Lexicographers stumped by ‘fade barn’

“Of all the major American dialects, South Mouth is the most consistently difficult to translate.

“Among the most amusing examples is the expression a fade barn that the editors of the Dictionary of American Regional English tried to track down for a couple of years. The editors knew that the expression existed because field interviews had recorded it in North Carolina without establishing its meaning.

“When a Raleigh newspaper joined in the search, the answer was quickly apparent. Dozens of correspondents chided the editors for not knowing, in the words of one North Carolinian, that ‘a fade barn is whar you stow fade (feed) for the livestock.'”

— From “The Facts on File Dictionary of American Regionalisms”  by Robert Hendrickson (2000)


One thought on “Lexicographers stumped by ‘fade barn’”

  1. I had an aunt in China Grove, NC who pronounced words much differently than me or anyone else. And actually most people I came in contact with there said them the same way. The ones I remember are far (fire), arn (iron), and boweloon (balloon). Also I remember a bag was a poke.

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