Appalachia Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Grammar Lesson 14

Appalachian Grammar Lesson 14

A comment left sometime during the last few weeks got me to thinking about the word ‘put’ and how it’s used in Appalachia.

We use it in the following ways:

  • as a verb meaning to propose or to start: “I put in for the job down at the store I’ll have to wait and see if I get it.” or “He put in the boat down below the high bridge and we started fishing down the river from there.”
  • as a substitute for the word ‘remind’: “She put me in mind of Aunt Susie cause she sure was a talker!”
  • as a substitute for the word ‘delegate’: “Last night at the meeting they put it on me to find someone to fix the roof.”
  • as a way of shifting blame: “Now they put that off on me but I swear I didn’t do it! I wasn’t within 10 miles of here that night and I got the people to prove it too!”
  • in refernece to what we’ve planted in the garden: “I heard on the radio a few people has done put out their lettuce and onions.”

I checked my Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English to see if I missed any uses of ‘put’ and I found 2 more:

  • put to-to start or cause to: “He was put to milking the cows as soon as he was big enough.” (I’ve heard this one-but just didn’t think of it)
  • put up the bar-mind the gap; meaning to replace the rails of a fence that had been let down for passage through a pasture. (I’ve never heard this one-and it seems to me it fits in with my first list-but since it sounded interesting I thought I’d mention it too)

I’m sure I didn’t find all the uses of ‘put’ so if you think of one-leave a comment and tell me-and as always I’d love to know if the uses I did mentioned are common in your area.

Tipper

 

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45 Comments

  • Reply
    Coach Daley
    February 19, 2019 at 9:52 am

    To act out or show off… “He’s just puttin’ on.”

  • Reply
    Johnnie Hawks
    February 19, 2019 at 2:24 am

    I have heard of put up the bars or drawbars as we called them, had 3 or 4 poles in place of the gate, let the bars down and let the cows into the barn

  • Reply
    bakingbarb
    March 1, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    I love it when you do these, I love the heritage behind it.

  • Reply
    Charline
    February 29, 2012 at 9:40 am

    My grandmother used to say, “He needs to go to and stay put!”
    She didn’t mean Heaven.

  • Reply
    Sallie Covolo
    February 27, 2012 at 10:31 am

    From My Fair Lady ~
    Alfred P. Doolittle:”If there’s anything going, and I puts in for a bit of it, it’s always the same story: “you’re undeserving, so you can’t have it.” Well, is five pounds unreasonable? I’ll put it to you, and I’ll leave it to you.”

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    February 27, 2012 at 8:33 am

    My wife sure looks pretty when she puts her hair up!
    I have heard all of them and probably use or have used them as well. If I tried to talk without it I would just be puttin on airs!
    Great post Tipper!!

  • Reply
    Ethel
    February 27, 2012 at 6:57 am

    I never realized how many ways we use put, though I have used or heard all of them. I don’t think I saw anyone mention put-upon, as in someone being inconvenienced or burdened; “She felt much put-upon, being expected to do her chores and watch her younger siblings.”

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    February 26, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    I have heard and used yours and the commenters samples. It is quite a useful little word.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    February 26, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Tipper,
    and Jim…Winston Churchill was a goodn’..For instance when I was a’figurin’ out my curtain rods, I said, “I seen that ring on there but for the life of me I don’t know how that was put! LOL
    You’re a goodn’ too Jim….
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    Luann
    February 26, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Heard ’em all and use most of them. Fun post.

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    February 26, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    I think I’ve heard and used most all these. It is truly useful word to put mildly.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    February 26, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    A couple of years ago there was a song released called “Puttin on the Dog” which showed a couple of different meanings for the word “Put”. In the song the writer’s wife was wanting a Fur Coat so she could “Put on the Dog”, when her husband accidently killed a German Shepard he used his frugal skills and tanned the hide and made her a coat so she was literally “Puttin on the Dog”. Brings new meaning to “waste not want not” which was a policy practiced by many old timers in Appalachia. What made the song funny was the fact that I know folks that are that tight.

  • Reply
    Tipper
    February 26, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Bill-I fixed it for him : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia
    http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Connie
    February 26, 2012 at 11:11 am

    I have heard all of those “puts” being used throughout my life.
    I remember well when I was small being told to “Sit yourself down and stay put.”

  • Reply
    Tipper
    February 26, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Phyllis-HaHa-I did forget that one-glad you remembered it!
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia
    http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Bradley
    February 26, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Don’t never put none of that red stuff that’s in that skinny bottle over at the end of the table with the salt and pepper on nothin’ you gonna eat. Hughbie did that one time and it really put the puddin’ to ’em. He said he believed that if it had been any hotter it would have put his eye out.

  • Reply
    Ken Kuhlmann
    February 26, 2012 at 11:01 am

    When we were kids, we played a card game called “Put and Take”. It meant that sometimes you had to put something in the pot and sometimes you got to take something out of the pot.
    I’ve heard most of the other uses all my life and used most of them also.

  • Reply
    Tom
    February 26, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Put out: “She was put out when they asked her to serve on another committee.” Great picture!

  • Reply
    Brian Blake
    February 26, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Having to go to work this morning really put me out.

