Animals In Appalachia Appalachian Dialect Sayings from Appalachia

Appalachian Sayings – Not Fit For Man Nor Beast

Western nc weather not fit for man nor beast

I’ve heard the saying not fit for man nor beast used to describe bad weather-both the cold and the wet variety. Interestingly, while googling around I found that the saying comes from an old W.C. Fields comedy skit and was originally slightly different than the version I’ve heard. You can read more about it here.

The weather in the mountains of Western North Carolina is definitely not fit for man nor beast this weekend. The photo above is of the small pond that’s developed at the greenhouse door. It’s similar to the one in the middle of the chicken lot. The hens can stay dry under their house or in their house but apparently they like rain.

In other exciting news the Blind Pig family learned how fast water can flow into a basement when the gutters are stopped up. I’m thankful we noticed the issue almost the instant it started. A quick run up a ladder, a hastily dug trench to divert the water, and some furious broom sweeping had things fixed just in time for the next downpour.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the folks who are suffering from the flooding and to those dear souls who are working in this weather not fit for man nor beast for the good of others.



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  • Reply
    Rev. Rose Marie "RB" Redmond
    October 4, 2015 at 12:22 am

    That’s a saying I’ve heard most of my life, but I gotta say, our Dad who was a milkman was sometimes out in snow up to his backside delivering milk regardless.
    An inscription found on the General Post Office in New York City at 8th Avenue and 33rd Street, says “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
    Now the mailman might not deliver as faithfully as that inscription says, but our Dad sure did for over 45 years. Bless his heart.
    Prayers for everyone facing these storms, and that they remember, God is with them even through the stormiest night. Praise God!!!
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Shirley B
    October 3, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    Like the reader from Louisiana,we here in central Mississippi are still in a severe drought,with not much hope for rain for several days.We are certainly concerned for you all up there.I know you would love to see a beautiful sunny day.Maybe soon!Be safe,everyone.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 3, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    I don’t want to appear argumentative but there is a beast that likes this kind of weather. It is called a dzo or dzomo. It is a cross between a yak and a water buffalo. I didn’t just make this up. They breed them in Tibet and Mongolia.

  • Reply
    October 3, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Miss Cindy,
    This year’s festival will not be rescheduled. The announced dates for next year’s festival is October 1st and 2nd. I was wondering the same thing, if it had ever been cancelled

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    October 3, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    Or as the “Old Timers” would say “It’s not fitten fer man nor beast”. I just wish Bob Caldwell was still doing WLOS weather instead of selling Used Cars since you could pert near always count on his forecast being wrong.

  • Reply
    Rooney Floyd
    October 3, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    And old friend used to recite a fisherman’s weather guide something like this:
    “When the wind is from the north, a skillful fisherman ventures not forth,
    When it is from the east, it is neither fit for man nor beast,
    When it is from the south, it blows the bait into the fish’s mouth, but
    When the wind is from the west, the fishing is at its very best.”
    Based on this guide, we fishermen should stay home today.

  • Reply
    October 3, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    WKRK (our local radio) announced
    today that the John C. Campbell
    Fall Festival was cancelled this
    YEAR. They said all the mulch was
    washed from the trails and that it would be hard to get the 240 vendors to do all this again.
    This event took months of planning…Ken

  • Reply
    October 3, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    Sometimes my friend Jim Casada and I think alike. Matter of fact, I got a big pot of Deer Chili with light red kidney and Chili beans in it. My friend and neighbor brought me about 1 1/2 pounds of Deer meat. His 10 year old grandson got that booger Saturday when they opened
    the season for Bucks or Doe’s
    for the younger folks as long as
    their dad was with them. His was
    a doe! They ground up almost the
    entire thing into hamburger, and
    added 5 lbs. of ground chuck to
    it. Gosh, it’s Good!…Ken

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    October 3, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    It’s raining here too but not as bad as you all are getting. I ask an old preacher man once after it had been raining for days if he thought it was going to stop. He said well, it has every time but this one! We sure we’re looking forward to the festival and seeing the Blind Pig Gang playing on stage. My wife even rearranged her work schedule so we could stay longer to see y’all play. We’ll look forward to next year and hope for beautiful weather.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 3, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    It’s 53° here right now with a predicted high of 58. That is just 2° warmer than Caribou, Maine. I had to turn the heat on for a little while yesterday. I like cooler weather but not all of a sudden.
    This makes the tenth day we have had at least a little rain. This latest sog of rain is coming from the southeast but the wind is supposed to be coming from the northeast. So far the wind has been breezy but the high winds that were predicted (my fingers are crossed) have not hit us.

  • Reply
    October 3, 2015 at 11:58 am

    “When the wind is in the east,
    ‘Tis neither fit for man nor beast”
    is part of an old English folk poem about the weather. In my part of the world an east wind in winter comes off mainland Europe and heralds a spell of cold weather.

