Appalachia Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Grammar Lesson 6

Appalachian Grammar Lesson 12
Today’s grammar lesson is about location-location-location. In Appalachia there are a variety of words used to describe a certain location-words like yonder, yon, somewheres, thataway, and thisaway.


*I’m not sure where Raymond lives but it’s over in Clay County somewheres.

*I heard there was a bad storm over yonder in Fannin County this morning.

*If you’re going to Young Harris through Warne you’ll have to change your plans. You can’t go thataway now that they’re working on that bridge. Unless you cut through Pine Log and come out yon side of the bridge.

*I saw some old truck turn down thisaway. I don’t know who it was or what they were doing. But it seemed mighty fishy to me.

I’m guilty of using all the words to describe locations. How about you? Got any to add to the list?





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  • Reply
    Ray Presley
    April 2, 2021 at 4:09 pm

    I always pity those poor, ignorant souls who insist on being so literal that they miss out on the beauty of creative language. The beauty of Appalachian culture is that we can drop consonants or add more. as in responding to someone who might ask whether we can do something by saying, “Shore, I caan.”

  • Reply
    Eldonna Ashley
    September 1, 2016 at 11:37 am

    I use overneath as the opposite of underneath. I have no idea for sure where I got thar word.
    I also use “this here” as in “This here chair needs taken back to the kitchen.”
    My favorite though is what every Appalachian woman says to friends or family thst drop by: “Jeet yet?”

  • Reply
    April 24, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Oh yes, I use them all. And the people here pick on me because of my hillbilly slang. Oh well….I gotta be me!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 23, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Love those “Rock of Ages” girls above, that’s quite a pair!!
    I recognize the level but not the other. However I have a feeling if you told me I’d say” oh , I knew that”
    I’ve been summers, over yonder,yon, thataway, a fur piece,and raht char. I like raht char best!!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    April 23, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Tipper–I’ve been out in Oklahoma chasing turkeys (successfully) for the past week, so I’m just now catching up. B. Ruth mentioned the song, “Down Yonder.” It was a favorite square dance tune when I was a boy, and the opening lyrics suggest it is distinctly a song of the South–“Down yonder, someone beckons to me, Down yonder, next to Robert E. Lee.”
    As for yonder, folks in Bryson City and Swain County often rendered it as “yander” rather than “yonder.” According to Dad, when I was a small boy I told some visitor something or the other was “over yander on Hospital Hill” and Mom like to have fainted in embarrassment.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Dee from Tennessee
    April 23, 2011 at 12:38 am

    Oh Tipper, I use them all and most of those in the comments. I read a review of hard-to-locate little diner and the writer said something like it: “It’s up behind the beyond.”
    Off topic here but I am so so saddened to read of the passing of Hazel Dickens….a profound loss.

  • Reply
    Douglas Lamb
    April 23, 2011 at 12:34 am

    Suzann, I would not let the Webster people nor any of the scholarly types be the last word on just what is a real word.

  • Reply
    April 22, 2011 at 12:18 am

    Love reading everyone’s examples
    of the Appalachian Word Games.
    Its a lot of fun. I bet I can
    guess what the level is for, Matt
    shore came in handy didn’t he?
    Can’t wait to see it…Ken

  • Reply
    Barb Johnson
    April 21, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    My folks always said “up the road a piece” I think I still say it!!

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    April 21, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    I’m laughing!! My harding working Mitchell says “yan”-sometimes he has me help him do a job(usually dangerous) & he will tell me to move something “yan way”. If someone will tell me where yan is, it sure would improve Mitchell’s temper & my nerves! PS-Hello, Rod-my people are from across the way on Lookout Mtn & Sand Mtn,too. We used to carry my grandmaw to church on Sunday mornings.

  • Reply
    Greta Koehl
    April 21, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    I heard my Dad and his family say “raht char” for “right there.” And I remember my high school math teacher in Texas talking about arrows pointing “thisaway” and “thataway.”

  • Reply
    April 21, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Did you forget “fer piece”? Meaning a long way away?
    I still use that and one guy from up north thought I was talking about a fur stole or something furry.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Joe Mode
    April 21, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    You know yonder has to be alright because we use it in song all of the time, i.e. When the role is called up yonder I’ll be there.

  • Reply
    Dale Anderson
    April 21, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    My Dad used to say “It’s a hoop and a holler and a couple of wagon greasings from here”

  • Reply
    Bob Dalsemer
    April 21, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    How about “a fur piece” as in “she lives a fur piece down the road.”
    And if you’re not from here you’re from “off.”

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    April 21, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    I would have more likely heard or used yonder than yon. Yon would have been heard in a Shakespeare play.
    I also heard “somewheres” pronounced like “summers” when I was growing up.

  • Reply
    teresa atkinson
    April 21, 2011 at 11:44 am

    I have a friend who says “in ere”
    I thing the big pan is “in ere”. said while pointing to a cabinet.
    We use all of these.
    Much love — Teresa

  • Reply
    April 21, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Dolores-yes that is a level! The Deer Hunter has been busy building something for us-I’ll show it to you soon : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at

  • Reply
    Larry Blount
    April 21, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Just heard ’round chere’ as in “ain’t nodody round chere knows where that is”.

