Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Grammar Lesson 8

Time for this month’s Appalachian Grammar Lesson.

It is common for the words like to to be used in place of the words almost or nearly. A few examples:

*We was coming across the mountain when it fell a flood. I like to have froze to death before we got back to the house.”

*I saw Juanita down at the store, I liked to have never got away from her. She was a telling me about her family.”

*He like to of quit after they talked to him that away. But I told him just hold on a little longer and it’d all work out.”

Would you hear the sentences above in your area? Or would the ‘like to’ be replace by almost or nearly?

Tipper

 

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40 Comments

  • Reply
    caro
    July 14, 2011 at 8:43 am

    I thought of one that I heard people use…air-ish It means very breezy. “It’s right airish today.”

  • Reply
    Shelia
    July 1, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    I’m so proud of my East Tennessee Appalachian roots! I always tell people ‘don’t expect me to talk like a Southerner, cause I ain’t one…I’m an Appalachian mountain girl!”

  • Reply
    Kim Haynes
    June 29, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Charlotte and Jeff, we use it for lack in South Ms and North Ga too. And I love when I’m corrected – as if I didn’t know. I’m a high school guidance counselor with a master’s degree and I guess they think I don’t know better – but I’m really just not aove my raisin’.

  • Reply
    Becky
    June 25, 2011 at 7:03 am

    Not likely to hear it in my area, that is unless you are at my house.

  • Reply
    kenneth o. hoffman
    June 22, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Tipper: “like it happened right smart” or so they say. i thought that was western jargon . guess not. regards k.o.h

  • Reply
    Jeanna M
    June 22, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    Of course we use like and then again I don’t live far away neither. LOL

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    June 22, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    I liked to have fell over at the great Caldwell barn pictures!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    June 22, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    Oh yes, know it well. You mean everbody dont talk this way?

  • Reply
    Pat in east TN
    June 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    I agree with the other TN folks … hear them/use them all the time.

  • Reply
    John
    June 22, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    None of the above are heard in England though “Near as like” means the same as “more or less”, while “like as not” means “probably”.
    John
    “By Stargoose And Hanglands”

  • Reply
    Alica
    June 22, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Have you ever read the book “Christy”, by Catherine Marshall? I feel like I’m reading it when I read your post today! I’m re-reading that book for the umpteenth time right now…love it!

  • Reply
    Ken
    June 22, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Tipper,
    I ‘liked’ to got my hands blistered pullin’ wires from pole
    to pole for my White Runners. Yeah, I recon thats the way I talk
    too…Ken

  • Reply
    Larry Proffitt
    June 22, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Tipper , Thanks for your work. Common veracular for us here in
    far east Tn. Larry Proffitt

  • Reply
    Barbara Johnson
    June 22, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Of course I still hear this from my Dad. Same thing with near. “I nearly have this finished” “I most near put my eye out”

  • Reply
    Laurie
    June 22, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    I love it – I had almost forgotten about “liked”. I remember my grandma telling my mother
    “I reckoned you wasn’t coming this year – I liked to worked myself to death puttin these pole beans up by myself.”
    Laurie

  • Reply
    Mary
    June 22, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    We still use it around here!

  • Reply
    Joe Mode
    June 22, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Oh yeah, of course we do here in East Tennessee.

  • Reply
    Kristina in TN
    June 22, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    As a non-native local this is one phrase I have adopted when speaking in causal settings. It sure beats the excessive repetition of “like” I heard from kids when I lived out West. Give me “like to” in the South any day 🙂

  • Reply
    Charlotte
    June 22, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Yes, we’ve always used those words and we do use “like” instead of “lack” all the time. Isn’t it nice to know we share things in common in this hustle, bustle world?

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    June 22, 2011 at 11:58 am

    I talk like this all the time, I once had a friend comment when I said I liked to have hit him crossing the bridge….well, why didn’t you if you would have liked to?

  • Reply
    Ethel
    June 22, 2011 at 11:30 am

    ‘Like’ and ‘like to’ get a fair amount of play here in the foothills. We also have purty near, or as my grandma said it, purt’ near.

  • Reply
    Rhonda
    June 22, 2011 at 11:27 am

    I still use “like” in my everyday life. I like to have never gotten that border on straight…..
    Pop over when you have time and take a look at my “outhouse” quilt.
    Take care.

  • Reply
    Phyllis Salmons
    June 22, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Every day around home in Winston-Salem!

  • Reply
    Carol
    June 22, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Well, since I consider Spartanburg Co to be the coccyx bone of the Carolina Appalachians, yup, I hear it and use it all the time.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    June 22, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Tipper–There are Appalachian “talk” synonyms for “like to” and they ain’t nearly or almost. Instead, they are “purt near,” “near about,” and “near nuff.” As in I purt near (or near about or near nuff) roasted yesterday while working in the garden.
    Jim Casada
    http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    June 22, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Tipper,
    I liked to have fell over laughing ’cause I thought nearly and almost was wrong usuage…ha
    Thanks Tipper

  • Reply
    Brian Blake
    June 22, 2011 at 9:56 am

    “Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like watermelon.” — Groucho

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    June 22, 2011 at 9:44 am

    I liked to of laughed out loud when I read this and realized that I say it all the time!

  • Reply
    Tipper
    June 22, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Jeff-thank you for the comment-and you are so right about the other usage. I would say “how much do you like till your done with the mowing?”
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia
    http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Tipper
    June 22, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Clint-I still hear that phrase-and use it myself too : ) Like- I come within one of falling down that bank behind the house or I come within in one of telling her exactly what I thought.
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia
    http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Jeff
    June 22, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Oh yeah, “like to” is very prevalent in our conversations. You might hear the occasional “nearly ’bout”.
    Somehow,”like” has also become interchangable with “lack”. As in, “How much do you like being done with your homework?”

  • Reply
    warren
    June 22, 2011 at 8:56 am

    Absolutely! I hear that all of the time! Of course, I live in the heart of Appalachia. I love it!

  • Reply
    SUSIE SWANSON
    June 22, 2011 at 8:46 am

    I like this Tipper. I talk this way myself sometimes..lol..

  • Reply
    Mamabug
    June 22, 2011 at 8:46 am

    We use like/liked in the same way Tipper. Hey I recognize that old barn from over in Cataloochee! I love being in the upper part and looking out over that big field.

  • Reply
    kat
    June 22, 2011 at 8:42 am

    These are commonly used here. I use them and also nearly.

  • Reply
    Janet
    June 22, 2011 at 8:39 am

    I grew up with everyone talking like that and I talk that way on a regular basis.

  • Reply
    Clint
    June 22, 2011 at 8:26 am

    We would say ‘almost’ or ‘nearly.’ I used to hear my grandmother say a phrase I don’t even know how to write. It’s something to the effect of to ‘come within one’ of doing something.

  • Reply
    Sandra
    June 22, 2011 at 7:58 am

    since i live in Florida, these are not sentences we would hear down here. i used to here them in GA and KY but that was many years ago.

  • Reply
    Vera Guthrie
    June 22, 2011 at 7:55 am

    I have always heard and spoke the same as above.

  • Reply
    Dee from Tennessee
    June 22, 2011 at 7:49 am

    Oh, for sure …it’s “like” as in I liked to starved to death last night in this house cause there is NOTHING to eat….lol.

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