Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 142

mushroom on branch

It’s time for this month’s Appalachian Vocabulary Test.

I’m sharing a few videos to let you hear the words and phrases. To start the videos click on them.

It’s all about the make this month.

1. Make: to study and become. “I stopped and talked to Mary Sue the other day. She said her oldest daughter was going to make a doctor. I told her I sure hoped she come back here to do her doctoring.”

2. Make: to raise or produce a crop. “We make a garden every year. I just love eating fresh vegetables straight from the garden.

3. Make no never mind: doesn’t matter. “It don’t make no never mind to me, we can go now or go tomorrow.”

4. Make up: to collect or assemble. “They’re making up money for that family that’s house burned down. Said they’s going to have a poor man’s supper for them. I told her to leave some tickets here and I’d get her the money.”

5. Make out: to pretend. “Make out like you’s sick and can’t take them to the party. If you do I bet they both start squawling.”

All of this month’s words and phrases are common in my area of Appalachia. What about where you live?

Tipper

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30 Comments

  • Reply
    Eldonna Ashley
    November 30, 2020 at 1:14 am

    About the meaning you posted today. Yes, yep, sure, uh-huh, for real. All of them are so very familiar.
    We also used most of rhe meaning used in the examples sent in by readers.

  • Reply
    Lynn Briggs
    November 29, 2020 at 11:36 am

    I have just finished the book “The Bookwoman of Troublesome Creek”. I wonder if you have any information about this library program set up during the Depression by the WPA? My folks are Becks from Haywood County Tennessee. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone interested in Appalachia.

    • Reply
      Tipper
      November 29, 2020 at 12:07 pm

      Lynn-I don’t have any historical information about the library program. I did read the book and really enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    PinnacleCreek
    November 27, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    Appalachians make about everything. We don’t earn money, we make it. We do not sew an apron, we make it. We make good time when we get anywhere earlier than expected. Instead of selling well at my yard sale, I just flat made out pretty good. I made a cake instead of baking it. Children make a big mess sometimes. Come to think of it we can make about anything, but I did not realize it until I read today’s post. Ever heard the expression, “He can make a fiddle sing?”

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    November 27, 2020 at 1:11 pm

    I enjoyed this so much! Hope yall had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  • Reply
    Cynthia
    November 27, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    I’ve heard and used all of those all my life.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    November 27, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    Then there is make as in finish or mature. “I planted my sweet taters too late and the frost got them before they could make.” or “I put up a run of jelly but it didn’t make. All I got was six pints of juice.”

  • Reply
    Gene Smith
    November 27, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    I just remembered this one: When I was just a little chap, at bedtime my mom would take me to the toilet, a chamber pot or, many times, to the edge of the porch, to pee-pee. If I was slow in starting, she’d say, “Come on, now. Make a branch.” She’d patiently wait until the mission had been accomplished before tucking me in.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    November 27, 2020 at 11:46 am

    All are familiar.

  • Reply
    Jackie
    November 27, 2020 at 11:32 am

    Sometimes when we don’t have all the makings for a meal we just have to make do.

  • Reply
    Gigi
    November 27, 2020 at 9:54 am

    I have heard and use all these. It’s funny how us down right country folk use and pronounce our words, but that’s just us and we AINT gonna change.

  • Reply
    Gene Smith
    November 27, 2020 at 9:38 am

    On language, a phrase commonly used where I lived was “a right smart”–meaning “a good bit; more than a little.” A turkey hunter might say, “I yelp a right smart (when calling a gobbler to the gun). Another school of hunters use their callers sparingly. A turkey hunter friend originally from Indiana, now living in N. C., told me he was at first puzzled by the expression, and thought it quaint to the point of being humorous. Do other commenters use or hear “a right smart” in your neck of the woods?

    • Reply
      Ed Ammons
      November 27, 2020 at 12:04 pm

      I have used “right smart” all my life. To me it means enough and maybe a little more. Ample.

  • Reply
    JimK
    November 27, 2020 at 9:13 am

    Come to think of it we do use the same word for multiple meanings. Never thought about that before. I recognized each use easliy. But I can see how it might be confusing to someone not from here.

