Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 14

go devil

Time for this month’s Appalachian Vocabulary Test-see if you know the words.

  1. Garden sass
  2. Goozle
  3. Gom
  4. Granny woman


  1. Garden sass: greens-turnip, mustard, lettuce, etc. “Everybody ought to eat garden sass cause it’ll make your blood strong.”
  2. Goozle: adam’s apple. “He drank that water down so fast I thought his goozle was going to pop out.”
  3. Gom: make a mess or stop up something. “Chatter and Chitter have always liked to gom.”
  4. Granny woman: midwife. “If a woman was in labor it didn’t matter what time of night or what the weather was like, a granny woman would go help with the birth.”

I know all of this month’s words-but gom is the only one I use. How about you-did you know the words?



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  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    December 22, 2009 at 9:47 am

    I’ve never heard garden sass but I know the rest. My grandmother was the granny woman in her neighborhood.
    She also called mixed greens “Sallat” and it always included polk.
    I still make a mix of greens every now and then. They may include turnip greens, polk, spinach, mustard, radish tops,and beet tops. My grandmother also added some wild things called Lambs quarter and plantin. Wonderful food and yes, it is a good blood builder containing iron.
    The Deer Hunters grandmother Lura used the word gom frequently. I think that was because she had nine children! LOL!

  • Reply
    December 21, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    Gom was always paired with Mess.
    “Don’t mess and gom up this living room!”
    I knew all except garden sass. It was just called a “mess of sallet”. Tradition here was you had to eat three “messes” of poke sallet each spring to enrich your blood.

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    December 21, 2009 at 11:20 am

    My Momma used to say, “You’re gonna clean this house up today or I’ll take a switch to your legs. I’m tired of this mess and gom!”
    “Goozle” I knew from East Tennessee but it’s not used here in Indiana.
    “Granny Woman” and “garden sass” I don’t remember in the context seen here.
    I had to pull weeds out of the tobacco patch and I’m sure I muttered my own form of garden sass at the time.
    Merry Christmas!

  • Reply
    December 20, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    Goozle…I’ve always heard it called (and called it myself) a goozum. Same principle I guess!
    Gom reminds me of gam, which is to blab a whole lot or chat about. A mess of…words?
    Good ones!

  • Reply
    December 20, 2009 at 11:19 am

    The only one of those I’ve heard is gom.
    I can remember my Mom saying, “You’re gonna gom it up!” That was a long time ago.

  • Reply
    Carolyn A.
    December 20, 2009 at 12:04 am

    Haven’t heard garden sass or granny woman. I’ve learned about gom from your girls. However, our Dad used to tell us not to eat so fast or it would get stuck in our gozzle. xxoo

  • Reply
    December 19, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Being a KY girl, I knew 3 of them. I had never heard the garden sass before. We always called it a mess; You know, “Going to go pick a mess of greens.”
    As for goms, yes, according to my Mom I was always making a gom!!
    I was delivered by a midwife, so I know that one, as well as the goozle one!
    Great memories!!

  • Reply
    December 19, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    I flunked! Didn’t know a single one this month, although after reading the definition of Granny Woman, I’m pretty sure that I’ve seen that in books before about birthin’s.

  • Reply
    Fishing Guy
    December 19, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    Tipper: You really got me with the G’s, never heard any of them. You should included goober. I have met a few goobers in my day.

  • Reply
    December 19, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Fascinating! I didn’t know any of these. Grew up in WV, so you’d have thought I’d heard some.

  • Reply
    julie curtis
    December 19, 2009 at 8:21 am

    I’ve heard granny woman but not gom or garden sass. We say goozle all the time.
    Merry Christmas, Tipper!

  • Reply
    Granny Sue
    December 19, 2009 at 12:11 am

    I have heard and used all except goozle. And we say “glom” instead of “gom.”
    Around here, we can tell weather is coming by a variety of signs but one of the most telling is being very thirsty and drinking a lot of water. Don’t know why, but know it to be true.

  • Reply
    Nancy M.
    December 18, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    Wow, I did really bad on this one! The only one I know is gom.

