sorority</b> {sorr-orr-itee} <i>n</i> <b>A:</b> apology. B female society. <b>C:</b> wound.

B: female society. “The phi beta kappa sorority was the intellectual one.” University term from latin soror (sister).