Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 20

paps spring cleaned out
Time for this month’s Appalachian Vocabulary Test-take it and see how you do.

  1. Jasper
  2. Jaw
  3. Job
  4. Jerked
  5. Janders


  1. Jasper-a bad person, a dishonest person. “That Dockery boy is a real jasper. Why he stole from his own Granny!”
  2. Jaw-talk. “All them younguns want to do is sit around and jaw with their friends. None of them know how to do a days work.”
  3. Job-poke. “Stop playing with that stick before you job somebody in the eye.”
  4. Jerked-pulled. “That woman started pitching a hissy fit and he jerked her by the hair of the head and threw her out of the store. I’m telling you it was something to see.”
  5. Janders-jaundice. “Her baby was born last week. Poor little thing has the janders.”

I’m familiar with all of this month’s words, although I seldom hear jasper or janders anymore. The others-I hear and use on a daily basis. Hope you’ll leave me a comment and tell me which ones you knew.



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  • Reply
    June 22, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    I’ve heard jaw, job and jerked, but not the others. Although I do think you talked about jasper on here before. Atleast I think that’s where I remember it from. tee hee
    I’ve never eaten or even seen a sarvis tree.

  • Reply
    June 18, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Knew them all except for Jasper.

  • Reply
    June 16, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Hey there – Jaw was the only one of these that I am familiar with. Jerked makes sense but in my area we use “yanked”
    Have a wonderful day.

  • Reply
    June 14, 2010 at 10:31 am

    That jasper wadn’t a Dockery-he’us a Wilson!! He may have had the yellar janders-that causes you to act funny sometimes!!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2010 at 6:02 am

    I’ve never heard anyone use jasper, job, or janders. The others are familiar to me, even out here int he Midwest.

  • Reply
    June 13, 2010 at 5:33 am

    I didn’t know Jasper (other than Jasper Carrot of course), Janders, or that particular use of Job.
    I plan to start using Jasper.
    Thanks for an interesting and amusing post.
    All the best

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    June 12, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    I didn’t recognize “jasper”, nor was I correct with “janders”. I seem to recall janders used in some of Horace Kephart’s narrative in his book “Our Southern Highlanders” which is a much prized possession won from one of your monthly drawings.

  • Reply
    June 12, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Never heard of jasper and jander, but I’ve heard family use the others.
    Also have never seen those kinds of berries. They look kinda like grapes so I figure they are as sweet as they look. xxoo

  • Reply
    June 12, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    I like Jasper a lot. Sure could fill in for a lot of other words I have been known to use to describe rascals!

  • Reply
    Kim Campbell
    June 12, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    OK, I didn’t know any of these!! lolol!

  • Reply
    June 12, 2010 at 9:02 am

    I must add; Friday my dental hygenist was jawing with her tech aid while working on me. She, poor dear, is from “away” and was going on about our mystifying expressions. She said someone had told her his tooth felt bealed (sp?) and she had no idea what that meant. With my mouth full, I said, “I do”. She took her hands out of my mouth and asked. I said it means infected. Then she asked me about redding up a room. I explained that that is a quick tidy-up. Then I recommended The Blind Pig & Acorn to her. It seems so funny that the expressions we’ve heard and used all our lives could be foreign to someone!

  • Reply
    Janet Pressley
    June 12, 2010 at 1:21 am

    Never heard these words when growing up in Highland Park in Canton – but find them very interesting now. Thanks for the lesson! Nana

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    June 12, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Hi Tipper
    I’ve heard jasper, jaw and jerked. Mostly though instead of jerked we used snached. “He snached her by the hair” Pitchin’ a hissy fit is common usage at out house.

  • Reply
    Fishing Guy
    June 11, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Tipper: Jeese, those were some tough J words.

  • Reply
    June 11, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    I never really put job and poke together. I guess that’s why my Dad always told me to get the “jobber stick” when setting posts!

  • Reply
    June 11, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    I heard all those words being used when I was growing up. I still use jaw and jerk. Thanks for the monthly test!!!!

  • Reply
    June 11, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    I only knew “Jerked” in this one. I guess I really am a Northerner! 🙂 I hope you have a wonderful weekend, Tipper!

  • Reply
    June 11, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Lanny-the small handful is all I got-and I ate them-I didn’t even share one : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at

  • Reply
    June 11, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Yay!! I knew all of these,and have used them. I really didn’t know the meaning of Jasper; we just used it when we didn’t know what else to call somebody!
    I love these tests.

