hoe-down not in DARE

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Fri Feb 7 22:15:04 UTC 2014

On Fri, Feb 7, 2014 at 4:58 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
>  At 2/6/2014 10:55 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:
> >
> > On Thu, Feb 6, 2014 at 3:01 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
> > >
> > > "surprisingly, the term is not included in the usually
> > > magisterial Dict. American Regional
> > > English."
> >
> > "Hoe-down" is only a regional term?
> The question is, "Why is it omitted"?  Two answers I can think of: (1) It's
> not regional, but rather used everywhere; (2) it's not known by DARE.
> Take your choice.
> P.S.  I happened to be somewhere today where I could consult DARE online.
> Not there either.

While "hoedown" doesn't get its own entry in DARE, it shows up in the
survey responses for this question: "Qu. FF4, Names and joking names
for different kinds of dancing parties." If you have access to digital
DARE, you can see the map with survey results here:


According to the survey, usage is scattered throughout the country, so
it's safe to say it's not regional.


Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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