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Appalachia Through My Eyes – Keeping the Language Alive


A few weeks back I was asked to talk to students and parents at a local school about being a blogger. There were several speakers and the participants were divided into groups. Each group spent about 15 minutes with a speaker before moving on to the next.

I talked about blogging in general. I read Charles Fletcher’s story “Old Jim the Pet Crow” and I talked about Appalachian Language. I believe they enjoyed the Appalachian words I tested them with more than anything else, even though not many of them recognized the words.

My star pupil was a lady about my age who grew up in Brasstown. She knew most of the words. Coming in second was my sister-n-law’s nephew who is in 8th grade. He didn’t necessarily know all the words, but I could see a flash of recognition go across his face for most of them. I hope my presentation will make him, and the others, pay closer attention to the colorful Appalachian language they hear and take pride in knowing it’s part of their heritage.



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  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    March 28, 2019 at 1:38 pm

    I miss the old timey language. Mama was a treasure trove of it and I often wish I had jotted them down.

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    March 28, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    I miss hearing our Appalachian speech like I did in my childhood. My parents and grandparents conversation was filled with similes such as “hot as a firecracker” and “cold as a wedge.” Who now-a-days even knows what a ‘wedge’ is? Thanks, Tipper for all you do to keep it alive. In my own way, I try to do the same.

  • Reply
    March 28, 2019 at 10:59 am

    I think it’s great we pass it down to our kids so they can , and so on. It should always be kept alive. Thanks Tipper and God Bless!

  • Reply
    March 28, 2019 at 9:04 am

    I’m doing my part to keep the language alive. Each time I think of a word I haven’t heard in some time, I write it down. My cousin does the same thing. We call each other and use examples that include the words and have a few laughs as we go down memory lane. I anxiously await your Appalachian vocabulary test each month so that I can test her the same day you post it.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    March 28, 2019 at 8:01 am

    So nice to know our youth are being taught there is a lot of good things on the internet. Hope they check out your blog and learn about their heritage. So much social media today is junk and hurtful.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    March 28, 2019 at 7:58 am

    “Not many of them recognised the words.” I guess TV and school accounts for that. Which has me wondering if those colleges that have an “Appalachian Studies” program include language as part of it.

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