  • Reply
    October 3, 2015 at 11:46 am

    Jim must have some Texas in him – or at least some “southwestern” with “cow chips” and “blue northers”. When working in Virginia our break room had a picture window with a gorgeous view of the mountains. I looked out one day and commented “We’ve got a Norther comin’ in.” Not a soul in the room knew what I was talkin’ about.
    About the phrase, “. . . neither man not beast”: I keep thinking I first heard of that phrase in something by Dickens? – or maybe it was a movie version? (screen writers do sometimes take liberties)- or some other author about that time period? I defer to your expert readers who are more literate than I; but surely there is a reference before W.S. Fields.
    Do stay safe – and as dry as you want – and send Central Texas your excess.

  • Reply
    Chuck Howell
    October 3, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Rain: “Took the starch outta my britches.” More than a little “Freshet?” Not sure of this one. “Might as well, can’t dance & it’s too wet to plow.” My mother was terrified of lightening, fingers in her ears, made us kids gather round to share her fear. I got over it, but it took a while. Backpacking near Mount Whitney, at about 10,000′, exposes one to danger in a storm. Above the “Timber Line,” a hiker with a metal frame pack might be the tallest thing there. It’s best to take off any metal, glasses, watch etc. and lie down. They say shelter even rock caves, can be dangerous, due to water trickle. You can see the storm coming in the distance and it passes over the mountain top quickly, usually. You can feel the electricity in the air. The hair on ones arms rises, skin tingles. Quite thrilling!

  • Reply
    October 3, 2015 at 9:26 am

    I agree you – the rain, though important to our dry area, can be very troublesome when it arrives all at one time. I hope you and your readers will be safe during this rainy time.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    October 3, 2015 at 8:58 am

    Well now, if this mess don’t “float your boat”, I don’t know what would!
    Remembering that sayin’ from my younger years. Never did totally get it…you know the one…When a friend would decide to do just the opposite of everyone else in the group. For instance, when we were all going to a particular movie… She up and decides to go in the ELVIS “matinee door” instead…One girl in the group would invariably say…”OK, whatever floats her boat”, we’re still going in to see James Dean!”
    Oh well, guess you had to be there! ha
    I see by the weather “pro-nasty-carriers” that Western NC is still in the “deluge zone” today. At least that map looked like it as he waded across in front of the green screen with his “paddle pointer” in hand wearing his new “waterproof boot waders”! The florescent floatation device hanging around his neck was a dead giveaway!
    Jim…chili sounds good, thank you. No venison here, except in the Kale patch. We’ll have to settle for Costco stew beef and Mexican corn bread instead.
    Have a good day Tipper,
    Keep you food stuffs dry and your liquids wet! ha

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 3, 2015 at 7:37 am

    Not fit for man or beast is a correct description of this soggy mess we are calling weather. My puddles now have puddles and as far as I can tell the worst is yet to come.
    There was an old TV show, whose name I cannot remember, that had torrential rain like this. The sheriff’s deputy said “ain’t it great, the droughts over!” or something like that. There has got to be a positive side to this.
    Has the Fall Festival ever been cancelled before? This has to be a real trauma for them. They have been visibly preparing for weeks and I’m sure there has been nonvisible planning going on for months. Will they reschedule?

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    October 3, 2015 at 7:35 am

    I’ve heard this all my life. Hoping you and everyone affected by this storm stay safe and well.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    October 3, 2015 at 7:26 am

    Tipper–It fell a flood here all night and is still raining to beat the band. I reckon I was dreaming but I swear I heard a guy hammering an ark together just down the way.
    I haven’t ventured out to check my rain gauge yet but I’ll virtually guarantee it has overflowed. And to think less that two weeks ago we were drier than a Texas cow chip.
    We had plenty of heavenly pyrotechnics with the rain last night and the wind’s whistlin’ like a blue norther was rolling in (except it’s coming out of the southeast).
    Oh well, I’ve got a big pot of chili loaded with pinto beans and ground venison cooked up, a couple of writing assignments needing attention, and plenty of good books to read.
    Reckon I’ll just take the the rain like I took the drought–as part of a situation beyond my control–and move through the weekend.
    Everyone keep dry.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Glynn Harris
    October 3, 2015 at 6:24 am

    My…My…..and here in Louisiana, we’re in a severe drought. Would be happy to take some of your excess rain! Roll up your britches legs and stay dry!

  • Reply
    October 3, 2015 at 6:19 am

    This one I’ve heard, although I had no idea where it came from. It sounds like you guys have really been hit with rain from these storms this week. I hope it’s soon over, as Joaquin heads out to sea! We got a little water in our basement too, and Jim ran to the hardware store for some tubing to take the rain from the gutters further away from the house.

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