eye dialect

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From eye + dialect. By analogy with eye rhyme. First used by George P. Krapp in The English Language in America (1925) in reference to written dialogue that uses nonstandard spelling but doesn't indicate an unusual pronunciation.


eye dialect (countable and uncountable, plural eye dialects)


women → wimmin
said → sed
listen → lissen

  1. (uncountable) Nonstandard spellings which, although they indicate a standard pronunciation, are deliberately used by an author to indicate that the speaker's regular use of language is nonstandard or dialectal.
  2. (more broadly) nonstandard spelling which indicates nonstandard pronunciation.
  3. (countable) A set of such nonstandard spellings, collectively used to reflect a certain form of speech.



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(nonstandard spelling which indicates nonstandard pronunciation): literary dialect, dialect spelling, dialect respelling

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