This article offers a preliminary comparison of available data from three regional surveys of English: the Linguistic Atlas Project, the Survey of English Dialects, and the Linguistic Atlas of Scotland, taking as its focus the survey item ‘kindling’. Intended as a pilot study, the following discussion highlights the benefits and challenges of combining data from these surveys. This study suggests that a comparison of atlas-style survey data would be productive and that these surveys, in addition to valuable information about variation in language, contain a great deal of cultural information. Finally, this article suggests that the ‘kindling’ data provide evidence of a “material effect”; in other words, the data suggest that physical surroundings have an influence on the vocabulary of different regions.

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