noun Upper Northern & Western U.S. Regional Note:
The outdoor toy usually called a seesaw
has a number of regional names, New England having the greatest variety in the smallest area. In southeast New England it is called a tilt
or a tilting board.
Speakers in northeast Massachusetts call it a teedle board;
in the Narragansett Bay area the term changes to dandle
or dandle board. Teeter
is used more generally in the northeast United States, while teeter-totter,
probably the most common term after seesaw,
is used across the inland northern states and westward to the West Coast. Both seesaw
(from the verb saw
) and teeter-totter
as in to teeter on the edge
) demonstrate the linguistic process called reduplication, where a word or syllable is doubled, often with a different vowel. Reduplication is typical of words that indicate repeated activity, such as riding up and down on a seesaw.