Appalachia Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 145

large tree

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.

1. Of: at, in the. “Of the morning I like to walk down the road and see the world.”

2. Offer: to try. “I should have offered to go pick him up since their vehicle was tore up but I never even thought of it.”

3. Old Scratch: the Devil. “I reckon Old Scratch has got into that boy cause lately he’s the meanest thing I’ve ever seen.”

4. One more time: extraordinary or exceptional time. “I’m telling you we had one more time! I’m already planning to go back and do it all again!”

5. Ownself: self. “I’ve always been somebody that likes to do things my ownself instead of paying someone else to do them.”

All of this month’s words except Old Scratch are beyond common here in my area of Appalachia. What about where you live?


Subscribe for FREE and get a daily dose of Appalachia in your inbox

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    February 27, 2021 at 9:18 pm

    Earlier this week we got 3 sunny days.
    Today we got 3 sun rays.
    It’s better than nothin I guess.

  • Reply
    February 27, 2021 at 2:24 pm

    I use “of” and “ownself” and have heard it so much I never even realized it wasn’t something just everyone says until very recently. Especially the first one; why wouldn’t everyone say that? I’ve always used “ownself” as almost like an emphasis of myself. Like “I did that all by my ownself!”

  • Reply
    Suzanne Gardner
    February 27, 2021 at 2:01 pm

    When moving to Central Illinois, folks around here will say, “I go Uptown of a morning.”

    “Uptown,” is going to town.

    Both were hard to get used to, bit after 35 years, it’s grown on me. 🙂

  • Reply
    Ron Bass
    February 27, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    Use them all except old scratch. When I was young we were threaten with ” the sack man will git you and carry you off”

  • Reply
    Dona DiBernardo Silver
    February 27, 2021 at 12:22 pm

    Meant to say my new saying is !!!!!
    Not swing loll

  • Reply
    Dona DiBernardo Silver
    February 27, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    My new swing is “old scratch”
    Thanks Tipper
    It was a lot of fun reading this post

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    February 27, 2021 at 12:11 pm

    I’ve heard or used all of these at one time or another.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    February 27, 2021 at 11:52 am

    Tipper–All these are commonplace to me in my personal vernacular and when it comes to my experience with folks speaking Smoky Mountain English. However, as is almost always the case, there are some minor distinctions.
    *I would say “of a morning.”
    *Instead of just “one more time” I’m more familiar with “one more fine time” or “one more big time.”
    *Some poet (probably Shakespeare, who is always a good guess when you don’t know (and I’m too trifling to look it up in my copy of “Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations”) said “to thine ownself be true.”
    Jim Casada

    • Reply
      Gene Smith
      February 27, 2021 at 3:58 pm

      I hadn’t heard or even thought about “trifling” in recent memory. My late mother used it often when referring to indolent neighbors or relatives–layabouts and really”sorry” people. The local adult party girls, flirts, man-chasers and potential home-wreckers she called “rips.” I smiled when I came across that one in a book recently.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    February 27, 2021 at 11:45 am

    All are heard and used except “one more time.” I’ve never heard it used like that. We might say, ” We had one good time last night. “

  • Reply
    February 27, 2021 at 11:11 am

    I’ve heard or used most of those words. I think my grandparents used them a lot. One night I was staying with my grandparents when I was about 4 or 5. I remember her warming a quilt by the fireplace and wrapping me up in it. She stepped out on the front porch and the night was as black as ink. She stepped back in and tucked me in bed and said now you go right to sleep or bloody bones and scratcher devil will get you. I had probably heard of the devil but not with names like those so I went right to sleep and never made a sound.

  • Reply
    February 27, 2021 at 10:51 am

    Of the morning and Scratch are two that I have not heard. I also grew up hearing the devil called the booger man . I think I gave him many opportunities to get me.

