Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Grammar Lesson 2

The subject of today’s lesson is conjunctions-I think. It’s been so long since I took an English class I’m not sure of the correct terminology.

The words I’m thinking of are: everhow, as, and everwhen.


  • As: is often used in place of than. “I’d rather walk up the mountain in a wet sheet as go to New York City.”
  • Everhow: is often used in place of however. “Just get everhow many canning jars you think it’ll take.”
  • Everwhen: is often used in place of when. “Everwhen you get here just call me and I’ll come down and pick you up.”

All the examples above-are familiar to me-because the sentences-are exactly what I would say in my daily conversations. What about you-familiar or not?



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  • Reply
    January 2, 2011 at 11:04 am

    I still to this day use “as” and “everhow” almost daily as you do. Can’t break old habits. LOL

  • Reply
    kenneth o. hoffman
    December 31, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Tipper: i use them often with out even thinking about how odd it might sound to someone from another wife is teaching English to Colombian priests, they are mystified by our dialect. i have never been accused of using good or proper English. happy new year. k.o.h

  • Reply
    Pat in east TN
    December 31, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    I’m like everyone else in that I was going to say, “Nope, don’t use them”, but seeing your examples then it was like, “Gee gads, I use them/hear them almost all the time”. I certainly enjoy your grammar lessons!

  • Reply
    Jill @ Frugal Plus
    December 31, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Growing up in the heartland, we did pick up a few of these “down home” conjunctions 🙂
    Happy New Year!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Oh yeah, I still use those words too!!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2010 at 11:32 am

    I agree with Angie. I didn’t recognize ‘everhow’ or ‘everwhen’ written out as single words, but ‘hearing’ them in context, oh, yeah!
    I know I have and do use everhow, and hear it used, as well. All my life, I’ve heard ‘as’ used per your example, but rarely use it myself,being a Florida transplant early in life. Can’t say when I’ve heard or used ‘everwhen’.
    Great lesson!

  • Reply
    Larry Proffitt
    December 31, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Yes Tipper those are the common vernacular here . A lot of it is being lost to TV, you know where each sentence spoken ends with the intonation of a question.Some friends who moved here from upstate NY called once upon a time and asked if they could bring their friends by to visit me . I said sure bring them on.
    ” We want them to hear you talk” You have the heaviest accent we know. I told them I merely learned to talk from my parents and grandparents before TV . We really enjoy your work. Larry Proffitt.

  • Reply
    December 31, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Love it, love it, love it. I didn’t realize that I spoke a different language until recently. I can’t remember what I said, but someone at work just looked at me with a dumbfounded look. I said the phrase to another person; they understood right away. Funny how growing up in the mountains, we thought what we were saying was commonplace, only to find out it ain’t.
    And yes, I’ve used these phrases, too.

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    December 31, 2010 at 10:29 am

    I may be wrong, or maybe it’s just in my world, but I think everybody talks like that, uses those words and similar expressions in relaxed, familiar settings. I do.
    Tipper, I have very much enjoyed your stories from the woods and in the snow.
    When Richard Chase wrote “The Jack Tales” from up the road above you in Avery County and around Beech Mountain, back in the late Thirties and Forties, painters were beleived to be quite common and big cats were a part of the common lore in Western North Carolina.
    What good reading you give us.

  • Reply
    Luann Sewell Waters
    December 31, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Really enjoy these! Use the first one, but have heard the others.
    Have been letting friends know of your blog….keep up the fun posts!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    December 31, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Tipper–It’s seldom you offer linguistic samplings which lie outside of my personal usage, but in this case you have(well, in two of the three examples. I do use “as” in a comparative form periodically, but not the other two.
    I’ll expand a bit on brother Don’s thoughts about New York City. Hank Jr. had it exactly right when he mentioned NYC and Hell being “about the same.” If anyone needs a recent example, look at the snowstorm’s aftermath.
    On a personal level, many years ago my family drove to NYC as part of a work/vacation trip where I was to do some research at Yale along with visiting my sister on Long Island and touring the New England states. When we got on the ferry leaving Long Island, I told my wife that if I ever visited NYC other than to change planes going somewhere else, she should have me immediately committed to the most convenient insane asylum for there would be no doubt I’d lost all control of my faculties.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    December 31, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Now that I can think back on it, I
    don’t think all that proper English we were taught earlier in
    life really matters. A good friend
    once popped in my shop just before
    dinner and said “hey, jeet-yet? And I told him “nope-jew?” And a
    Yankee friend from Michigan was
    standing beside me and he asked:
    “what the heck did you all say?”
    Poor thing, guess he hadn’t had
    any dinner either. I use all these
    words daily too…Ken

