BOONVILLE (CBS/AP) – A Northern California dialect that is one of just two homegrown languages in the United States may soon go extinct.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on Tuesday that there are only about a dozen speakers of Boontling left.

READ MORE: San Jose Homicide Suspects Released Without Posting Bail; 'The System Has Failed'

The dialect from the area around the small Mendocino County town of Boonville consists of more than 1,500 words, many of them drawn from local names. The Chronicle says a phone booth, for example, is a ‘buckey walter,’ because a century ago someone named Walter had the first phone in the area and charged a nickel—then called a buckeye—to use it.

Other words are variations of existing nouns. The exact origins of Boontling are not known.

READ MORE: Authorities: Suspect In Walnut Creek Nordstrom Smash-And-Grab Out On Bail; 2nd Suspect Appears In Court

But linguistics experts say only Appalachian English in the Southeastern United States is similar in scope.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

MORE NEWS: Housing Shortage: Inventory Of Single-Family Homes In Santa Clara County Reach Record Low, Realtors Say