  • Reply
    Phyllis
    February 26, 2012 at 10:56 am

    It was also used in context of a “loose” woman. I heard the only reason he goes with her is because she puts out.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    February 26, 2012 at 10:16 am

    I think Jim Casada meant to say that one should never end a sentence with a preposition, I don’t mean to put him off by raising the issue of the typo. There are several good jokes about folks who look down on those who do so but most won’t bear telling in this family friendly format. Well, I’ve put in my two cents worth so I’ll hush.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    February 26, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Tipper—I’m intimately familiar with all those usages and they form an integral part of my personal speech patterns. Since the subject is grammar, I thought I’d share one of my favorite examples of an answer to a stern grammatical rule which was hammered into me by a trio of wonderful English teachers at Swain Elementary and Swain High more years ago than I sometimes want to remember—Mrs. Mildred Wood in the 7th grade, Mr. Thad DeHart in the 9th grade, and Mr. John Wikle in the 12th grade. The rule was that one should never end a sentence with a preposition. Winston Churchill had the perfect answer to such linguistically constricting mandates. He stated: “That rule is something up with which I will not put.”
    Jim Casada
    http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    February 26, 2012 at 9:42 am

    PS…..Tipper…shhhush…
    Don’t let Ken see that piece of rebar…he’ll be makin’ a ‘mater stake outta hit!..
    Great photo….
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    February 26, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Tipper,
    I’m just plum put out with that mess of goin’s on around that place..ain’t never goin’ to amount to nothin’ either.
    Heard most of these and like you I am sure I can think of others but when you thunk you can’t think of’em..!! LOL
    Thanks Tipper great post….

  • Reply
    Shirla
    February 26, 2012 at 9:26 am

    I have heard and used, put me up to it, meaning ‘the devil made me do it.’ As a child, we always said that someone else put us up to it in an attempt to avoid the punishment for our meaness.

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    February 26, 2012 at 9:23 am

    you put that just fine 🙂

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    February 26, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Don’t blame it on me. They put me up to it.

  • Reply
    dolores barton
    February 26, 2012 at 9:06 am

    I think you put everything into one lesson. It is truly amazing how many different ways many words can be used.

  • Reply
    Mary Shipman
    February 26, 2012 at 9:05 am

    I, too, am familiar with ‘put’ in most of those contexts.

  • Reply
    Karen Larsen
    February 26, 2012 at 8:58 am

    How about “I put up some strawberry preserves today.”

  • Reply
    Jo
    February 26, 2012 at 8:46 am

    uhoh. “Time to put-up or shut-up.”

  • Reply
    Jo
    February 26, 2012 at 8:41 am

    I use all of these (including the extras) and couldn’t replace them with proper English vocabulary if I tried. And also, “I put up with it as long as I could.” —– (as in to tolerate)

  • Reply
    Bob Aufdemberge
    February 26, 2012 at 8:34 am

    All of those are common out here on the edge of the plains as well. “Put out the fire” is about the only other one I can think of.

  • Reply
    Tim Mc
    February 26, 2012 at 8:33 am

    I have heard folks use it in this way, “This will be the last time he gets out, this time they made sure he is “put”, for a spell.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    February 26, 2012 at 8:26 am

    Heard and used them all. Also as “I ‘put it out there’ that I needed a ride home.”

  • Reply
    Carol Killian
    February 26, 2012 at 8:19 am

    I remember my Granny using put up. This meant to freeze or can fruits or vegetables. She would exclaim,”We’ve put up corn all day.”

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    February 26, 2012 at 8:19 am

    Heard ’em all! Use ’em all! plus
    He didn’t go to church this morning. He said he was sick but I think it’s a put on.
    Momma didn’t feel right if she didn’t put up 100 quarts of blackberries every year.
    I think she was put out by what I said but I didn’t really mean to hurt her little feelings.
    Have you ever heard “little feelings?”

  • Reply
    Jerry
    February 26, 2012 at 7:50 am

    To identify such as “he put his finger on the cause of the trouble”. Also, “Let’s put it to a vote”.

  • Reply
    Ruthie
    February 26, 2012 at 7:44 am

    Tipper, I love your posts!! You do such a great job everyday! I had never thought of all the different ways we use “put”, I guess because it is just so common and natural to use the word put. We also say “put out”, as in, “I sure could use a ride to the store but I don’t want to put anybody out.”. Or…”I was put out by the way she treated me!”. Thanks for making me think!! Have a wonderful day!

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    February 26, 2012 at 7:39 am

    My friend was put out with me for leaving him at the store.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 26, 2012 at 7:31 am

    I’ve heard, put on airs meaning to act better than others.
    Who would have thought of puttin’ so many meanings on one little word.
    I like the picture Tip. It’s like ,”Mr Rebar which did he go” and Mr Rebar replied, “he went that-a-way, toward Wilson Hollar.”

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    February 26, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Somebody sure put a hurting on that piece of rebar that’s stuck up in front of the lower end of Welch Ridge just to make a pointer toward Cable Cove.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    February 26, 2012 at 7:21 am

    What about “put on” meaning to show off or be “stuck up” or prideful.
    Now if you ast (ask) me, she’s about the biggest put-up you’ve ever seen! She needs to be brought down a notch or two, and recollect her upbringing!
    As you can see, “put on” was in no way complimentary!

  • Reply
    sandra
    February 26, 2012 at 6:47 am

    these are all familar and have heard them all during my long life and have used about 2/3’s of them myself.

  • Reply
    kat
    February 26, 2012 at 6:41 am

    I’ve heard the term, put on the dog, meaning to impress others. She sure put on the dog tonight in that tight red dress or they really put on the dog at this party with all that fine food.

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