Appalachian Dialect

All Three

three skeins of yarn in chair

all three adjective phrase variant syntactic position after nouns or pronouns modified.
1937 Hall Coll. Emerts Cove TN You can’t pull us off the porch all three. (Nell Cardwell) ibid. I’m going to whup you-uns all three! 1973 GSMNP-61:13 They had three children, three girls after that, and they’re all three still a-living.

Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English


While looking for something in my copy of the dictionary I stumbled upon the entry above. The usage is very familiar to me…because I use it all the time. In fact, I’m surprised the usage was unusual enough to find it’s way into the dictionary.


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  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    July 6, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    My favorite song is by Paul and Chitter. (I guess Chatter is playing too, off camera). But “If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again,” is played at The Tool several times a day. Anything about Mama is Special. And like The Kingsman sings “When Mama Prayed, Heaven Paid Attention”. The Angles spread their Wings and Stood Prepared.”

    Ronnie York use to sing with the Kingsman, until he got Cancer and died…I knew Him. One time he was at a Christmas Party, down at Jean’s. He was married to Sue, Jean’s 1st. cousin. …Ken

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    July 6, 2019 at 8:33 am

    You did it again. Sounds so familuar. However, its use is not limited to “three” but could be any number. Like you, I don’t think I ever would have thought about it being any ways different.

    Hope all five of you have a blessed day.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 6, 2019 at 8:25 am

    Well Yes, all three! Doesn’t everyone say that. I worked with a guy that grew up in upstate New York. Every now and then he’d say to me, “Cindy, your country is showing.” In response I just laughed…..his upstate New York was always showing, but you see, being a nice country girl I didn’t remind him of that!

  • Reply
    July 6, 2019 at 7:24 am

    The first thing I thought about when I read this was when I was young one of my favorite shows was the 3 Stooges, and an old saying, “trouble comes in 3’s”.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    July 6, 2019 at 6:43 am

    Oh yes just to show how serious. Remember it well

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