Appalachia Through My Eyes Appalachian Dialect

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Loafering

My life in appalachia Loafering

Do you ever loafer? Loafer is another way of saying you’re going to get out and see what’s happening but don’t have a particular schedule to stick too.

If I go loafering I might wander off down the hill to see what’s going on at Pap and Granny’s or I might head out to the flea market to see what they’ve got today or maybe I’ll go by Clay’s Corner to see if there’s anyone hanging around to talk too. The fun thing about loafin is you never know what or who you might see-maybe even a one man band.

Ever go loafering?


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


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  • Reply
    Lonnie Dockery
    September 8, 2012 at 10:03 am

    I’ve been doing a lot of loafering lately. And I’ve enjoyed every minute of it! It’s an absolutely wonderful way to spend time.

  • Reply
    September 5, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    This is a fun and new term to me. My mom was from Missouri and she used to call that lolly-gagging around. Hmmm…miss her lots! Anyway, I too, am anxious to hear about the rest of the fairy tale. I enjoy your blog a lot!. Thank you for all you share.

  • Reply
    September 3, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Bob and Inez-thank you for the comment! The man with the hard hat is a one man band-he had instruments strapped all over him : ) I think the hat was one too somehow LOL!

  • Reply
    September 2, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    Oh my stars, yes, what a fantastic way to spend free time – ‘loafering’ as you pronounced it – then there’s ‘loafing’ around as we called it down in south MS – then there’s ‘piddlin’ – then, back in my youth, the term in south MS was ‘lolly-gagging’ around. This last term was ultimate, extreme doing nothing, combined with lots of people watching, too.
    Me and the hubby loaf around the house and the place, just doing as nothing productive as possible on occasion.
    I’m so late posting here because that’s what we did today.
    If we’re going to piddle around, we get in the car, and just wander wherever our notion strike us. Could be an hour or two close by, or we could venture out and about for the whole day, sometimes making a complete circitous route, back to home.
    How delightful to relax and not be in a hurry to do anything tht has to be done! To run up on interesting people, places, things, to see some new landscapes, turn up a country road just because the name on the signpost is catchy.
    We should spend more time just enjoying the moment, shouldn’t we?
    Thanx, Tipper, for taking us on a restful and delightful little trip.

  • Reply
    Bob & Inez Jones
    September 2, 2012 at 9:59 am

    We like loafer’ around. Usually end up seeing interesting things and people. I would enjoy loafer; around in Clay’s Corner. Can you tell me what that gentleman is playing( the one who is standing up with what appears to be a hard hat on)? Inez Jones

  • Reply
    September 2, 2012 at 4:37 am

    When I have some free time like today, I love wandering around, taking a walk on the beach, going window shopping. As I live in a small town, I often run into friends or people I know.

  • Reply
    September 1, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    I agree with B. ruth…:)

  • Reply
    September 1, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    I kin loafer the live long day an come evenin light out fer home as happy as a dead pig in the sunshine.

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    September 1, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    it was a beautiful day to loafer! So we did just that- over the mountain to the Cataloochee look off, down the mountain to Big Creek, into Newport for an early supper, back over the mountain at Harmon Den toward Fines Creek with a detour down a dirt trail everyone calls Highway 101(not for the faint of heart!) & finally down through Wesley Creek to head for home. A perfect day!

  • Reply
    Benny Watt Terry
    September 1, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    My favorite loaferin’ was the summers I spent in Cedartown with my Uncle Robert. Early we would go downtown to the Gulf station where there was four or more of his friends sittin’ around. I didn’t care much for the talkin’ but I waited for my Uncle to get us a Coke. Early on he showed my how to drink a Coke; you had to empty a pack of salted p’nuts in it first. To this day that’s how I drink my Coke.

