Appalachia Sayings from Appalachia

Appalachian Sayings – Healed up and Haired Over


The Deer Hunter and the girls are pretty much healed up and haired over from their recent run in with the flu. Chatter and The Deer Hunter are back at work, leaving only Chitter at home trying to get over the visitor who came after the flu…a sinus infection.

I’ve heard the old saying healed up and haired over all my life. The Phrase Finder has this to say about it:

“It’s natural English. It means, of course, that a wound in a usually furred or hairy part of the skin has healed and that the hair or fur has grown back. I imagine it can be used metaphorically, but I haven’t heard any such use.”

I’ve heard the phrase used to describe everything from newly scabbed skinned knees to recovery from gallbladder surgery.


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  • Reply
    Gene Smith
    December 28, 2020 at 9:09 am

    I recently heard a variation of this saying in a Willie Nelson movie. A young woman told her dad (played by Slim Pickens) that she had “grown up and haired over”, referring to her adulthood and ability to take care of herself. That was the first time I had ever heard about “hairing over”. It made me laugh. I assumed that this usage referred to some animal born naked and later getting its coat. The healed wound idea makes more sense.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    April 7, 2018 at 2:48 am

    Only heard this sayin’ in reference to a bad cut or dog injury….Mostly we say, Well we are finally on the mend! …Hope you all get well soon….for I predict that Spring will be short and we will go straight into a hotter than “hellobill” summer! I fear all the cool weather veggies will dry up like a couple of years ago by end of May…Predicting snow for tomorrow in the higher elevations…my hummingbirds have the shivers…
    Thanks Tipper,
    Love this post…

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    April 6, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    I’ve heard it all my life. I also use haired over to describe something needing a good cleaning like the inside of my truck for instance. Glad you all are on the mend and hope Chitter feels better soon.

  • Reply
    April 6, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    I ain’t never heard of that saying before, “healed up and haired over,” but I hope everyone gets well soon. I ain’t never had a sinus infection or anything, but my nose has run for 4 months. I ain’t even had the flu, so far. I recon it’s better to wipe than for it to go down into the lungs, my guess is it’s allergies. That’s something that didn’t bother me, years ago. …Ken

  • Reply
    Melissa P. (Misplaced Southerner)
    April 6, 2018 at 10:49 am

    I’ve always used it, but mostly when talking about my cats and dogs or my horse. In their cases, it truly is healed up (wounds heal best from the bottom of the owy moving toward the surface) and haired over. When I see a wound haired over, I know that it’s all good.

  • Reply
    April 6, 2018 at 8:59 am

    This is a new one on me. Like Bill Burnett, my first thought was of our dogs; but, I also thought about folks who lose hair during or after a severe illness (not just chemotherapy) then regrow at least some of the thinned out hair.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 6, 2018 at 8:52 am

    es, Tip, I’ve heard this one all my life. The thing I find most interesting about these expressions is that the whole country doesn’t use them. They seem so common to me that I thought everyone used them not just us southern country folks.

  • Reply
    April 6, 2018 at 8:48 am

    I’ve never heard that one, but I like it. It’s good to know the family is getting purt and back to work. A bad sinus infection can be almost as ugly as the flu. I hope Chitter is on the road to recovery real soon.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    April 6, 2018 at 8:11 am

    When I hear this one I automatically think of dog who has suffered from the mange or ‘Hot Spots’ but has healed up and and the hair has grown back over the afflicted ares. It’s probably had a long dose of burnt motor oil and sulphur.

    • Reply
      Ed "Papaw" Ammons
      April 6, 2018 at 8:49 am

      Last night when Dusty called he said his new wife had trimmed his hair for him (she is a dog groomer). I asked him to ask her if she had shampooed him with “Happy Jack”. She didn’t know what that was.

  • Reply
    Ed "Papaw" Ammons
    April 6, 2018 at 8:10 am

    That is a well used phrase where I come from.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    April 6, 2018 at 8:09 am

    Can’t recall hearing the entire phrase as a unit. But I have heard the two parts used individually. My Dad used “haired over” to describe us when he thought we needed a haircut. Being a Marine, he liked our hair short so we haired over rather frequently.

    Glad to hear the Deer Hunter and Chatter are ‘out of the woods’ (though the picture doesn’t show it). Sorry Chitter is still feeling poorly.

    Had something strange happen here this year. Just saw the one lone sarvis had begun blooming as of yesterday. But my one apple tree has been blooming for several days. And both dogwood and redbud are blooming at the same time. That has not happened in years, if ever.

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    April 6, 2018 at 7:48 am

    I’m laughing so hard right now! My Dad says this. He said it a lot more when I was younger. It really brings back memories.

    Glad to hear you are all on the mend. We had snow both Wednesday and yesterday. I’m needing Spring!

  • Reply
    Sheryl A. Paul
    April 6, 2018 at 6:42 am

    I have never heard tjis one, love it and the picture it provides. Have to steal it

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