  • Reply
    December 18, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    Ouch, Tipper, I only got gom right.
    Have a Great Holiday!

  • Reply
    December 18, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    I like granny woman the best. My daughter was delivered with the help of a midwife alone. Her wisdom and compassion and tranquility made her a granny woman, to be sure.

  • Reply
    December 18, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    That is funny. My sisters were just talking the other day about gom. Mama was always hollering at one of us 7 younguns way back when about gomming up the floors with red Georgia clay dirt some other mess we would be making.
    I have heard all of those expressions but it has been a long time since I used or heard them.
    Have a great weekend.

  • Reply
    December 18, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    Gom and Granny woman are very familiar to me~never heard the others. Thanks for the lesson, Tipper!
    I hope you are having a great Christmas season!

  • Reply
    Patty Hall
    December 18, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    LOL!! I hear ‘gom’ most every day. My dh will say something is ‘gommed’ up. Don’t think I’ve ever heard it til I met him. And I knew what ‘goozle’ was.
    How much snow do you have?
    Patty H

  • Reply
    December 18, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    I can’t believe I have never heard those 4 words. New ones on me!

  • Reply
    December 18, 2009 at 10:31 am

    I never would have guessed right on any of those.

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    December 18, 2009 at 9:59 am

    I know them all and, except for garden sass, have heard them used — and use them myself. But I’ve heard gom used as a noun more than a verb — As in, “When the snow melts, that low place in the road is like to be a great gom.”

  • Reply
    December 18, 2009 at 9:47 am

    That is some red mud is all I have to say. I think someday I would love to go to different places and see things like red mud. Soil is fascinating to me.
    Your girls are always a delight to peek in on. They put a smile on my face sure enough.

  • Reply
    December 18, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Unbelievable, I did not know a one of those words. Quick give me a new test Tipper I feel my hidden Appalacian mountainness slipping!
    My dad always called the throat area a gozzler, close but not quite eh? And he called it that as he would grab it in a pinch and shake your “gozzler” somethin’ fierce, “yikes, run here comes Dad” Going back to see your link to the girls and gom. Went to click on it and my explorer shut down, mmmm.

  • Reply
    December 18, 2009 at 8:57 am

    I’ve heard them all but garden sass, and Gom and Goozle were the two I used also. My dad used to say, “You young’uns quit your messin’ and gommin’.” I’ve also heard and used, “Be careful of these fish bones, don’t let one get stuck in your goozle.” I know the roots of the sassafras tree were boiled to make a tea that tasted similar to root beer. My wife’s grandmother used to make it for me to thin my blood. I eaten lots of garden sass, and I know its good for your blood, but I never heard it called that. Have a great Christmas. Pappy

  • Reply
    Julie at Elisharose
    December 18, 2009 at 8:50 am

    You win. I have never heard a one of these.

  • Reply
    December 18, 2009 at 8:43 am

    I’m only familiar with granny woman, but around here we use “gob” in the same way as gom, “Let me do it, you’ll just gob the whole thing up.”

  • Reply
    Farm Chick Paula
    December 18, 2009 at 8:32 am

    Yep, I knew right off what goozle and gom were, and Granny Woman is something my mammaw used to say. Garden sass, is a new one for me!

  • Reply
    Just Jackie
    December 18, 2009 at 8:16 am

    I only knew goozle. My great grandpa used that one. I was thinking this morning about how my grand and great grand parents would be getting ready for the bad weather ahead. They didn’t have a weatherman to tell them but somehow they knew get ready. I can remember Granny saying “Pa, got to go get more bacon and flour. There’s a spell of bad weather coming” I thought of them last night when my son (in Asheville) called on his way to the store to get more bread and milk. (after listening to the weather, driving in warm car, talking on his cell phone) Times have really changed.

  • Reply
    December 18, 2009 at 7:15 am

    I like the Garden Sass one. Never heard it used before.

  • Reply
    December 18, 2009 at 6:10 am

    I didn’t know any! :)Hope the holidays are going great!

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