Digital DARE is now available

Joan H. Hall jdhall at WISC.EDU
Mon Dec 9 20:11:33 UTC 2013

I’m pleased to announce that the digital version of DARE is now
available at ! Although full access requires a
subscription, quite a few features are available to anyone who visits
the site.

You can browse headwords through the Word Wheel; see 100 free entries;
search for all the headwords from a given state or region (though you
won’t be able to actually view those entries); search the bibliography;
find a lot of useful information under “About DARE”; and—perhaps best of
all—under the “Resources” tab, you can see all the contrastive maps
(geographic and social) that are in the print Volume VI. So if you want
to show your students the contrastive distributions for hero, hoagie,
grinder, Cuban, poor boy, torpedo, and sub(marine) sandwich (for
example), you’ll find them laid out in one display. An index to all the
maps makes it easy to find them if you’re starting out with a specific

In addition, the full index by region, usage, and etymology to the five
text volumes is included there. So if you want to discover what words
came into American English from Portuguese, Polish, Swedish, etc, it’s
easy to do. You can also look under terms for linguistic processes
(e.g., back-formation, folk etymology, metathesis, metanalysis) and find
examples of these in American English.

The full text of the DARE Questionnaire is also under “Resources,” as is
the list of all the DARE Informants.

Those who subscribe will not only have full access to all the entries,
but also to Quick Search and Advanced Search (where they can search by
full text, headwords, variants, definitions, etymologies, parts of
speech, quotations, regional labels, and social labels, using filters
and boolean options to refine search criteria).

They can also go to each of the more than 1,600 DARE questions and
quickly map any answer (or combination of answers) to the question.
Those who want to dig deeper can download the raw data, including not
just the responses but also the details of age, sex, race, education,
and community type for each person who responded.

As lagniappe, for the nearly 5,000 quotations taken from DARE audio
recordings, users can click the audio icon and hear the Informants
speaking those words.

Libraries can ask for a 30-day free trial. I hope you’ll urge your
library to do so! For individuals, the annual subscription is $150. (I
wish it were less, but I’m not making those decisions.)

Please go to and see how you can use it for
teaching, research, answering puzzling word questions, and just having fun.

The American Dialect Society -

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