Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Grammar Lesson

Appalachian Grammar Lesson 20

Sometimes in Appalachia we don’t think using one subject in a sentence is good enough. Nope we feel the need to really drive the point home by using two subjects.


  • Mildred Watkins-she won that car over at the dealership.
  • Daddy-he never did like to watch tv much in the daytime, said he wanted to be out and about while it was daylight.
  • That there chicken was standing right in the middle of the road when I went to work early this morning and it was still there when I came back home this evening.

Sometimes we use double nouns to drive home the point as well:

  • He needs to find himself a nice widow woman and settle down with her.
  • He took off up the mountain with his rifle gun.
  • I went out on the back porch and almost stepped on a big toad frog. It about scared me to death.


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  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    October 16, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Not sure we do exactly the same, but I do remember a time when we sisters would get together to talk, if one or more of us had heard a story one was sharing before, we were to raise our hand, so if we all raised our hand, the story teller knew to stop. One time the youngest sister was telling a story, and she suddenly stopped and looked at me and said, “Don’t you dare raise your hand; I KNOW YOU have heard this before!!!” We laughed and laughed, mostly cause she’s usually the quietest least confrontational one!!!
    I also remember a time when siblings started marrying, that their spouses would get confused listening to our conversations, so for a while, if someone changed the subject in the middle of a sentence or conversation, they were to raise their hands so the spouses could follow the conversation more easily (or give up entirely – LOL).
    Funny stuff!
    God bless.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    September 21, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    and Ed…there he goes using all those big mathematical terms to figure out “Why the chicken crossed the road”? My granddaddy said, “He crossed the road to get to the other side!”
    Now then, I wonder if those girls are going to get up early on Sunday morning and try and snatch that poor old “bait chicken” out of the road? I can’t wait to hear the rest of the story!
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…Was that there chicken trying to cross at a right angle..and was it carrying a hypotenuse with it? Or was it just sittin’in the shade of the overhanging trees avoidin’ the chicken hawk?

  • Reply
    September 21, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    My kind of language for sure! Congratulations to Jackie and Joe!

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    September 21, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Congradulations to the winners of
    the Fall Festival tickets.
    Hope you get that chicken you’ve
    been seeing. They ain’t too bright
    you know, otherwise he’d be on the
    other side of the road.
    And Don, did you mean our Tipper
    out there a poaching trout without
    a license? Oh well, that ain’t no
    worseer than her mother-in-law
    a blazin’ thru the valley, just a
    flyin’ and getting a speeding
    ticket. I’ll hush now…Ken

  • Reply
    September 21, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Don’t know if this would apply but, one morning at work I heard this guy tell the boss “I will be a little late tomorrow cause I got to go to the Tooth Dentist.” Then there was this guy at the café one morning told the waitress when she asked for his order, “I need a hen egg sandwich please.” I would tell what he said when she asked how he liked his eggs but, you probably know.

  • Reply
    September 21, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Another thought came to me as I started to shut down the computer: Perfection, as beauty, is in the perception of the beholder.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    September 21, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    See, it ain’t just us who asks why the chicken crossed the road, it is the chicken itself. That one must be a particularly mathematical one. It knew why it was to cross but got to the middle and couldn’t decide which side was the other other side. It knew it started on this side and was supposed end up on the other side, but from the middle both sides look like the other side particularly if it uses this crossing often. It knew that if it went to either side, the odds were 50/50 it was back at this side not the other, which confuses the question another two legged creature has been pondering for so many years.
    Many might suggest that the bird need only to proceed to either side in any straight line not perpendicular to the center line, which might very well work, but there there is still a 50% chance it could hang itself in its own hypotenuse.

  • Reply
    September 21, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    I kept thinking, those examples sound fine to me – then the word came to me: appositive. Do an internet search and see if many (all?) of your examples aren’t grammatically correct after all, – and for the exact purpose you state – emphasis!
    As for some of the other doubly emphasizing examples shared above – what a dull world this would be if we were all grammatically perfect!

  • Reply
    Susie Swanson
    September 21, 2013 at 11:36 am

    That’s my style of talking to Tipper. lol.. Congrats to the winners. The update on my book is they’re supposedly printing the Proof and if it’s ok after they send it then it’s a go. Had a glitch or two or it would’ve already been here. Thank you so much.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    September 21, 2013 at 11:33 am

    I hope I get this in in time! Please if you must have that there chicken, please use Quinn’s advice.
    As I am afeared that chicken my be left over from a “Chicken Wobble” and the Sheriff or the Poleece may be using it like a “Bait Chicken” you know, like they use a “Bait Car” on them there “Cop” and “Bad Boys” TV shows like down in the flat lands. PLEASE, don’t dare take a chance…on hit!
    Now then, ifn’ it should foller you home like a lost puppy then they couldn’t take you to the local hoosegow!
    Jist be real kereful now. I’d hate to hear of them purty girls havin’ to sing those lonely jail songs…while we try to round up bail!
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    September 21, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Congratulations to the winners. I would love to hear about their experiences as I have never been there. Also, the use of double nounds, adjectives, etc. I always felt were to emphasize a point that someone was trying to make. Happy day to all!

  • Reply
    September 21, 2013 at 10:19 am

    If you can get that hen to follow you for a few grains of corn or such scattered at intervals as you walk, I bet she’ll be very happy to eventually find herself at home with your flock. Good luck!

  • Reply
    September 21, 2013 at 9:33 am

    Are you sure the above examples are not the correct way to speak? Them other people, ever who they are, they’re the ones that don’t know how to talk.

  • Reply
    Lola Howard
    September 21, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Doesn’t everyone talk that way ?

  • Reply
    September 21, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Miss Cindy-no it isnt one of ours-its along a stretch of road where no one lives-so who knows where it came from : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    September 21, 2013 at 8:19 am

    Chitter – ain’t she that Pressley girl who was ready to tackle the ranger when he threatened to ticket her Mama for fishing without a license?

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    September 21, 2013 at 7:48 am

    PS…I don’t do not nary a one of those sampled exampled sentances you post right here. My Appalachian speech/dialect is just perfect for around here, as if I talked another way, not nary a one would understand me on this mountain…..errr hill!
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 21, 2013 at 7:25 am

    Me, I wouldn’t never use none of that double stuff in the same sentence. I had me some good grammar classes in my school.
    Tipper, is it one of your chickens that is out?

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    September 21, 2013 at 7:21 am

    Congratulations Joe and Jackie!
    I am afraid I am guilty my own self.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    September 21, 2013 at 6:56 am

    Is that mash in that stump water keg. I’d paint ore the red ifn’ I wz you. It stands out a might!
    The green is fine though you ort to add a bit of yeller since fall is coming round.
    Congrats to the winners of the tickets..
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    September 21, 2013 at 6:29 am

    The double nouns and two subjects, all sounded perfectly normal to me.

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