Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 11

Are you ready for a test? Cause it’s time for this month’s Appalachian Vocabulary Test.

  1. Frail
  2. Floozy
  3. Fixen to
  4. Fell
  5. Frolic


  1. Frail-old, feeble, sickly or to beat something. “Granny always frailed the rugs against the barn to get the dirt out of them.”
  2. Floozy-a loose trashy woman. “You ain’t wearing that short dress out of this house. Folks will think you’re a floozy.”
  3. Fixen to-preparing or getting ready to do something. “I’m fixen to build a fire cause there’s a chill in the air.”
  4. Fell-means the same thing-you’ve fell down-but used in the wrong tense-used where fallen should be. (see I didn’t even use it right to explain it!) “If I don’t hurry home Mother will think I have fell into the pond.”
  5. Frolic-a lively party with music, games, dancing. “The Fall Festival is one of the best frolics of the year and it’s coming up fast.”

So how did you do? I know all of this month’s words-but only use the first four on a regular basis. The Deer Hunter-he uses them all. Leave me a comment and tell me which ones you use.



You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    December 18, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    This is about the use of “snake doctor” for the dragonfly – not only is that the only name I knew them by for years but I was told to almost fear them because their appearance meant snakes were afoot! I ran from a lot of snake doctors in my youth.

  • Reply
    Kim Campbell
    September 27, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    Me, too! Me, too! This time I knew them all!

  • Reply
    Carole Corlew
    September 23, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    How about snake doctor for dragonfly? I read once that using the term snake doctor is a giveaway for certain linguists that you are from Appalachia or were raised by parents from the region.
    Of course it was years before I found the proper name for the thing!

  • Reply
    September 17, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    I’m thinkin’ if I pass (better than half most of the time) many more of these vocabulary test you’ll be needen to send me an honorary Appalachian Certificate! The only one I was unsure of was fell, I had a back up possibility if it wasn’t the poor grammer thing.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 16, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Know then all Tipper, I always know them all. Guess I’m just an Old Country Girl!

  • Reply
    September 16, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    I know what all of them mean, but I don’t use any of them. I guess I’m a very conventional northerner!

  • Reply
    Amy - parkcitygirl
    September 16, 2009 at 11:56 am

    I recognize them all but don’t use them . . . Thanks for the lesson Tipper 🙂

  • Reply
    Carolyn A.
    September 16, 2009 at 7:36 am

    This was fun Tipper. I’ve used them all but ‘fell’ in that tense. I’m so glad these words are still part of my roots from when I was a child. I miss my Grandparents voices as they used these words all the time. I can still hear Grandmom saying to Grandpop, “I’m fixen to make lunch, are you hungry?” Thanks for taking my memories back to those times. xxoo

  • Reply
    September 15, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    I’ve heard all of those and use most of them. When I was growing up, there was no worse fate than turning into a floozy one day. I was warned against dressing like one on a regular basis.

  • Reply
    September 15, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Okay – guilty of the fixin to myself – and frail and feeble.

  • Reply
    My Carolina Kitchen
    September 15, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    I knew all of them except the “fell.” I missed the first post – guess I had better back up and go around again.
    Fun stuff Tipper.

  • Reply
    September 15, 2009 at 9:55 am

    The hill folk must have moved on down to Kansas since I’ve heard or used them all. My dad particularly worried about me looking like a floozy when I was in high school-mini skirts, you know.

  • Reply
    September 14, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    I feel special, I knew them all. I think that’s a first for me.

  • Reply
    September 14, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    I have heard them all at one time or another. Floozy is an old one, my grandfather’s time. I remember him saying that and when I asked what he meant he blushed, of course I was under ten at the time. He also used the phrase hoochie Mama. My grandfather fought in World War I and moved from Ohio to California just about the time of the Great Depression. Fixen to, reminds me fondly of my years in Texas, I have not heard it used at all in my years up here in New England. Frolic, reminds me of both grandmothers the one from Iowa and the one from the Ohio Pennsylvania border. It is interesting to see these words used in other parts of the country but not in all parts.

  • Reply
    September 14, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    I knew them all this time too. We’re always fixin to do something around here and we always talk about fellin the trees.

  • Reply
    September 14, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    I’ve never heard frail used as to beat. My mother is frail and weak. I knew floozy but don’t think I’ve ever actually used it. I used to use fixing to and got picked on ’cause I couldn’t drop the g. The use of Fell was new to me and I’ve never heard frolic to refer to a party. Guess I didn’t do too well this month!

