Appalachia Appalachian Dialect

Appalachia Vocabulary Test 67

Appalachia Vocabulary Test 67

It’s time for this month’s Appalachian Vocabulary Test. Take it and see how you do!

  1. Lap
  2. Leader
  3. Lessen
  4. Lipping full
  5. Low rate

Appalachia Vocabulary Test 67 2


  1. Lap: branches from a tree; the top of a tree that’s been cut out. “We piled the laps from that big pine tree up and burnt them this morning.”
  2. Leader: tendon, ligament. “He was cutting wood when his saw slipped and cut that big leader going down his leg. They sewed it up but said only time would tell if he could use it the same as before. He’ll be laid up for a good long while with it.”
  3. Lessen: unless. “I’m going to pack up them leftovers and take them down to Granny’s lessen you want to eat some more of ’em.”
  4. Lipping full: filled to capacity. “He’d always try to get water from the spring lipping full thinking he wouldn’t have to make as many trips. But he always spilled half of it before he got to the house so he made just as many as he would have anyway.”
  5. Low rate: to criticize; poor quality. “Just because you don’t like her ain’t no reason to go around low rating her to people who do.”

I really enjoyed the words this month-my thoughts:

  • lap: I hear and use this word often.
  • leader: I hear this one-mostly from older folks like Pap.
  • lessen: In my area lessen has mostly been shortened to less. “Less I hear from you I’ll see you Monday week.”
  • lipping full: I’ve never heard anyone say this one-but the meaning of lipping full shines right through. When Chatter was about 5 years old she got in the habit of telling us to fill her drink all the way to the top “all the way to the top all the way to the top!” It aggravated me to death-sheesh like I was in the habit of not giving her enough to drink?
  • low rate: I mostly hear low rate used as a description of poor quality. “I thought I was saving money but them low rate boots didn’t last me near as long as the last pair I had.”

Be sure to leave a comment and let me know how you did on the test.




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  • Reply
    Julie Hughes
    June 24, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    I have heard them all but lap. Of course the only reason he carries the bucket lappin’ full is because he is totin’ a lazy man’s load!!

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    June 18, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    I have heard all of these used except low rate. I’ve also heard lapping full used the same as lipping full, I think the difference is that lipping full refers to something being “up to the lip of a container while lapping full refers to a liquid lapping over the top of a container.

  • Reply
    June 18, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    The only one I got was “lessen” – although I can’t remember ever using it, I have heard it used by others. Low rate means something different here, it means of poor quality rather than to down-talk or gossip about someone.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    jane bolden
    June 18, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    I haven’t heard lap and lipping full. I remember hearing, “He cut one of those main leaders in his arm.” Used less instead of lessen and heard low rate like you.

  • Reply
    June 18, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    Ah! New word usage! I have my own meanings, but they weren’t as you explained. Good lesson for today!

  • Reply
    June 18, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Leader, lessen, & low rate–used these but leader was also part of a fishing line. Mama had to have surgery on her broken arm & the doctor came in to check it out. Took off the bandage & Mama said “Is it dreaning?” He looked at me blankly & asked what she was talking about. I told him she meant was anything coming out of the wound. Asked him where he was from & he said “Somewhere where they speak English.” Little smart alec–I love & respect the old timey talk.

  • Reply
    Carol Isler
    June 18, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Momma used all of these except for “lipping full”. That’s a new one.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    June 18, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Like others I never heard lipping full or low rate. Lipping would be slap dap or smack dap full and low rate would be run down.
    Ever hear the red streak running from a sore called a leader? You know the one that if it gets to your heart, you will die?
    Now lets think about Lessen vs unless. Un less? Is that not a double negative? Shouldn’t unless mean more?

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    June 18, 2014 at 11:43 am

    I’m thinking “lipping full” is the only
    one of these I’m not familiar with.
    I really like these Appalachian word
    tests, most are words that I didn’t
    realize I used.
    I’m excited about the concert coming up
    this Friday night at Blairsville. You’d
    have to really search to find a music
    and singing this good…Ken

  • Reply
    Deborah Catoe
    June 18, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Tipper,while I was born and raised in central South Carolina, I have and still use your vocabulary words regularly. I am also of your “Pap’s” generation.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    June 18, 2014 at 9:23 am

    Leader and Lessen — yes! And these reminded me
    of Leastways. I always thought that “leader” was the scientific name of those tendons! Haven’t heard the
    other two in Texas or New Mexico.

  • Reply
    Gina S
    June 18, 2014 at 9:21 am

    I’ve only heard ‘lop off’ rather than ‘lap off.’ Lipping full makes perfect sense though I’ve never heard it or seen it in writing. The term made me think of a granny woman with her bottom lip full of snuff. When Daddy didn’t like a haircut Mama gave me, he would say my hair looked like it had been whomped off with a wet rope. Mama would puff up and I would giggle. Good memories lighten the heart.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    June 18, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Tipper–I’m familiar with all of the words, although in some cases my familiarity/usage is wider than the examples you give, viz.
    1. Lap–I often heard, as a boy, brush piles called tree laps. Also, I hear the word lap used as a verb associated with drinking (especially by dogs). “After than long rabbit race them beagles lapped up water like nobody’s business.”
    2. Leader–Something on the business end of a fly-fishing outfit.
    3.Lessen–Also used to to indicated a diminution. For example: “Just because they are twins doesn’t lessen Chitter and Chatter’s musical accomplishments a whit.
    4. Lipping full–I more commonly hear brim full, but if you stop to think about it, lipping full makes perfectly good sense. “Grandpa Joe like his coffee cup lipping full” would suggest that he either had to “lip it” or “sasser it” in order to avoid a spill.
    5.Like you, I’m most familiar with low rate as an adjective.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Bob Aufdemberge
    June 18, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Leader is the only one of this batch that I used to hear regularly, but as in your case it belonged mostly to an earlier generation.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    June 18, 2014 at 7:45 am

    I failed today. Didn’t know “Lap”, “Leader”, or “Lipping Full”.
    My guess is that “lessen” probably comes from “lest”, which would have been used probably a few centuries ago. Then maybe “unless” and then with the mountain habit of adding an “n” as in “Ifn I don’t hear from you…”
    I always enjoy these grammar lessons, Tipper.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    June 18, 2014 at 7:35 am

    I’ve heard lap used but not often. Same with leader for tendon. Lessen, I’ve heard quite a bit.
    Lipping full, I’ve never heard and low rate I’ve heard very little.
    Guess I didn’t do too good this time.
    Your pictures are interesting. I see hands in the top photo, holding the camera, I think.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    June 18, 2014 at 7:35 am

    Lap: This one is new, while I was waiting for this to load I thought of many ways we use lap.
    Leader: I remember my neighbor using this, I never have.
    Lessen: unless. Use less too, thought it was a short version of unless.
    Lipping full: I’ve never heard or used this one.
    Low rate: I have heard and used this the same as you

  • Reply
    June 18, 2014 at 7:00 am

    I’m not familiar with Lap or Lipping full, the rest is used pretty often around these parts…

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