  • Reply
    April 21, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Debora-down the road a ways is a good one! I use that one too : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at

  • Reply
    Debora Kerr
    April 21, 2011 at 10:28 am

    When indicating distance from here to there, I often say “it’s a ways down the road.” “A ways” can mean anything from a block to 5 miles. It drives my friends crazy when I do that.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    April 21, 2011 at 10:05 am

    There’s a variant to Jo’s “right down from” that I use a lot to encourage Susan when we’re making a pretty stiff climb up a mountain when out on a hike – something like this:
    “Almost there – we’re going to top out right on up there around that next bend or two.”
    Susan may tell you that my “bend or two” sometimes turn out to be three or four or eight….
    But one thing IS always true – we’ve got to keep a-climbing until we reach that mountain top:

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    April 21, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Hey Tipper,
    Used and heard all of these…Yonder or… “Down Yonder” being a favorite old piano tune! ha…Also used and heard used “there about” or “there abouts.” Go to the next exit and “there abouts” will be a marker! Then follow the markers down yonder to that big tower!
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    April 21, 2011 at 9:30 am

    My mother was from Sand Mountain in N.E. Alabama where they had a few peculiar ways of speaking. For instance instead of saying you were going to take someone to church they would say they were going to carry them to church or to town or wherever. And instead of calling soft drinks pop or soda they would just call them drinks, which in most places would mean an alcoholic beverage of some kind. Of course in that strict Southern Baptist community alcohol was a definite no-no so that was understood.

  • Reply
    April 21, 2011 at 8:32 am

    I can’t add to the list, but one of the pictures looks like you were testing for levelness of something. Is that a level?

  • Reply
    April 21, 2011 at 8:18 am

    yonder and thataway are common for me to use, yonder i use a lot. someone told me my accent has come back, i told them it is from your blog and watching Justified, which is a show set in Harland County KY. i am regressing to my child hood and happy about it

  • Reply
    Mary Shipman
    April 21, 2011 at 8:08 am

    Hither and yon, nearabouts, hereabouts,yonder, and “som’eres” are location words familiar here in the Missouri hills.
    Tipper, I really enjoy your grammar lessons and ‘studying on’ similarities in the Appalachian and Ozark speech. Thanks for yet another interesting and edifying (that word is still used here) blog.

  • Reply
    Debby Brown
    April 21, 2011 at 7:58 am

    I have used all but yon, its yonder for me. I know when I first made friends with some folks from up north, that was the biggest thing, they thought it so weird that I used the word yonder and they wanted to know just where this “yonder” was in location.
    I remember years ago my Papa (granddaddy) saying, “Hope me clum that tree yonder.” (help me climb that tree over there.) haha.. I remember thinking how backward and old timey that was and that I had to learn to talk right. Sadly, that’s what we all do, and that is why we are losing this wonderful way of speaking, losing the way our ancestors communicated. Of course, that there is my opinion, maybe to most people, it IS backward sounding and old timey, I just think it sounds beautiful now.

  • Reply
    Joe Mode
    April 21, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Use em all except yon. Don’t forget directions for finding items or things, such as “Up and under,”Down and under, “Up and over,” and “Over and around” to name a few combinations.
    Example: That derened cat is up and under the stove again.

  • Reply
    April 21, 2011 at 7:54 am

    I use all except yon. Enjoyed reading others comments as I also use some of their words too. Always love reading your post.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    April 21, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Wow, it seems that I use all but yon, and I have heard it used. We say just below and just above too, I have heard and used most of the ones from the comments too.

  • Reply
    Pat in east TN
    April 21, 2011 at 7:25 am

    Can’t add to them but admit I use all those words. Loved reading the comments too.

  • Reply
    April 21, 2011 at 7:01 am

    Please correct me if I am wrong but I think that as adverbs yonder andr yon derived from Middle English yonder, yender, equivalent to yond + -er as in hither, thither. For example: “Whose house is that yonder?” As for yon, I think it derives from the old English “scatterd here and yon?”

  • Reply
    April 21, 2011 at 6:40 am

    Jo-right down from is a good one!
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at

  • Reply
    April 21, 2011 at 6:39 am

    John-thank you for the great comment! I knew I was leaving out some location words. We use nearabout too. And the summers pronunciation-guilty of that too : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at

  • Reply
    Vera Guthrie
    April 21, 2011 at 6:30 am

    I have used and still sue them all and seems I never get lost LOL. I can be over yonder and get back thisaway with no problem.

  • Reply
    April 21, 2011 at 6:22 am

    I just learned last year that “skift” wasn’t a real word. I grew up hearing, “We got a skift of snow last night.” 🙂

  • Reply
    John Dilbeck
    April 21, 2011 at 5:56 am

    Good morning, Tipper.
    I still use hither and nearbout a lot. Both mean a location close to me.
    Hither is used in directing movement, as in, “Come hither.” (Almost the same as “Come here,” but not as specific. Maybe closer to “come this way.”)
    Nearbout means “in this general area” as opposed to “over yonder.”
    I also thought I’d mention that “somewheres” is usually pronounced the same as “summers” by the folks I know.
    Love your grammar lessons!

  • Reply
    April 21, 2011 at 5:37 am

    Also “right down from”—Sister Brown lives right down from the twist in the road.
    Somewheres is often replaced by anywheres.
    We are justabout there….

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