Poetry Prompt: Fearsome Critters (and other regional vocabulary)


This post is part of a series of weekly found poetry prompts. If you have an idea for a found poetry source, email Senior Poetry Editor Beth Ayer

From the interactive dialect maps by Joshua Katz to the Dictionary of American Regional English  and the many regional dialect quizzes you can take to compare your own dialect to that of your neighbors, the internet is rich and abuzz with interest in U.S. regional dialect.

Your prompt: consult lists and other resources related to regional vocabulary and create a poem using the words you find. For the purposes of this post, I’ve focused on American dialects. If you live in another country or are interested in other dialects, feel free to consult other angles and resources. As another option, you may want to focus on texts relating to a subset of regional terms, such as “fearsome critters” like the wampus and the hugag (pictured above). Or maybe you’re mainly interested in settling the sub/hoagie/grinder debate. Take this prompt where you will, even if for a rantum scoot.

Regional vocabularies of American English

North American English Dialects, Based on Pronunciation Patterns

Dialect survey results




  • August 22, 2014

    Lewis Oakwood

    I put the poem ‘Metropolitan Forecast’ By Kenneth Goldsmith into the Whoohoo Cockney Rhyming translator.


    Metropolitan Forecast, By Kennef Goldsmif.

    D8 l the bloody new york times tuesday, september ‘len’n, 2001
    metropolitan forecast

    today less ‘umid, sunshine

    ‘igh 79. noticeably less ‘umid air will filter into the bleedin’ metropolitan region on. brisk winds from the northwest. ‘igh pressure buildin’ east from the mother’s pearly gate lakes will promote mainly sunny skies. daytime readings will peak in the lower 80’s.

    tonight crystal, Kungfu Fighter winds

    la 62. skies will be crystal overnight as ‘igh pressure crests near the Hey Diddle Diddle atlantic coast. ‘umidity will remain la, and temperatures will fall ter ’round 60 degrees in many spots.

    tomorra mainly sunny

    ‘igh 76. sunshine and just a few clouds will fill the apple pie. breezes will turn and bla from the saarf ahead of a Potatoes in the mould front approachin’ from canada.


    ‘Metropolitan Forecast’ By Kenneth Goldsmith can be read at – http://www.poetryfoundation.org

    • August 22, 2014

      Lewis Oakwood

      Try putting your favourite poem(s) into the ‘Whoohoo Cockney Rhyming translator’, you will get some very funny results. :)