Appalachia Sayings from Appalachia

Appalachian Sayings – Grab And Growl

Appalachian Sayings - Grab And Growl

“Grab and growl, supper’s ready!”


I first heard the saying grab and growl from The Deer Hunter. After we were married I learned the saying came from Miss Cindy’s parents. For years, I assumed it was a family saying until I ran across it in a few books-one of which is It’s Not My Mountain Anymore written by Barbara Taylor Woodall. Barbara’s mother used the phrase grab and growl, among others, to gather her brood around the table to eat in the same way The Deer Hunter’s family does.



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  • Reply
    May 28, 2021 at 5:19 am

    Funny, when my daughter found a group of little feral kittens, I put them in an empty water trough, and put a mouse in there with them so the kids could watch. The kittens looked up and mewed for awhile, then noticed the mouse moving around. A couple stopped and stared at the mouse, kind of shook their heads and then pounced. One got it, and then with it’s mouth full of mouse began growling at at the others when they approached. Grab and growl?

  • Reply
    Bob Osterberg
    January 29, 2021 at 6:41 am

    Tipper, I came across one of your youtube videos, and found it so interesting and enjoyable, that I continued watching your channel for hours! It reminded me of a good friend of mine that I met while in the Navy. He was from Kings Cross, NC. We used to tease each other about our accents! Mine from Connecticut, and his from Appalachia! Never in disrespect, but with a healthy respect for our different upbringings!
    Thank you for your time spent, teaching folks about each others differences and commonalities! It is something the world needs right now.

  • Reply
    May 22, 2018 at 6:17 am

    Mom used to say, “Well, put your foot on it ‘n’ growl!” when my table manners got too messy. Especially when she’d made fried chicken & we’d been smelling it for an hour, we’d just grab a piece & dig in.

  • Reply
    Betty "JO" Eason Benedict
    April 17, 2018 at 6:25 am

    Need to learn the “Boarding House Reach”, then grab it and growl! 🙂

  • Reply
    Fran Dixon
    April 29, 2017 at 10:23 am

    I can remember my dad saying grab it and growl. I also remember mom saying take a old cold tater and wait. Thanks for the memories. I hadn’t thought of these things in a long time.

  • Reply
    Eldonna Ashley
    April 18, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    My daddy always told us,”Grab it and growl.” With 5 of us kids we did that pretty well. Once in a while a cousin who was an only child would come for a meal. I think we overwhelmed her.

  • Reply
    November 25, 2015 at 4:36 am

    My mom was from Appalachian roots and told me to grab a root and growl some 50 years ago. I’ve found a reference to it being said in Texas during the dust bowl era in the 30’s. Not sure of its’ real origin.

  • Reply
    May 31, 2015 at 8:44 am

    I’ve never heard this before and like the policy of Bill Burnett’s Dad.
    I do believe I have just found my new mantra.

  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    April 16, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    Never heard “grab and growl.”
    I remember two sayings from childhood mealtimes, can’t remember who said them.
    One was, “Come and get it before it gets cold and we give it to the dog.”
    And “Take it or leave it.”
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    April 16, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    I have never heard “Grab it and Growl.” It was more like “you better git in here right now if you want something to eat.”
    We could use one of b.Ruth’s dipper gourds here about now. We’re catching a little break right now but it looks like more is coming at us!

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    April 16, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    We didn’t use “Grab and Growl,” so this one is new to me. “Soup’s on!” was a call to eat, as was “Come and get it, sich (such) as it is!” If we had a meal delayed for any reason (like the main dish needed more time to cook), we’d hear “If you’re so hungry, just take an ol’ cold tater and wait.”

