© Özgür Donmaz/Getty Images
Adam Campbell-Schmitt
Updated September 26, 2016

Have you ever accidentally left your emptins or pot cheese out after too much popskull only to wake up to a fogo somethin’ fierce? That’s probably because you’re not from the Eastern seaboard and born before World War I. But it’s precisely those hyper-regional and often archaic terms that a group of etymology enthusiasts are trying to preserve. Acast, a podcast distributor, has teamed with The Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) to “help resurrect endangered regional words and phrases in the US.” DARE selected words from all corners of the country that they deemed endangered and supplied their compiled list to Acast. The idea is to start having podcast producers sprinkle the words into their shows, thus resurrecting them from near extinction.


Some highlights in the food and beverage world appear below. Are you still using any of them today?

  • Bonnyclabber: thick sour milk (North Atlantic)
  • Dish wiper: a dish towel (New England)
  • Dropped egg: a poached egg (New England)
  • Emptins: homemade yeast used as starter (New England, Upstate New York)
  • Fogo: an offensive smell (New England)
  • Larbo: a type of candy made of maple syrup on snow (New Hampshire)
  • Last button on Gabe’s coat: the last bit of food (South and South Midland)
  • Popskull: cheap or illegal whiskey (Southern Appalachians)
  • Pot cheese: cottage cheese (New York, New Jersey, Northern Pennsylvania, Connecticut)
  • Suppawn: corn meal mush (New York)

Let’s take these regional gems national! A whole new lexicon might be just the thing you need to be on your beanwater.

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