by Walt Wolfram
& Jeffrey Reaser

About the Book

Are you considered a "dingbatter," or outsider, when you visit the Outer Banks? Have you ever noticed a picture in your house hanging a little "sigogglin," or crooked? Do you enjoy spending time with your "buddyrow," or close friend?

Drawing on over two decades of research and 3,000 recorded interviews from every corner of the state, Walt Wolfram and Jeffrey Reaser's lively book introduces readers to the unique regional, social, and ethnic dialects of North Carolina, as well as its major languages, including American Indian languages and Spanish. Considering how we speak as a reflection of our past and present, Wolfram and Reaser show how languages and dialects are a fascinating way to understand our state's rich and diverse cultural heritage. The book is enhanced by maps and illustrations and augmented by more than 100 audio and video recordings, which can be found here at under the "Chapter Media" tab.

About the Authors

Walt Wolfram is William C. Friday Distinguished Professor of English at North Carolina State University and co-author of Hoi Toide on the Outer Banks: The Story of the Ocracoke Brogue, among other books. Jeffrey Reaser is associate professor of English at North Carolina State University and coauthor of the curriculum Voices of North Carolina: Language and Life from the Atlantic to the Appalachians.


"Talkin' Tar Heel acquaints citizens of North Carolina and beyond with the treasure that is North Carolina's collection of dialects. Many North Carolinians are unaware of at least half the language varieties discussed here: they don't know that Lumbee is a distinct language variety or about the impact of Hispanic English. The book is well written and will give the audience something to think about as well as to enjoy."
Boyd H. Davis, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

"Because of Walt Wolfram's North Carolina Language and Life Project, no other state in the United States has been studied so systematically and thoroughly for its dialects. This book, drawing together individual studies in a way that gives an accessible picture of the entire state to a wide range of readers, is unique and sets high standards for work on other states."
Connie Eble, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Check out more reviews from these local NC periodicals:

Daily Tar Heel
News & Observer
Fayetteville Observer
Walt's interview on WUNC's The State of Things