  • Reply
    fishing guy
    September 14, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Tipper: That was the first time I knew them all. We are from the same mountain range.

  • Reply
    nancy m.
    September 14, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    I get an A+ this time! I’m like you, I use them all but the last one.

  • Reply
    September 14, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    I use ’em all except the “beating something” definition of frail…love that one! I’m gonna be using it now! I always thought “fixin’ to” was for hillbillies, back when I lived in Phoenix. Now I live in eastern KS, so there you go… 🙂

  • Reply
    September 14, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    I knew these!!!!!!!!!!

  • Reply
    Brenda Kay Ledford
    September 14, 2009 at 11:59 am

    I took your vocabulary test and made 100. You all know I’m country to the bone and still use those old-timey mountain terms. Loved this posting.

  • Reply
    September 14, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Love your little test. I’ve heard my granny use most of the words. I uses many of them. My dad had a different word for floozy, I won’t say it was as I don’t want to hurt the feelings of the women in France.

  • Reply
    September 14, 2009 at 8:48 am

    I have heard them all but #1. Well not in that sense anyway. And when I hear the word frolic, I think of Bambi frolicking in the forest.

  • Reply
    Eggs In My Pocket
    September 14, 2009 at 7:48 am

    You know, I am beginning to think that my family line has appalachian running in their blood somewhere, because even though I have lived in Texas all of my life, I knew these words as well! {: blessings,Kathleen

  • Reply
    Julie at Elisharose
    September 13, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    I made an A!
    I even use some of them regularly.

  • Reply
    September 13, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    I’ve definitely heard them all but only really use the first three. When I use “fixen to” however, I often add “a”…I’m a-fixen to go into town to the spring frolic!

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    September 13, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Yep; we use ’em all. Now, we use “floozy” a lot. Well, Kasie’s (my wife) mother lives next door in an attached mother-in-law suite we built on for her and when she came up here she brought three cats with her. One is white with brown or yellow spots and she has a spot just aside from her mouth and we always say “well, she’s been out running around again … got her lipstick all smeared to one side there … that floozy” or, I ask Sally, “Well, is that old floozy cat of yore’s a out runnin’ tonight?”

  • Reply
    September 13, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    I know them all, Tipper. My Dad always made sure our skirts were long enough and we were covered well. He didn’t want anyone to think my sister or I were floozies. LOL
    Yes, I knew them all. I always enjoy your vocabulary tests. Wishing you a great week.

  • Reply
    September 13, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    I got all but the fell…I thought that it could mean started something…as in “Uncle Yoyo fell to the bottle”.
    I got the rest right though!☺

  • Reply
    September 13, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    That’s the way I talk! I’m always a fixin to do something around here. Mama was always going to frail us. There was always a floozy in the community to gossip about. The younguns always fell into something and everybody loved a good frolic, if they wasn’t too frail!
    Love the test. I think I made a 100.
    Have a great day!

  • Reply
    September 13, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    We use fell and fixen. Instead of floosy we say “hoochie Mama” (from the kids) I guess it’s different every where. How ya’ll been doing.? Have a blessed Sunday.

  • Reply
    September 13, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Thanks for the comment Patty! The picture fell off the wall is correct just like you typed it. If you were going to say “the picture has fell off the wall a 100 times” which is what I would say-it would be wrong-it should be “the picture has fallen off the wall a 100 times” Using the past tense ‘fell’ for the past participle tense ‘fallen’ may be a common grammatical mistake across the country instead of just in Appalachia.
    Blind Pig & The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at

  • Reply
    September 13, 2009 at 11:59 am

    I know them all and use them all! Now I’m off to frolic in the woods!

  • Reply
    September 13, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Hey! I knew the first three!

  • Reply
    Patty Hall
    September 13, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Yes, I’ve heard them all and use most of them.
    I was thinkin like ‘they felled the tree’, liek when they cut it down. I always use fell, like in it fell down. How would you say that otherwise-‘the picture fell off the wall’ or ‘teh picture did fall off the wall’. I had always thought it was a correct way of saying it.
    Use frail as in sickly, hadnt’ heard it the other way.
    Well, I’m a fixen to git ready for work. have a blessed day

  • Leave a Reply