A Sight Of

rock wall in the mountains

“There was a sight of rocks where we grew a garden. Poppa had us stack them along the edges of the field. Over time we made a fence around the whole garden to help keep the animals out.”


sight See also heap sight, one more, sight in the world.
A noun A large number , a great deal or amount.
1913 Kephart Our Sthn High 296 Many common English words are used in peculiar sense by the mountain folk, as . . . a power or sight for much. 1937 Hall Coll. Big Creek NC Indian physic tea is good to clean your stomach off. Good blood medicine. Lord, I’ve drunk a sight of it. (Zilphie Sutton) ibid. Upper Crosby Creek TN A sight of people died of the fever on this branch twenty-five or thirty years ago. [It] began when loggin’ started, when the stumps soured. (Veenie Ramsey) 1939 Hall Coll. Gatlinburg TN People in Elkmont had a sight of fruit (i.e., apples) to sell in the fall. (Lee Reagan) c1950 (in 2000 Oakley Roamin Man 45) About that time I hurd a chicken cacklin and the old ruster begin to crow and all the takin on I never heard the like, the hens must of laid a wonderful site of eggs. 1953 Hall Coll. Gatlinburg TN they cut a sight of timber out of there. (Sara Cole) c1959 Weals Hillbilly Dict 7 It takes a sight o’money to eat well. 1997 Montgomery Coll. Jim grew a sight of taters. (Brown).

Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English


Using sight to indicate a large amount of something is still common in my area of Appalachia. And it’s one of those usages that I can’t imagine talking without.


Subscribe for FREE and get a daily dose of Appalachia in your inbox

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    August 8, 2019 at 9:05 am

    I immediately thought of the saying that something was, “a sight for sore eyes”. I guess it was something pleasing to make sore eyes feel better.

  • Reply
    August 7, 2019 at 11:05 pm

    My country mother often used the phrase, “not by a long sight,” to emphasize whatever is was that she wasn’t about to do. I still use that phrase on occasion.

    • Reply
      Aaron Patterson
      August 8, 2019 at 11:08 am

      “No honey that ain’t quite enough greens for a mess. You gotta pick a sight more than that!” My mom to my sister.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 7, 2019 at 10:11 pm

    Mommy used a “sight” often when describing an inordinate amount of something. I can’t say I ever heard Daddy use the word in that way. Daddy didn’t talk much and he chose his words carefully before he said anything. I wish I could be like that! I choose my words carefully but still end up with the wrong ones. I often say things that people take entirely different than I intended.

    PS: I’m quite surprised so few people commented today. Must have been a glitch in the email system or something! I don’t need email to tell me it’s time for the Blind Pig

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 7, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    And all this time I thought we were piling up rocks to create habitat for snakes and spiders!

  • Reply
    Darrell Cook
    August 7, 2019 at 10:38 am

    Thanks Tipper. I like your blogs.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    August 7, 2019 at 7:59 am

    The one I think I hear the most and the one I use the most for describing, for example, a traffic jam or maybe a huge crowd of people. Also I might use it to describe something bad. Example: There was a huge car wreck close to Walmart and several people were hurt. That was the awfulest sight I ever seen.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 7, 2019 at 7:21 am

    Yep, that Queen Ann’s Lace has a sight of chiggers but their beautiful anyway. Heard this one all my life.

  • Leave a Reply