  • Reply
    April 16, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    B. I know what you mean about the rain! Let us know how your gourds do this year! They sound great : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    April 16, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    Dolores-thank you for the comment! Applesauce, soup beans, onion, and cornbread : ) yes its a common Appalachian meal and I love it : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    April 16, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    “Hey boys, come a jumpin.” That’s what mama said when she’d come to the kitchen door and holler at us boys. We’d usually be nearby, playing in the creek if it was warm weather. And we knew when it was about time for dinner or supper.
    Your Appalachian food looks

  • Reply
    Eleanor L., Ohioi
    April 16, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Coming from the North (Ohio) as I do, I’ve not heard many of your expressions, but I surely enjoy them all. “Grab and growl” is truly funny.
    Eleanor L., Ohio
    [email protected]

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    April 16, 2015 at 10:24 am

    I can remember my brother following our prayer Amen with “OK everyone, grab it and growl”.

  • Reply
    Pamela Danner
    April 16, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Never heard that one.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    April 16, 2015 at 9:23 am

    I’ve always heard “Grab it and Growl”. This not only applied to food but also applied to any task or problem that needed to be addressed. My Dad’s policy was that when something needed to be done you “Grab it and Growl”. I guess this was Needmore’s version of “Git-er-Done.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    April 16, 2015 at 9:21 am

    I always heard “Grab IT and growl”.

  • Reply
    April 16, 2015 at 9:11 am

    I used to say grab it and growl when the food was ready, but I don’t remember where I first heard it. My mom never used the saying, so I must have heard it from my in-laws.

  • Reply
    April 16, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Colorful! – and,I imagine, very descriptive if feeding a large number of hungry and competitive folks!

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    April 16, 2015 at 8:58 am

    Yummy photo! Grab and growl is a new one for me-

  • Reply
    April 16, 2015 at 8:40 am

    That’s a new one for me to learn. I like the picture – looks like applesauce, beans and a rice/grits, onion, and ????. Is this an Applachian type of dinner?

  • Reply
    April 16, 2015 at 8:31 am

    I have heard my dad say, Grab a root and growl, as if everyone needed to pull together at the same time…

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    April 16, 2015 at 8:23 am

    Never used “grab and growl”, but have heard it or read it in “It’s Not My Mountain Anymore”! I don’t remember any of my family saying grab and growl!
    I used to yell, “grubs ready” or “soups on”! Even if there was no soup or heavy grub…!
    Sometimes I would say, OK boys “hit and get it”, time to eat! Most of the time, I didn’t have to worry about my gang getting to the table…LOL
    I am sure there are more saying’s that I used back in the day, but can’t remember any right this minute.
    Thanks Tipper,
    Interesting post this morning….
    PS…If it ever quits raining and the ground warms to 85 degrees, I plan on planting the many various gourd seeds I purchased this year…My dipper gourd seed from a old gourd from NC that my Mom had was opened and seed used. I planted them last year, now have 15 or 20 gourds. Not all came true, (to a long dipper), but most did…so much fun…I bought this year, giant Apple gourd seed, Large Basket gourd seed, Mini-Spinner gourd seed, Longest gourd in the world seed?, no not sure what I will do with that one…I had one long gourd I bought and painted it like a snake…very freaky and fun!

  • Reply
    Gina S
    April 16, 2015 at 8:13 am

    My grandsons monitor one another to make sure a brother doesn’t get a larger portion. They growl, too.

  • Reply
    April 16, 2015 at 8:05 am

    My dad said this, too! I thought he made it up to be funny. He is from Blue Ridge in North Georgia.

  • Reply
    April 16, 2015 at 7:46 am

    Yep use to be said a lot when I was growing up by our Dad,, meant “dig in boys”.. it’s time to eat.. I quess it was like feeding a pen full of pup hounds they’ll all eat out of the same pan and growl while eating,, of coarse sometimes caused a fight to break out… We didn’t feed our old dogs that way they would fight and half kill each other..

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 16, 2015 at 7:28 am

    Yep, that’s what my mother used to say when food was ready to eat. Of course if there had actually been any grabbing or growling, it would be woe to the grabber or growler, for sure.

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