Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Archaic Language And The 21st Century

Appalachia Through My Eyes - Archaic Language And The 21st Century

There are a few entrances to the place where I work. All the entrances originate from the same highway-just at different points.

The other day I was leaving work-waiting to catch a gap in the traffic before I pulled out and headed for Brasstown. I noticed a fellow employee just as she went out of my peripheral vision-too late for me to wave bye to her.

After I got home, she sent me the text above. Since I’m a lover of old language I got a kick out of her using a phrase that dates back to the 1890s along with our modern smart phones to tease me.

I read somewhere-the phrase high hatting someone came about in the 1890s when there was an economic boom and men who were quite poor became quite rich. Once they began wearing the clothing style of their new social ranking, including tall hats, they no longer wanted to admit they knew the every day folks they used to hang with. So they were accused (and rightly so) of high hatting their old chums.


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.

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  • Reply
    Eldonna Ashley
    October 3, 2014 at 2:13 am

    Yep, I grew up hearing “high hatted.” I haven’t had much need to use it, but I will fit it in if I can, thanks for the info.

  • Reply
    George Pettie
    October 2, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    High hatting – that’s a good one, and new to me.

  • Reply
    October 2, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Well of information. I have heard the saying but like most old sayings, each generation repeats them until the meaning is lost. I have heard a lot of mountain sayings come from England. I guess they came over on the Mayflower. : )

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    October 2, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    I’ve known people all my life who
    acted like they were better’n
    everybody else. How wrong they are!
    I never knew the origin of high-
    hatting and I certainly didn’t think it had been that long. But
    your friend let you know (in a nice kind of way) that she was paying attention.
    It says in the Bible that Jesus
    even mingled with the sinners
    and them ole Republicans (publicans). Hope to see you all

  • Reply
    October 2, 2014 at 11:57 am

    “got too good for his raising”

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    October 2, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Although I used to love riding horses and still would, if someone would hoist me up on the saddle! I don’t think I ever intentionally “high hatted” anyone, or “rode on my high horse” over anyone… or have I forgotten?
    There is not a worse feeling in your heart then knowing someone intentionally “snubbed” you or high hatted you! If you are good close friends, then you know in your heart it was just an oversight and not intentional.
    I admit I have peddled my cart down the other isle in the Wally World or K-Roger to avoid a long winded conversation with a very “nosy someone” who just has to know all your business down to your income, taxes and if your great aunt remarried after the divorce of her third husband!…OK, maybe that is going a bit “farfetched”, but you “get my jest”! I don’t know in that instance if it is called
    “snubbing”, “high hatting” or just “baling out” to avoid confrontation!
    Thanks Tipper,
    enjoyed this post!

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    October 2, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Very common in my neck of the woods- but you don’t want to be caught doing it!

  • Reply
    Will Dixon
    October 2, 2014 at 9:34 am

    Interesting! Thanks for posting. I will join Jim Casada in the tipping of hats to you.

  • Reply
    Carol Stuart
    October 2, 2014 at 9:34 am

    Being uppity is the way I have heard it used but didn’t know the exact origin. Very interesting!

  • Reply
    October 2, 2014 at 9:15 am

    I have heard high horse but never heard high hat used to describe a snobby person. Someone accused you of high hatting them? I doubt that!

  • Reply
    October 2, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Sometimes we just gotta do what we gotta do to get a place in the line of cars heading in the same direction. I have to admit, I didn’t know the meaning until you explained it. Thanks for additional explanation.

  • Reply
    eva nell wike, PhD
    October 2, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Tipper: Now that I check our schedule more closely, WE JUST MIGHT make that 4:00 performance of the girls on Saturday – I hope.
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    eva nell wike, PhD
    October 2, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Tipper: Even though we will be in Clay County for the multi-class reunion, we will be ‘on the road again’ before the girls perform. I wish we could make it!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 2, 2014 at 8:51 am

    It gettin snooty the same as high hatting?

  • Reply
    Roy Pipes
    October 2, 2014 at 8:30 am

    I LIKE THE PHRASE “HIGH HATTING” I’ll use it in my next Appalachian novel.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 2, 2014 at 7:49 am

    Tipper, I love the juxtapositioning of the old phrase with the modern texting!
    I am familiar with phrase high hatting I’ve heard that all my life. I even knew where it came from but don’t recall how I came to know it.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    October 2, 2014 at 7:17 am

    I have heard high hated used quite often, even now.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    October 2, 2014 at 7:16 am

    I guess we all of us have been guilty of “high hatting” others–intentional or not! Thanks for giving us the history of the phrase. I didn’t know it’s origin. We learn much from Blind Pig! Thank you! Wish I could be at John C. Campbell this weekend! I know all of you will be well-received! And no “high-hatting” from anyone who hears/sees you!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    October 2, 2014 at 7:11 am

    Tipper–I’ve heard “high hatting” used in a slightly different fashion, although the message was the same. Someone who was all dressed up, acting a bit uppity, or getting above their raisin’ was said to be “high hatting it.” In other words, putting on airs.
    Jim Casada
    P. S. Speaking of hats, I tip mine, although it is just a lowly straw farmer’s hat, to your readers. Thanks to them I’m hot on the trail of solution to my candy roaster seed problem.

  • Reply
    October 2, 2014 at 5:11 am

    Interesting. I’ve heard that all my life, but had no idea how it started.

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