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Come along on my regional road trip through America

See how well these regionalisms fly! Click here.

You might have a "calabash cousin." Click here to find out.

For all you New Englanders, an NPR radio tour of how wicked great you talk:

Breakfast Quiz

Can you guess which part of the country you're having breakfast
in by the name for pancakes?

  1. griddle cake: New England or the South?
  2. batter: Mississippi, South Carolina or Louisiana?
  3. flitter cake: Southwest or Southern Gulf?
  4. flannel cake: Pacific Northwest or Midwest?
  5. joe flogger: Ozarks, Appalachia or New England coast?

  1. South
  2. South Carolina
  3. Southern Gulf
  4. Midwest
  5. New England coast

Griddle cake is a Southernism for pancake, as is battercake-or sometimes, in South Carolina, just batter. Flitter cake is what's served in the Southern Gulf area. To flitter is to flutter, or move quickly, and when making pancakes, it's best to be fast when you flip. In Arkansas, they take this to the extreme, sometimes calling their pancakes jumpovers. The cowboys were more slapdash in their approach and used sourdough to make their splatterdabs.

In parts of the Midwest, you're eating flannel cakes. This has nothing to do with the soft fabric; flannen is a Scots-Irish term for oatcake. A Jewish cook might opt for latkes, potato pancakes.

In a few places along the New England coast, you might still be able to get pancakes and not just a strange look if you ask for a joe flogger. Head to the Northwest and you might find English saddles in Idaho, horse blankets in Oregon, and saddle blankets or even monkey blankets in Washington.

Stack cakes is another name, and one that makes perfect sense. Pancakes, after all, are often served in a stack. But how curious that, although we describe something as being "flat as a pancake," we've never called our pancakes "flatcakes."

Excerpted from Wicked Good Words, 2011 Mim Harrison and The Stonesong Press LLC.

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