Appalachia Chatter and Chitter Sayings from Appalachia

Appalachian Sayings – Help My Time


appalachian sayings help my time

Chitter, Morgan, and Chatter – 4th Grade Martins Creek Elementary

help my time interjection A mild exclamation of surprise.
1924 Spring Lydia Whaley 2 Well help my time. 1993 Ison and Ison Whole Nuther Lg 29 = an expression used as a soft exclamation. 1996 Montgomery Coll. (Cardwell).

Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English


Last week one of the girls’ elementary teachers was cleaning off her computer and found the photo above and sent it to me. When I saw it I said “Help my time wasn’t that just yesterday? How did they grow up so dadjimmed fast!”

Help my time is a saying of exclamation that is still very common in my area of Appalachia.


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  • Reply
    January 25, 2021 at 10:32 pm

    Just heard Andy Griffith say, “That’s the time!” to Opie, and tried to look it up. When I was a kid in Brevard, NC in the ’60s, we used to say, “Day, help my time!” Griffith also says that in one episode. I’ve never heard it anywhere else outside Western NC. I’d love to know how it originated.

  • Reply
    June 11, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    Oh, sorry I missed this yesterday. “Lord he’p my time!” was one of my Mamma’s favorites.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    June 10, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    Well lookee there! My how them youngins have growed since then! I can remember when they was just teeny little things. Plump little dumplins is what they was. They shore got over that did’n they? Sprouted up and took off up the bean pole did’n they?
    Actually my “twins” are twenty years apart and different sexes. I wish we could have had identical twins like yours but if wishes were fishes we’d all live in Brasstown!
    Yes, that’s did’n, not didn’t. The “t” at the end is a waste of letters, is’n it?

  • Reply
    June 10, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    Good luck to all of you at Vogal State Park in Blairsville tonight. I know the crowd will be pleased with Chitter and Chatter’s singing and their witty comments. …Ken

  • Reply
    Lee Mears
    June 10, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Also, ‘help my soul’, look who’s here!! Heard all these.
    Photo is adorable. -)

  • Reply
    Janis Sullivan (Jan)
    June 10, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    Treasure those girls, pictures, and memories. How expressive. They all grow up so fast.

  • Reply
    Pam Danner
    June 10, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    Oh lord, they do grow up so fast! My baby’s birthday is today and she is 39 today! Dadgum I feel old!

  • Reply
    June 10, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    Lordy, the things we experienced when our kids were young! When we lived in Atlanta, my oldest girl would say the word “po-toe-chen” for washing powders and “dodge-e-dodgin” for band aid. Funny how you remember certain things.
    Got a question for you — Why did Cleopatra always say “no?” Because she was Queen of Denile. …Ken

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    June 10, 2017 at 11:46 am

    Lord, help my time! is how I most often heard this.
    Time just goes way too fast.

  • Reply
    mark mojado
    June 10, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Very Beautiful What a treasure !

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    June 10, 2017 at 10:48 am

    I came up only a couple of ridges, a couple of creeks and a couple of decades away from where you was raised but can’t remember ever having heard the feeling being phrased in exactly that way. Most of the time our expressions are right in sync but that one just slud right by me. Dadgummit!

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    June 10, 2017 at 10:02 am

    That one’s new to me! But it’s the perfect response to the picture. It goes so fast — babies one day,
    adults the next. Sigh.

  • Reply
    June 10, 2017 at 9:32 am

    Your task, should you choose to accept it, is to dress those sweet girls in similar attire and hairstyles and go back to that school and restage that photo! Every teacher needs a “then and now” wall somewhere in their room!
    As for the phrase, “help my time!”, that’s a new one for me but makes a lot of sense considering in general how fast things seem to be changing these days – or is that perception just impressed more firmly on us as we get older?

  • Reply
    June 10, 2017 at 9:23 am

    Dadjim is also an term I haven’t heard in a while. It was in pretty common usage in my youth. They both are very expressive.

  • Reply
    June 10, 2017 at 9:10 am

    Help my time must mean the same thing as well, forevermore. I have never heard the saying in my part of Appalachia.
    The girls are so pretty-then and now!

  • Reply
    Myra Henry
    June 10, 2017 at 9:00 am

    That’s a new one on me! Interesting.

  • Reply
    Rooney Floyd
    June 10, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Speaking of exclamations, where did dadjimmed (or dadgummed) come from?

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    June 10, 2017 at 8:39 am

    Tipper–I’ve heard variations including “bless my time” and “save my time,” although “help my time” is more common.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    June 10, 2017 at 8:10 am

    haven’t heard that one in 40 forever.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    June 10, 2017 at 7:59 am

    You did it again. Very familiar and yet I cannot recall when I heard it or used it last. That worries me a bit in that it seems to indicate an increasing distance from my roots. But I’m glad you do it, else I wouldn’t know.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    June 10, 2017 at 6:35 am

    Well, help my time for sure! Pretty little girls all grown up now. I know that expression well, heard it, used it and it sure fits the picture!

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