  • Reply
    Grace Willard
    June 11, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    I’ve never heard anyone use jasper, job, or janders.
    I usually hear use jaw as jaw-jackin’. As in: those old women spend all day jaw jackin’ on the phone.
    I know lots of people who say jerk. I lot of folks also say jerkin’ around which means procrastinating.
    I from the northern part of Appalachia, and I think words vary depending on where your at. 😀

  • Reply
    June 11, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Am not familiar with jasper and janders, but heard my folks using the other. Didn’t know what a sarvis tree is so looked up on the web and am wondering if it’s the same as a wild cherry? Don’t think it grows here. Would like to see the wood and try the berries. Enjoy them for us.

  • Reply
    June 11, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Well, I knew Jaw and Jerked. Both of which get used once in awhile. I like the monthly vocabulary tests!

  • Reply
    June 11, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    i have never seen sarvis berries. i knew all the words except the Janders. haven’t heard that one I love these word test

  • Reply
    Dee from Tennessee
    June 11, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Jasper and janders are new to me. Rarely, if at all, hear “jaw” used that way any more.

  • Reply
    Pat in east TN
    June 11, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Job and Janders are the two I’m not familiar with.
    Love the picture of the berries … very pretty!

  • Reply
    June 11, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    I was only familiar with jaw and jerked this time, the others must be more southern expressions. Though we’d be more likely to say that the man snatched the woman by the hair and jerked her out of the store. And hissy fits are dead common up here too! I can never use that expression with a straight face though!

  • Reply
    June 11, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    I too have heard all of these but janders. I don’t hear jasper much anymore, but it reminded me of Jezebel for a rowdy, loose woman. hehe The others I hear daily. It’s funny, I don’t even think of them as being place driven words. lol
    Oh, by the way, Ivy is loving the music here. It’s the quietest she’s been all day. 🙂

  • Reply
    June 11, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Hi Tip, I’ve never hear of jasper or janders.. I don’t think I’ve heard ‘jab’ pronounced like ‘job’…. Hmmmm … But—I have heard of jaw and jerked… I still use the word ‘jerked’ like that. ha…
    Never heard of Sarvis berries… Look a little like crabapple berries to me.

  • Reply
    June 11, 2010 at 10:24 am

    I use jaw and jerked all the time but I have never heard of the others, though Jasper seems reasonable…thanks for the education!

  • Reply
    June 11, 2010 at 9:50 am

    We, my childhood family, always used Jasper for a mischievous child. I occasionally use it for grandboys. They’re not really mischievous just cute as heck. And “jaw” was pejorative for talkin’ for sure. Did you get enough berries for sarvis berry jam?

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    June 11, 2010 at 9:02 am

    Don’t think I have ever heard Jasper or Janders. The rest I’ve heard all my life.
    The hospital where I worked had a tall tree with red berries on it. Probably the same Sarvis variety. It had pretty blooms. Anyway, in the late summer the birds would eat those berries and fly into the big glass windows of our cafeteria and either knock themselves senseless or kill them. Seems those sweet berries fermented!!!
    Maintenance had to cut the tree down!

  • Reply
    Just Jackie
    June 11, 2010 at 8:20 am

    I love the vocab. test. I had never heard jasper or janders before. I used to tell my kids to behave or I would jerk a knot in them.

  • Reply
    John Dilbeck
    June 11, 2010 at 8:03 am

    Good morning, Tipper.
    I’ve never heard Jasper or Janders before your test.
    I’ve heard and used the other three frequently.
    Once when I was a teenager (way back in the 20th century!) I made the mistake of telling Pop that I was bored.
    He looked at me for a moment and said, “OK. So stop jawin’ and go jerk weeds out of the garden. There’s too much that needs doin’ around here for you to sit around complainin’ that you’re bored.”
    I never again told him I was bored. (Thought it, yes. Said it out loud, no.)
    All the best,

  • Reply
    June 11, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Tipper I am right with you I also use those words on a daily basis except janders and and jasper I don’t hear alot of these days but I have. Thanks for that picture of the sarvis berries now I know what those were above my house that none of us could identify.
    Keep up the great work!!!!!!!

  • Reply
    Misty Taylor
    June 11, 2010 at 7:45 am

    We used to eat something that looked similar. We had no idea what it was, it’s a wonder we didn’t die with all the stuff we used to put in our mouths!

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