Appalachian Dialect

Adding ‘ed’ to Words that Don’t Need Them

wood floor with boots laying on it

Sometimes in Appalachia we like to ad ‘ed’ to words that don’t need them.

Examples that come to mind:

I swear you’ve growed a foot since the last time I saw you!

The little rat has blowed on that whistle all day. I shoulda throwed it in the trash when he laid it down yesterday.

I had just started into Walmart when it fell a flood and I got drownded.

When I’m writing I use the proper past tense form of the words above, but if I’m talking I add the ed very last time.


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  • Reply
    August 9, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    I was raised in the Pacific Northwest by my father’s parents both of whom were born and raised in Oklahoma. My granny’s parents were from Walker County, Alabama, and I learned my “ever’day, at home” speech patterns from her. Public school, polished my public speech, my written speech and, for the most part, my online speech, but the way I speak at home with family and friends is still filled with “Blowed, throwed, growed”, etc, as well as “er” endings instead of “ow” on words like holler, yeller or yaller, piller, and the “t” in stead of “ed”, to show past tense on wods like ruin, spoil, learn, spill…I’ve worn stripedy, checkedy and flowerdy clothes, and seldom will you hear the “g” on words ending in “ing” when I speak. I s’pose that’s why I’m always told I have a “strong accent”…I jus’ tell folks, “Y’all’re the ones talkin’ funny.”

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 9, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    “Don’t cry over spilt milk!” Or is it spilled milk? Makes me want to cry anyway. Not over milk but over our language!

  • Reply
    Donna W.
    August 9, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    In Arkansas my husband and I heard a man say “onliest” instead of “only”.

  • Reply
    August 9, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    My mom who came to MI as young woman from KY always said “borned” for born, as in “I was borned near Hazard.”

    In MI we have a peculiarity with the word “guys’es,” as in “Is that your guys’es table?” I live in MD now but have had many people comment on how odd this word usage is. My daughter is a prof and told her class “I’ll have your guys’es test scores posted tomorrow.” She got some good natured ribbing!

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    August 9, 2019 at 11:34 am

    The voice in my head uses those old hill words when talking with me. Words my Granny used when I was a child. When talking with others or writing I use proper English. I sometimes have to bite my fingers to prevent myself from becoming a grammar Nazi when reading posts on Facebook.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    August 9, 2019 at 11:27 am

    I wasn’t going to post again today but the run of comments today and at other times in the past makes one thing clear. Us native Appalachianers have one foot in each camp. Home and family taught us our heritage language. School, friends, work and travel taught us our public language. And I for one am rarely aware of which one I am using at any given time.

    In and of itself, this ‘hybrid’ nature is not necessarily bad. But if it has produced a lifelong ‘between-two- worlds-and-not-quite-belonging-to- either’; that is a disturbing place. I have often felt it but I do not know if either my son or daughter does.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    August 9, 2019 at 10:18 am

    The “ed“ words were common in my family growing up and some still are. So were words with an added ”es” like testes. Such as, the doctors run a bunch of testes on him. And, those little birds are a building nestes up under the roof of the porch.

  • Reply
    Rosamary Christiansen
    August 9, 2019 at 10:17 am

    In a post you made some time back about clothing, you said stripedy. I never heard that one before, and got a big bang outta it! I love your posts about how words are used, pronounced, and definitions. It takes me back to my childhood and how I spoke like my parents taught me until I had to go to school to learn and was taught ‘proper english’ instead of saying things wrong. Thank you for reteaching me my appalachian heritage.

  • Reply
    August 9, 2019 at 9:10 am

    The one that I try so hard not to use is knowed. There is runned that is still used in my hometown when it’s election time. Some words need the ed left in but we found a way to change those as well. One that comes to mind is ruint. My Mom would have said, “I left that milk out last night and now it’s ruint. Taste of it and see if it’s spoilt.”

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    August 9, 2019 at 9:10 am

    I have noticed that many people when attempting to make a comment and they can’t think of the correct word they should use simply make up a word that sometimes sounds as if it should be associated but in actuality as some of my ancestors would say “it just skins their ignorance”. This galls me to no end as does being accused of “putting on airs” or “getting above my raising” when I use correct grammar.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    August 9, 2019 at 8:39 am

    Any if you all ever heard ‘bornded’?

    I recall getting stuck once when writing because I could not think how ‘drown’ was spelled. I used ‘drowned’ but later went back and changed it. I do not think I add ‘ed’ to words when speaking, at least no words cone to mind. But I am not sure though.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 9, 2019 at 8:31 am

    Well who makes up all these rules anyhow? Must be politicians. First they make a rule they already had covered somewheres else then they set about making exceptions to it. Time they get all their exceptions made the rules no good and they got to make a nudden.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    August 9, 2019 at 8:25 am

    My pea brain said I don’t add ed to every word like he falled off the log or I sawed or seed her at the mall. I had an Uncle who always said seed. I’m guilty of adding ed to those 4 words and no doubt will continue. Often use blowed up to describe somebody who had a duck fit.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 9, 2019 at 7:10 am

    I knowed him the minute I layed eyes on him! Heard it all my life, I call it Mountain English and I also call them my people.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    August 9, 2019 at 6:57 am

    I remember doing this when I was younger, sadly most of my family’s dpeech patterns have changed by the influx of people from somewhere else

  • Reply
    August 9, 2019 at 5:43 am

    Yes, same here Tipper. I have written papers and typed documents. I always try to remember all the rules when writing, but my everyday speech is riddled with many words and expressions from my growing up years. I still occasionally get drownded when I am caught in a downpour. It doesn’t happen much because getting wet bothers me more now than it did in my youth. I have umbrellas jammed everywhere.
    Another add on I have noticed lately is the tendency of myself and others to just throw a random S on the end of words. It is so common that rarely does anybody notice and mention. Some of these are Krogers, Aldis, and of course always running to Walmarts. Maybe it dates back to days gone by when we called G C Murphy simply Murphys.
    Your post brings to mind the old fuse boxes where you had to have a penny handy because you “blowed” a fuse. Many times I saw different people use this method, but never my safety conscious Dad. Oddly enough, this expression also became connected with those who had a “short fuse” but they never blowed a fuse, but quite correctly blew a fuse.

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