    This is for Ed and his comment about a silver maple and rain last night on yesterday’s blog I read this and think Ed and some others may enjoy it.
    A tour bus of city people were going to tour a dairy farm. The farmer thought he would have a little fun with them, so he told them you could predict the weather by watching the cows. He said that if the cows were standing up it meant the weather was going to be pretty and sunny, if they were laying down it meant it was going to rain. A smart aleck on the bus ask him what it meant if some of the cows were standing and some were laying down, the farmer thought about it for a second and told him it meant that some of the cows were right and some of them were wrong. My granddaddy would watch the chickens and birds and would tell you if was going to rain or be bad weather. He was often times right.

    Ed, I am not making fun of what you wrote , before the weathermen we now have, the older people would look for signs to tell the weather. Sometimes I think they were about as right as the weatherman.

  • Reply
    February 27, 2021 at 10:40 am

    Everybody has probably experienced the impetuous child who wants to push the cart or carry a too heavy load with disasterous results. I was just that type of child because I wanted to do everything my own self. That was not always considered an admirable quality for a young lady. I have never heard of Old Scratch, but childhood was sometimes filled with the fear of a “booger” getting you if you misbehaved. I feared the dark, because I could not see what was getting ready to grab me. I have used commonly “one more time”, but with a slight difference. It was always “Buddy, I had one more time.” Great post!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    February 27, 2021 at 9:35 am

    I would say I have heard all of rhem but “Ol Scratch”. But the only one I’ve heard commonly is “offer”. If you don’t say “offer” you have to say something like “I said I’d take him if he wanted me to but he said no”. Too many words. That word makes me think of holding the door for the next person. I worked with a feminist or two who might well have let me know they would “do it their ownself” but I just did it anyway. In all the years I have never had anyone fuss at me. Nearly all have said, “Thank you.” And don’t we just need more of that these days.

  • Reply
    Eldonna Ashley
    February 27, 2021 at 9:23 am

    My grandma used of an evening quite often. When she used it she was talking about the time after dinner at noon and before supper.

    • Reply
      Wanda Devers
      February 27, 2021 at 11:05 am

      Mama said of an evening too. Usually she was talking about how she loved to sit in her porch swing of an evening. Twilight was her favorite time of day.

      • Reply
        Ed Ammons
        February 27, 2021 at 2:14 pm

        You’ve got morning,
        then breakfast,
        then after breakfast,
        before dinner,
        you’ve got dinnertime,
        then it’s after dinner (whether you ate or not),
        next comes evening,
        then supper followed by,
        after supper,
        before dark,
        just getting dark,
        and black dark.

        Who needs a clock?

        • Reply
          Gene Smith
          February 27, 2021 at 4:03 pm

          Ed, between dark and black dark we usually had “dark-thirty.” Made sense to me.

  • Reply
    February 27, 2021 at 9:20 am

    I’ve never heard Old Scratch when referring to the Devil. Offer sounds so right when used in your example. I’m sure I say offer with the same meaning just about every day. All the other words are common around here as well.

  • Reply
    Sallie the Apple Doll Lady
    February 27, 2021 at 8:38 am

    All these except Old Scratch are familiar to me. Instead of him we were told the Booger Man would get us if we did certain things. Must have worked on at least some of us.

  • Reply
    Sanford McKinney Jr
    February 27, 2021 at 8:01 am

    Number one took my mind back to an old film clip of Laurel & Hardy. One of them was crying uncontrollably and the other asked him what was wrong. The answer was that a relative had died and when asked what the relative died of, he answered, “Well, I think it was of a Tuesday”.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    February 27, 2021 at 7:30 am

    Old Scratch is the only one I don’t know.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 27, 2021 at 7:19 am

    I’ve heard all of these, even ‘Old Scratch’ but I’ve heard it much less than the others. Number 9, I’ll do it my ownself is the epitome of the Deer Hunter! He has always been the one to do something his ownself!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    February 27, 2021 at 6:14 am

    All of these words or phrades I use often. I hear them now and then too nut sadly not like I used to

  • Leave a Reply