Appalachian Dialect Sayings from Appalachia

Appalachian Sayings – As All Get Out

Cute as all get out

as all get out = extremely

You can be:

tired as all get out
mad as all get out
happy as all get out
pretty as all get out
stuborn as all get out

You can see the as all get out list could easily go on and on

Several years ago a young guitar picking fellow came by to see one of the girls and he used the phrase as all get out. As I heard him talking out on the porch I thought “Well apparently that old saying is going to go on for at least one more generation.”

You can jump over to the English Language and Usage page to read a thread about the origin of the saying as all get out. The page also shares some of the oldest documented usages of the phrase.


p.s. The girls call miniature donkeys baby donks. The item Chatter is pointing to in the photo is actually a donkey hitched to a wagon of sorts. The donkey is at the Union County Historical Courthouse in Blairsville GA. The road the girls travel to college has a pasture with a miniature donkey in it, the girls are always telling us about the cute baby donk in the field.


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  • Reply
    Don Byers
    July 13, 2019 at 11:40 am

    My old classmate Frances ,when a bit confused about something says, “I don’t know if I’m a-warshin’ or a-hanging out”. Somebody top that one….

  • Reply
    June 19, 2018 at 7:29 am

    Use that phrase all the time.

  • Reply
    December 1, 2016 at 9:45 am

    “Baby Donk”. That’s going to be my new rapper name.

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    December 1, 2016 at 9:35 am

    my aunt has an expression that I think might all hers — never heard anyone else say it. If you tell her something that is a bit surprising or some news she says, “I’ll say to my goodness” Seems right coming from her because she is “goodness” personified.

    • Reply
      Lois Tootle
      June 18, 2018 at 11:07 pm

      I remember hearing “I swear to my goodness” growing up in Southwest VA. And “ I swear to my never”.

  • Reply
    Michael M. Cass
    June 10, 2016 at 8:04 am

    My father, who was born in Montana, used “as all get out” frequently and therefore so do I. I’d never thought that it might have an Appalachian origin, but perhaps it did, given that his father was born and raised in Madison County, North Carolina.

  • Reply
    June 9, 2016 at 9:13 am

    I have sometimes used ‘as all get out’ but it has been a long time. I really haven’t thought about it, so now I will listen to myself to see if I use it. The flowers at the Biltmore Estate are as beautiful as all get out! Happy day!

  • Reply
    June 8, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    ” Donks” in today’s hip hop/ gansta world are older cars that are jacked up with 20 ” rims, skinny tires and loud paint jobs. I don’t expect you see too many of them in the mountains.

  • Reply
    George Pettie
    June 8, 2016 at 8:39 am

    A familiar expression. A couple of similar ones come to mind:
    “That Donkey’s cute as all get out.”
    “Yeah, but he’s right smart ornery.” (very, quite a lot)
    “I hope to tell you.” (I agree completely)

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    June 8, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Yep! And I’m tickled as all get out to have your wonderful blog, Ms. Tipper!

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    June 8, 2016 at 7:55 am

    I had not heard “as all get out” (or “as all git-out”–sometimes mountain spelling) for quite awhile, but we used it in Choestoe. Work in the field or garden in the hot summer time, come into the house thirst and hot, and say, “I’m as hot and tired as all git-out”. Really, when you think about it: get out–What does it mean, literally? Probably just that” “Get out (of here)!” But it’s an expression when you don’t have another expression–with the meaning “understood” as extremely, to the ultimate, ‘way out, “awfully”.
    The expression was probably “invented” and caught on right well–as our expressions go.
    “Aggravated as all get-out” was another I heard often growing up. And then, if we wanted to be complimentary, instead of complaining, we could turn “get out” around and give commendations with it: As “She’s as pretty as all get out!” “He’s as dependable as all get-out.”

  • Reply
    Kimberly Burnette
    June 8, 2016 at 6:19 am

    I still use this all of the time! I think that it is the best way to express “extreme”!

  • Reply
    June 7, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    I’ve heard (and used) this phrase here too…but I can’t say I’ve ever heard of a baby donk! 🙂 But it fits!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    June 7, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    This post didn’t show up in my email today. I don’t use email to get it but most others do.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    June 7, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    I have heard and used “as all get out” all my life and haven’t noticed a decline. I’ve always called baby donkeys foals, same as a horse, but never again. From now on they are donks.
    Cattlemen (or should I say cattlepeople) around here keep donkeys in the pastures with their cattle as guards against foxes, coyotes and wild dogs.
    There is a farm near Morganton that has miniature horses. Not ponies! The biggest ones are smaller than a small pony. Now you’ve got me wondering if somebody could cross a miniature horse with a miniature donkey and get miniature mule.

  • Reply
    June 7, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    Before I was even a teenager, my friend’s grandpa had a mule. He never plowed old “Jack” or anything with him so we rode that booger on his property. Gosh, that was fun, except when Jack wanted you off, he’d turn that head around and give you a nip.
    We all started carrying little balls of Sugar for him and that solved the problem. I thought it was awesome that he could take that sugar and never bite your hand…Ken

  • Reply
    June 7, 2016 at 10:32 am

    That young lady with that baby donk is cute as all get out. Ah, finally one I definitely use and still hear on regular basis. I hope those young ladies are enjoying college as much as they seem to enjoy everything else.
    I must refer to yesterday’s post on purslane. I went out to weed my onions yesterday eve, and found all sorts of purslane growing among the onions. I carefully left it and mounded soft dirt around when possible. It was a pleasant surprise, as my inner prepper always notices greens in the wild.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    June 7, 2016 at 10:27 am

    Thank you Tipper,
    I now have to remember….
    Adult of the species…Donkey…baby of the species…Donk! ha

  • Reply
    June 7, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Both expressions are common here! 🙂

  • Reply
    June 7, 2016 at 9:46 am

    B.Ruth LOL! I should have explained the photo : ) The girls call miniature donkeys baby donks. The item Chatter is referring to in the photo is actually a donkey hitched to a wagon of sorts. The donkey is at the Union County Historical Courthouse in Blairsville GA. The road the girls travel to college has a pasture with a miniature donkey in it, the girls are always telling us about the cute baby donk in the field. 

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    June 7, 2016 at 9:34 am

    I’ve heard and used “as all get out” all my life!
    However, “donk” has a different meaning than what I am used to hearing or seeing according to the way it is pictured here? Maybe there are more slang meanings that I (being old you know) am not aware of? Could you enlighten an old lady with the definition of the slang term as it is used here?
    Thanks Tipper,
    That thing she is pointing to looks like a large, tied up, rat…mounted on a trap?

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