  • Reply
    Shirl
    November 27, 2020 at 9:03 am

    The way you use make in your examples is what I grew up hearing. Making a doctor and make out like you are sick brought a smile to my face. I can almost hear my mom saying the same thing. We made good time on our trip, make a bed and make a ton of money all sound right to me but now I’m not sure.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    November 27, 2020 at 8:55 am

    Tipper–I don’t know how I overlooked what is probably the way I’ve heard make used most frequently over the course of my life; namely, “make do with what you’ve got.” I feel fairly confident you have a bunch of other readers who have heard and used that phrase a great deal.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    November 27, 2020 at 8:43 am

    I had never thought of it before but I know each of those uses of ‘make’. I have a sense though that I don’t hear them much, if at all, anymore. Seems the common thread through them is “to bring into being” in whatever way. One use I recall was “make a big too-do”, that is, to over-react to something. And in church “to make up a collection” for some specific need.

    Hmmm wonder what a then-to-now comparison would look like? Actually you do that each time. For ‘make a doctor’ one would likely hear “studying to be” or maybe “in training for”. And for ‘make a garden’ now likely “grow a garden”. And for ‘make out like’ now likely just – as you wrote – “pretend”. Gee, somehow looks rather bland. We’ve lost something. Education is not without loss.

    • Reply
      Wanda Devers
      November 27, 2020 at 1:07 pm

      Made me think of another one, “make a big stink”–usually getting meaning too upset over something.

  • Reply
    Gene Smith
    November 27, 2020 at 8:37 am

    Miss Cindy, are you old enough to remember “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”? I heard it from my Depression-era parents and grandparents, then heard it again during WW II. Frugality not only saved “cash money”; it helped win the war.

    • Reply
      Cynthia
      November 27, 2020 at 12:42 pm

      I’ve heard that one all my life, and I’ve been making do all my life.

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    November 27, 2020 at 8:22 am

    I use “make” in all of these ways. It surprises me that one word can serve so many purposes.

  • Reply
    Margie Goldstein
    November 27, 2020 at 8:15 am

    “I made out pretty good on that job. Got paid aplenty.” / “ That old feller made out to be somebody he is not by wearing a suit.” /“That young couple made out and now she’s going to have to have a shotgun wedding!” / “ The creek was too high so we made for higher ground.” —- my silly examples of vocabulary Appalachian style. There’s a test coming soon so study up…. lol this was fun!!!

  • Reply
    Dee
    November 27, 2020 at 7:51 am

    Yep, that word was and is common in my family. We use made up as they were a fussing but they’ve since made up:}

  • Reply
    Nancy Patterson
    November 27, 2020 at 7:46 am

    I recently subscribed to your delightful website on YouTube, so you may have already talked about this expression I heard my great Aunt Bessie use in the late forties and early fifties. “Gen”, or “gin” I get up of a morning… In the context of her sentence, it sounded like she used it for “by the time…” Point me in the direction of your discussion of this if you have covered it. At 85 years of age, and our current state of affairs, I am loving dwelling in the past.

  • Reply
    sheryl paul
    November 27, 2020 at 7:19 am

    I can say I use make in every way on this post

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    November 27, 2020 at 7:18 am

    Tipper–All of them are common as pig tracks to me. I would add another usage for “make out.” It involves amorous activity (courting couple kissing and hugging). For example, “You should have seen the two of them making out at the drive-in movie. I doubt if they saw a minute of the picture show.”
    Jim Casada

    • Reply
      Wanda Devers
      November 27, 2020 at 1:10 pm

      This reminds me of a funny! We have a nephew in his early twenties and got to talking to him about our youth. He had never heard of “parking” and had no idea what it meant!

  • Reply
    Sheila
    November 27, 2020 at 6:41 am

    In West Virginia we also say made up like he’s made up his grandson got into that school. Like he’s very proud or happy

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 27, 2020 at 6:27 am

    I’ve never thought how versatile the word make is. We Appalachians are by and large a thrifty people, even with our words. All of these uses are very common to me.
    There is also Make do, meaning get along with what we have.

    • Reply
      Sanford McKinney Jr
      November 27, 2020 at 8:11 am

      Miss Cindy,
      I used to hear this old guy say, “We’ll make do and get by with what we have”,

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