  • Reply
    Joy Newer
    September 1, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Do it quite often now at my young age. Tipper somehow i got disconnected from your post. do not know what i did to lose you but SO HAPPY to be connected again. We read your post everyday.It makes our day. Grandmother Joy

  • Reply
    Peggy Lambert
    September 1, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    This is about your fairy tale.
    I haven’t answered anything you wrote about for this week. I have read them every day, all good.
    I want you to know you messed up my brain?, What brain? I have had your fairy tale on my mind ever since. Around here we have the “Little People” and when we can’t find anything we missplaced, we blame it on the “The Little People” or if there is a thump in the night.The are called Yunwi Tsunsdi. They are the part of our culture and history. James Mooney is authorative text regarding the Little People. Based on the material collected from 1887 –1890 and original Cherokee manuscripts. He defined them as a “race of spirits” living in rock caves on the mountain sides. They are little fellows, hardly reaching up to a man’s knee, but well shaped and handsome, with hair falling almost to the ground. They are said to be “helpful and kind- hearted” and as a “great wonder workers” who are “very fond of music, spending half their time drumming and dancing”. Since your family are all musicians and you feel like someone is watching you, could it be a “Little Person”? Be careful and don’t make it or them mad, they will throw rocks at you.
    Mooney, James. Myths of the Cherokee. 1900. Nashville:
    A Western carolina University English 102 Class Project
    March 1991

  • Reply
    dolores barton
    September 1, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    I guess when I wander around in a store might be considered loafering. My idea of loafering is just chilling out.

  • Reply
    Peggy Lambert
    September 1, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    I did this once today and sent it out in space because it isn’t here
    Jim C. I put a picture of the Loafers bench in the “Bone Rattler” a few months back. I could have called the bench another name but was afraid to. All ready had to change two stories or they were took out before printing.I did not do the story, was from another member.
    Peggy L.

  • Reply
    September 1, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    When I was in Seminary my favorite professor recommended what she called ‘Mental Health Days’ when things got stressful.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 1, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Oh yeah, I know about loafering guess it’s a little like a walkabout. The art of wandering aimlessly
    Also believe I know the expression Jim is referencing. Heard it used in Canton so I guess Bryson City isn’t the only one using colorful, off-color expressions.

  • Reply
    Jen Y
    September 1, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    I’ve never done any loafering but I do a lot of piddlin’.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    September 1, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Tipper–When I was a boy a shady area adjacent to the town square in Bryson City was known as “Loafer’s Glory.” That’s a wonderfully descriptive name, but there was a second one, even more widely used on the local scene, which is just off color enough that I best not provide it here (anyone who is sufficiently curious can e-mail me at [email protected], and I’d be curious to know if any of the Bryson City natives who haunt this blog remember it).
    In the warmer months old men gathered there to tell lies, play checkers, swap knives, and no doubt talk about the good old days. On Saturdays there would often be a Bible thumper offering a fire-and-brimstone version of the Gospel on the scene.
    These “Lords of Loafer’s Glory,” as I once termed them in a story, were a pure delight to a small boy who loved to hang around the fringes and listen to them.
    It’s a part of the local scene which has vanished in Bryson City, and I fear that loaferin’ is gradually becoming part of a world we have lost.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    September 1, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    When I think about it and study on it, I have nearly refined loafing to it’s highest form. Anyway, here’s a tale about the loafers in a town in east Kentucky, a true one, too:
    It was getting on up in October and we’d about seen the last of the ‘maters due to the cold; the loafers out side the courthouse were spittin’ whittlin’ cedar sticks and trading pocket-knives with gloves on. Old Jake, the County Judge came into the courthouse and found the Jailer in the hall. “Bo, get you a couple of trustys and carry the loafin’ benches inside and put ’em here in the hall where they can see folks walkin’by; it’s to #$&* cold for them to be sittin’ outside! Bo kinda balked a little and said “But Jake, who’s gonna clean up the mess of shavins?” Ol’ Jake, who was a really fiesty person, said “By gum, you’ll do the cleanin’ for that’s the part of the job you ran for when you got elected Jailer. Now get them benches in here before I give you 30 days in your own jail!” Bo kknew better than to argue with the judge and the benches, loafers and spit-cans were brought inside forthwith. You can’t say that Jake didn’t look out for the old folks in the county…

  • Reply
    Gary Miller
    September 1, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Yes, I have gone loafering, especially in downtown Naperville. I just start walking, usually along the river walk, and end up wherever. I really have no destination in mind and I find myself discovering new things along the way. Recently I was walking near Naper settlement and heard some live music somewhere up ahead. I found out that small groups of musicians play in a very well shaded band shell for no other reason than just to play. I am always surprised by something while loafering around.

