Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 10

gun slingers

Time for an Appalachian Vocabulary Test. See if you know this month’s words:

  1. Feisty
  2. Furriner
  3. Fisticuffs
  4. Fatback
  5. Farboard


  1. Feisty-spunky, lively. “Chatter is so feisty that she stands up to the bully at school even though he’s bigger than she is.”
  2. Furriner-a foreigner. “Never seen that long haired boy around here-he must be a furriner.”
  3. Fisticuff-a fist fight. “Before I knew what was going on the boys broke out in fisticuffs over who was going to drive the truck first.”
  4. Fatback-fatty meat from the back of a hog that is salt cured; streaked meat. “Fry up some fatback and make a cake of cornbread and we’ll have supper.”
  5. Farboard-fire place mantle. “Set the lamp back on the farboard before you turn it over.”

I have 2 feisty girls, a husband who adores fatback and watching a good fisticuff (on t.v.), and it seems I’m always seeing a furriner around here. I use all this months words except farboard.

Hope you’ll leave me a comment and tell me how you did on the test.



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  • Reply
    Eldonna Ashley
    March 25, 2016 at 12:06 am

    No far board, but we are careful to keep kids away from the camp far. I know and use the others with some regularity
    How about shirttail relation? I used that today.

  • Reply
    Tracey Green
    March 24, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Heard them all but farboard.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    March 24, 2016 at 11:53 am

    I was familiar with all but farboard & never heard furriner used. It’s a shame pigs are so lean nowadays–can’t find any decent thickness fatback and almost can’t find any at all. What used to be a mainstay later became a treat we would beg for–fatback fried crisp with hot biscuits!!

  • Reply
    August 17, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    I’ve heard all but farboard.

  • Reply
    Kim Campbell
    August 15, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Fatback and Feisty I knew. I should have known furriner. We spelled it “ferner”. lololl!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    August 15, 2009 at 7:36 am

    I wonder if farboard is less known because fewer folks heat with a farplace nowadays…? Just found your blog and I love it. By the by, all of the words are in my daily lexicon – heck I didn’t even realize I was becoming quaint.

  • Reply
    August 14, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    I’m familiar with all the words with the exception of farboard. Enjoyed the vocabulary test, as always.

  • Reply
    Dennis Price
    August 13, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    I’ve heard all of them except for farboard. I’m familiar with the term “far” for fire, but I’ve never heard the mantle called a farboard. I’ve heard a fire truck called a “far wagon.” I also enjoy a good fisticuff on television. I feel like a furriner in our country today. I sure enjoy your blog. Pappy

  • Reply
    August 13, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Never heard Farboard. thanks!

  • Reply
    August 13, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Knew all and use all except for the last one. I’m thinkin’ I might not be such a furriner.

  • Reply
    Brenda Kay Ledford
    August 13, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Believe or not, I just used the word “fiesty” this morning to describe a lady friend of mine. Now fatback is a term we use often. When I fix soupbeans, I always put some fatback into the Crock pot. That makes it taste so good. Enjoyed your vocabulary test. I did well on it today. Loved this posting.

  • Reply
    August 13, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    I know fiesty and fatback. And fisticuff sounded familiar, so I must have heard it somewhere.
    I think I’m a furriner down here. Just don’t seem to fit in around the big city.

  • Reply
    August 13, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Number 5 was new to me, but we know and use the rest.

  • Reply
    August 13, 2009 at 10:46 am

    Tipper, Mother and Dad used feisty and fatback all the time ,me and brother Jim had a good many fistacuffs over fat back and sister Faye shed many a tear because us boys did not let her have any .And It’s still my favorite breakfast food stuffed inside a hot buttered bisquit(fat back is a main stay here in Thailand and it is sliced thin after being fried and served over a plate of jasmine rice, and drizzled with a sauce made of crushed chilies and oil and vinegar.Grandpa Jess used the word furriner a lot ,and when my Uncle Leroy brought his friend Bob home for a visit when he was in the airforce, and Bob being a yankee and a Itallian,and a furriner, Grandpa would have nothing to do with him , but when he (Bob) married my Aunt Jane , from then on they were the best of friends , it amazes me how quick we are to judge and how quick we can change our minds .ha ha .My Grandma Myrtle is the one I can remember using the word farboard , because that’s wree the pitur’s were and the oll lamp wus put.
    Tipper, my Brother Jim from Tenn. when I was visting last year said “they built a new fartar over there” and for the longest time, I did not know what he was talking about ,until one day when we rode by and he pointed to the new BLM fire tower. I’m outa here Malcolm (RETIRED IN THAILAND AND LOVING IT )

  • Reply
    August 13, 2009 at 6:00 am

    I knew all of them except farboard and use feisty on a regular basis. It’s one of my favorite words!

  • Reply
    Nancy M.
    August 12, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    I’ve heard them all except farboard. Maybe that’s because we didn’t have a fireplace growing up?

  • Reply
    August 12, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Well, I knew them all except for fisticuff. Feisty is my favorite. Vera I love the four rooms and a path.