  • Reply
    December 31, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Yep, use them all time. Never thought about them being different. Enjoy reading your site daily. Always fun and interesting.

  • Reply
    December 31, 2010 at 6:30 am

    Oh, by the way, I loved the photos with ALL that SNOW! They’re gorgeous!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2010 at 6:27 am

    That was the most interesting English lesson I’ve ever had since university! I teach English as a second language, but I must admit, that the way you use these words is completely unfamiliar to me. Must be part of your local speech. So charming!

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    December 30, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Heard them all — and have learned to use everhow and everwhen — as well as everwhat.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    December 30, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Can’t say that I use those, Tipper, but have heard them all used in the fashion you describe.
    Independent of the use of the words, I absolutely agree with the thought carried in your first example (you can throw in pretty much any other city with over 100,000 people to go along with NYC). By the way, you wouldn’t have been recollecting a specific episode walking in a wet sheet up the mountain, would you???
    For others who might chance to read this, let me relate a little story on Tipper and Chatter…. Those two ladies and a couple of friends from Cherokee County went on an ill-fated hike in the Smokies (up across Mt Kephart) with my wife and me in September. We all got absolutely drenched. But showing themselves to be true mountain folks, they just took it in stride and good humor. Now there was sunshine that day – not a bit from the heavens, but bunches of it beaming from the faces of Tipper and Chatter.

  • Reply
    December 30, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    Dirt has worked me silly and fed me poorly so all I could think of when at first I began to read your post was the tv jingle “conjuction junction…” but that was as far as my brain got. Mostly I’ve hear ‘erhow. An if more folks used “as” like you have here then there would be no reason to use “then” improperly.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    December 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Tipper, I know those words and have used them. I thought “as”, as you use it here was just common English….didn’t realize it was English with an Appalachian twist.
    The remaining two “everhow” and “everwhen” I did know to be Appalachian conjunctions!
    Words are such fun! Thanks for bringing these to us.
    Love the pictures!

  • Reply
    Angie Campbell
    December 30, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Oh boy….when I first read the words that are the subject of today’s lesson, I thought “nope, I don’t use those”….but when I read the examples, I realized I was so wrong! Thanks for such a great blog…I always look forward to the next edition!
    Angie in TN

  • Reply
    December 30, 2010 at 11:23 am

    can’t tell you how many times i have said, ok, everhow you wanna do it is fine with me. i did use all of the above when we lived in KY just not as much now since i have been married for 25 years to a yankee, my speech patterns changed a lot. but i do remember. I like the quote about the clock your grand pap said and it is true

  • Reply
    December 30, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Hi Tipper, Loved seeing your snow pictures… I knew that you all got ALOT… We had about 5 inches here –but it wasn’t the pretty clinging snow you had.
    I cannot believe you have so many ‘wild’ critters there…. Kinda fun to know–but also a little scary I’m sure.
    Being raised in the Appalachians, I remember ALL of the sayings you mention above… Oh–how they bring back memories!!!

  • Reply
    Patty Hall
    December 30, 2010 at 9:20 am

    I’ve heard these, used them occasionally. As in “ever how you wanna do it”. “I’d rather be too cold as to be too hot” Think I use these two more than ‘everwhen’.
    Still enjoying your snow?
    Patty H.

  • Reply
    December 30, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Tipper – thanks for your kind comment on my blog today. I really appreciate it. 🙂
    And I find words like you defined above — only used in a specific part of the country — fascinating. I have never heard these words used this way but they make perfect sense.
    I hope you post more of these “grammar” lessons. I find the subject very interesting. Have a great day!

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