  • Reply
    September 1, 2012 at 11:29 am

    There is nothing better than a day that you can spend loafering. Just get out and see what and who you can. I wish I could do a lot more of it.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    September 1, 2012 at 11:27 am

    If any of you saw “The Reach of Song” that played for several summers at the Music Park at the Georgia Mountains Fair Ground at Hiawassee will remember the “Loafers’ Bench” featured in it. They did a good representation of what went on at local country stores as well as in small mountain towns. I liked the distinction given between ‘loafering’ and ‘loafing.” And I wonder why no women were ever featured on the Loafers’ Bench? Perhaps because we never gave in just to stopping and gabbing. Rather, maybe our accusal of “gossiping” too much was done on the run as we went on to get our many chores finished. “Men’s work is from dawn to setting sun, but women’s work is never done!”

  • Reply
    B. ruth
    September 1, 2012 at 10:55 am

    I think you are loafering around on posting that Fairy tale story…or puttin’ off…
    ‘Nuff said….
    Thanks, for the post anyhow…
    I do me too much loafering!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    September 1, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Jim-Does haunting require one to be deceased? If it does, I don’t! But, I have been checking my pulse more often lately.

  • Reply
    September 1, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Nope! Where I come from that word was used more for being lazy and stationary and was used to motivate a bunch of kids to go find something to do outside instead of just “loafin around” the house. The word we used was “stroll around” or “bumping around town” to see who they might bump into. I personally use the term going “walk about” like an Aussie. 😀

  • Reply
    September 1, 2012 at 10:18 am

    I usually refer to the days I stay home and get nothing done as loafing. Never heard it called loafering. With all the rain coming in the next few days, sounds like good loafing weather to me.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    September 1, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Pert near every day. Actually Loafering is a developed art, if you aren’t careful you’ll wind up doing some chore that your beloved spouse has mentioned and mess up a whole day of of quality loafering which by the way is great for your health. In Bryson City the Loafers Bench on the square used to be filled by gentlemen of advanced age who were real artists at doing nothing in particular. Since everything has been changed in the name of Beautification Projects many of these older citizens have passed on. This is sad in that it denies many youngsters access to great volumes of valuable mountain knowledge which these Loafers were glad to pass on.

  • Reply
    September 1, 2012 at 9:35 am

    We do alot of loafering down here in my neck of the woods too! Won’t get to do much loafering today as I usually do on Saturday; taking care of my new grandbaby today!

  • Reply
    September 1, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Everybody should take time away from responsibility now and then. Some of the best days were when I was loafing, or just going for a drive. It soothes the spirit and makes life much more livable. I still remember a little drive on an off road in Virginia. They had a country store with a tiny stage, and the locals were flatfooting. They had picnic tables on a huge porch, and we bought Green Pepper Jelly and cream cheese to eat. Such a lovely day, and I could never remember nor find that place again. Did I dream it? LOL
    Anyway, Tipper, that memory and your previous post about Red Pepper Jam got me going. I did not have red peppers, but had a lot of green. I used your recipe to make Green Pepper Jam, and it was totally wonderful. I googled and found where some make the red and green for Christmas.

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    September 1, 2012 at 9:15 am

    I do a little of that now and then. It was an old favorite saying of my daddy. I think the way it was pronounced mostly was “loafin”.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    September 1, 2012 at 8:56 am

    It’s great to be able to go loafering once in a while.

  • Reply
    September 1, 2012 at 8:39 am

    I do more loafering than anything else. Some say I do nothing else.

  • Reply
    Rich N Smart
    September 1, 2012 at 8:25 am

    You failed to distinguish between loafering and loafing. Loafering requires some ambulatory effort while loafing only a story, a seat and a spit can. I tend more toward the latter since I got older.
    Don’t think I’d like to stand too close to a guy in a hard hat and biker shorts!
    I’ve been making spoon music lately ♪ ♫ ♪

  • Reply
    September 1, 2012 at 8:20 am

    Yep, I go loafering too. Not much else to do.

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