  • Reply
    Helen G.
    August 12, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard farboard. I have heard and used all of the others.

  • Reply
    August 12, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    I don’t think I have ever heard farboard either, but all the rest I’ve either said or heard Grandma and Grandpa say. Blessings, Annie

  • Reply
    Greta Koehl
    August 12, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    “Feisty” was my Uncle Eddie’s nickname for me, so I’ll never forget that one. Fisticuffs I only knew from reading. Furriner – yep, knew that one, too. My husband the Brooklyn boy knew fatback. But neither one of us knew farboard. Fun and interesting, as usual!

  • Reply
    August 12, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    Many of our Appalachian words did indeed come from across the big pond where you are-neat uh : )
    Blind Pig & The Acorn Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk All at

  • Reply
    Dee from Tennessee
    August 12, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    Didn’t know fisticuff and farboard. I think of ol’ Barney on Andy Griffith as being “feisty” sometimes!

  • Reply
    trisha too
    August 12, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    had all those except farboard.
    we actually say fisticuffs and feisty, but have replaced furriner with fouriner.
    and we don’t like fatback so much, but bring on the cornbread!

  • Reply
    August 12, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    I know and use them all but farboard. My grandma always had a batch of fatback cooked up when we’d come by. Fatback, cornbread and buttermilk. Can’t do it anymore though – too hard on the heart. It’s tough being a grownup.

  • Reply
    August 12, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    We have heard all of them but only use fatback and fiesty.
    A side tidbit about fatback. We leave the “rind” on it and chew the rind. My sister and I even used to count the pieces my mama fried to be sure no one got more than another. There have been fisticuffs over on odd piece.

  • Reply
    August 12, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    I have heard of them all!Mostly from grandparents, uncles and aunts… “We had a few fiesty hens before”, “those furrieners are goin to ruin this country one day!” ” You boys are looking for a fistacuff!” “Save that fatback for the beans” and “watch out for the farboard!” LOL. Enjoyed reading, blessings,Kathleen

  • Reply
    August 12, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Hey Tipper, I have heard/used all but farboard. I have one fer ye. “It’s too far n snakey fer me to go traipsin around it the swamp.”

  • Reply
    laoi gaul-williams
    August 12, 2009 at 11:20 am

    i know fisticuff and feisty~i wonder if these words travelled from here to there with settlers many years ago?

  • Reply
    Caution Flag
    August 12, 2009 at 10:51 am

    I knew 1-4. #5 got me. I thought 4 out of 5 was great until I did the math: 80%/B-. Ouch.

  • Reply
    August 12, 2009 at 10:37 am

    All but farboard. Hmm I wonder if a fiesty furriner would engage in fisticuffs for a piece of fatback?

  • Reply
    August 12, 2009 at 10:29 am

    I love these! I only knew three this week. I have never used fisticuff or farboard.
    Have a great day!

  • Reply
    August 12, 2009 at 10:04 am

    I also enjoy your vacabulary posts, it takes me back. I have heard all but fisticuff, when I grew up we had a “farboard” with a coal fire, and the only place you got warm was right in front of the fire. When you would get up in the mornings the water bucket would be froze over. We didn’t have running water, we had four rooms and a path.

  • Reply
    August 12, 2009 at 9:45 am

    I’m familiar with all of them except farboard as well, and use them all. My daughters tell me that I’m the feisty one, a hockey game isn’t good until there’s some fisticuff’s and furriners can be seen in these parts quite regularly!

  • Reply
    August 12, 2009 at 9:43 am

    I, too, have heard all but farboard. I love these!

  • Reply
    August 12, 2009 at 9:30 am

    Farboard is the only one I haven’t heard. I think Granny on the Beverly Hillbillies used all of the others and that’s probably why they don’t seem furrin. 😉

  • Reply
    August 12, 2009 at 9:08 am

    I know “feisty” and “fatback.” My mom put a piece of fatback in green beans and cooked them with just a “smidgen” of water. YUM!!! Feeling feisty can be a good thing!!! Much “obliged” for the vocab!!! Have a great day, Tipper!

  • Reply
    August 12, 2009 at 8:54 am

    I’ve never heard fisticuff~but the rest of them are very familiar to me. I hear and use feisty and I hear furriner every once in a while.

  • Reply
    August 12, 2009 at 8:33 am

    We use all of the words except farboard also. I personally wouldn’t give you anything for fatback but I know some love it! Bobby Labonte used to have a crew chief named Fatback McSwain which always cracked me up…he was a larger fella…not someone I would want to get into a fisticuff with though!

  • Reply
    fishing guy
    August 12, 2009 at 7:49 am

    Tipper: I also knew the first for, that last one was a furriner to me.

  • Reply
    Carolyn A.
    August 12, 2009 at 6:17 am

    I’ve heard all except farboard. I so enjoy your vocabulary posts. It takes me back to hearing the voices of my Grandmom and Grandpop and even our Dad still used a lot of their words. I miss them all even now. Thanks, Tipper, for bringing back good memories. xxoo

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