Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 13

dried corn

Time for this month’s Vocabulary Test:

  1. Gall
  2. Gander
  3. Give out
  4. Give in
  5. Go devil


  1. Gall-nerve. “The gall of her to talk about me after I bent over backwards to help her!”
  2. Gander-look, stare. “Take a gander at that set of woods and see if you don’t think it’d be a good place to hunt.”
  3. Give out-tired. “After a long day at work I’m usually give out.”
  4. Give in-to announce or submit. “I went ahead and give in and gave her the money she wanted to borrow.”
  5. Go devil-used to split wood. “I went to the shed to split some wood and couldn’t find the go devil. I bet Henry Wade borrowed it.”

I use all of this month’s words and phrases on a regular basis. Hope you’ll leave me a comment and tell me which ones you are familiar with.


You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Tamara Flora
    July 19, 2020 at 10:21 am

    Godevil does not originate as above stated. It is much older than “dating back” to WWII. All of my grandfathers used them and can be referenced in family histories since pre-rev times. Old christian beliefs felt that evil spirits lived in trees. This is in opposition to Heathen beliefs that trees and groves had holy spirits attached to them. When English speaking Heathen tribes were subjugated by Catholic Northern Crusaders, the tribes were no longer allowed to thank the sacred tree spirits or wooded groves that they worshiped near. See “Donars Oak” and the “Oak of Jupiter”. Priests and Bishops required woodsmen to destroy their sacred tree and Groves while cursing them- under penalty of death or torture or property destruction if refused. Often family members were held in jeopardy unless the “GODEVIL” curse was used while felling trees. Godevil was the word required to be used to describe the tool.

  • Reply
    November 24, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    “Go Devil” is a military slang term, used by armies throughout the world to describe themselves or their opponents. Some US Army units dating back to WWII have used that as their military motto to represent the power to hurt or kill. Normally it refers to the power of death or the ability to cause death by a friendly unit or an enemy unit. 60th Infantry from civil war days utilized to the “Utmost Extent of our power”, by 1980’s that had turned into “Go Devils”. Germany soldiers referred to US Airborne soldiers as “Those Devils in Baggy Pants”. In military lingo and slang it normally does not reference Christ telling the Devil to Go away or Stand Behind Him.” It refers to the power to kill in battle. Most combat veterans understand this term readily. Have a nice day. Now you know, at least one origin of the meaning. Some state the Hitties, the 4th Kingdom, claimed the same when they attacked Babylon, 3000 years ago.

  • Reply
    November 22, 2009 at 9:10 am

    Gall reminds me of my mother in law saying someone torques (sp?) her jaws.
    She also will say they have the brains of a pissant, but my yankee mom used that phrase, too, so maybe it just follows me around. . .

  • Reply
    Fishing Guy
    November 21, 2009 at 9:18 am

    Tipper: Fun words, but it takes a lot of gall to consider that first one special. LOL

  • Reply
    November 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Oh yeah, I speak this language 🙂
    Growing up with Appalachian Scottish heritage and a mother from Louisiana was an interesting dialect! I understand some creole as well, since that is what my mom’s father spoke, a french dialect

  • Reply
    November 20, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Never heard of a go-devil but I have used them waaay too many times to be happy about it!

  • Reply
    November 19, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    I’ve heard and used all but Go Devil.
    I might think someone was calling me a name if they said something about a Go Devil to me. tee hee

  • Reply
    trisha too
    November 19, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    we actually use all of these except the go devil–didn’t have a clue on that one.
    i think you made it up . . .

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 19, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Know them all…use them all. I recently gave the Deer Hunter my go-devil cause it’s too heavy for me to use anymore. It’s a fine tool beatin’ and brailin’ as well as splitting wood. Ha ha!

  • Reply
    November 19, 2009 at 8:53 am

    I’ve listened to several songs this morning as I tried to catch up. Where have I been? I’m give-out now. I enjoyed every post. You do such a great job. Hope all is well in the mountains. Tell the family the flatlanders send greetings. Pappy

  • Reply
    November 19, 2009 at 7:40 am

    Me too. Part of my everyday vocabulary.

  • Reply
    November 19, 2009 at 6:47 am

    What’s a Go devil? I knew all the rest. I love these!

  • Reply
    Keith Jones
    November 19, 2009 at 5:16 am

    Know each and every one of them. Don’t have a go-devil, but know what it is.
    I haven’t taken all of your tests, so some of these may be repeats…
    Froe (tool used in woodworking)
    Psygoggling (sygogglin’)[I never saw it in writing, only heard it used, so I don’t know how to spell it–it means going off at an angle to the right, like a car out of alignment]
    Antigoggling (opposite of Psygoggling–going off at an angle to the left)
    Adze–an ax-like tool used in squaring up timbers
    Frail (tool used in threshing by hand, and a verb, as in ‘he frailed the life out of that other boy in the fight’)
    Shivaree (this was more used in rural Kentucky than here in GA–it’s folks sneaking up to your house at night and making a lot of noise to try to scare or aggravate you. Often done to couples on their wedding night. Can also be a general term for a frolic.)
    Battling stick (used in washing clothes, after soap’s been applied, to beat the dirt loose)
    Light a shuck (to leave in a hurry, from the practice of using cornshucks lit at the fireplace as a small torch to light your way to the Johnny house)
    Done run off (they’ve left, usually without permission…”They run off to North Carolina and got married”)
    Wrench (an action, not the tool, and not ‘sprained’ either–to rinse something in water. “I’ll use the battlin’ stick if you’ll wrench these here overhauls”)
    Not worth the powder it’d take to shoot him (old saying)

  • Reply
    November 18, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Use them all most any day except for go devil. Haven’t even thought about one in years! How funny.
    Are there really people that don’t use these words? They seem pretty common but I guess it’s just where yer from.
    I like the topics you come up with.

  • Reply
    November 18, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    Same here, I’ve used them all except Go devil. Now I’m all give out and I’m going to bed. 🙂

  • Reply
    November 18, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    Well, you got me on the go devil. Is it just a splitting maul? I never heard that term. I have used all the others.

  • Reply
    Greta Koehl
    November 18, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    Ditto – know and use all but go devil. As a matter of fact, the others don’t even sound exotic to me. But then again, I used the phrase “the bee’s knees” today.

  • Reply
    Sallie Covolo
    November 18, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    i use them all except for godevil..never heard that one before

  • Reply
    November 18, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    “Go devil” is a new one for me, too. My mom’s favorite was “give out.” After a day in the cotton patch, she was “plum give out.”
    Thanks for sharing, Tipper.

  • Reply
    Paul Chaney
    November 18, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    I’m from Mississippi and was familiar with each of the terms but “go devil.” I have to admit, that’s a new one on me.

  • Reply
    Nancy M.
    November 18, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    I know them all except the last one, never heard of go devil.

  • Reply
    barbara gantt
    November 18, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Know and use them all except go devil. That is a new one to me.

  • Leave a Reply