Professor to submit slang from the north to Oxford English Dictionary
Many born and bred Northerners know what words like 'slimes' and 'soaker' mean, but Sali Tagliamonte, a language scientist at the University of Toronto, says many people do not.
"You know those are the words I grew up with, and I use all the time, and yet when I say 'wait a second do you know what this means?' People don't know," said Tagliamonte.
She wants to submit commonly used words in the north and in other parts of Ontario to the Oxford English Dictionary.
"If those words are not in the Oxford English Dictionary, there's a whole culture and a whole dialect region of Canada that's note documented, and it's like it's being erased if it's not documented," she explained.
Erin Auger, Assistant Library Director at the Timmins Public Library, says the venerable OED is the most definitive of its genre.
"You know it's been documenting over 1000 years of English language, so to imagine that our words could somehow make it into that dictionary is kind of exciting," said Auger.
He suggests the phrases 'down south' and 'up north' could also be included.
"People kind of make fun of me when I would go down… I'd be like 'I'm going down south', or you know if I'm going back up north, 'I'm going back up north'. Cause they're thinking down south and assuming southern United States, but they don't consider themselves southern Ontario when we say going down south," said Auger.
Tagliamonte says there is still more research to do and she wants people to reach out to her with their suggestions before she makes her submissions to the OED.