Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 22

Time for this month’s vocabulary test-take it and see how you do:

  1. Kindly
  2. Knee baby
  3. Kiver
  4. Kilt
  5. Knowed


  1. Kindly– kind of, somewhat, rather. “Pap said he was feeling kindly sickly and took to his bed.”
  2. Knee baby– a toddler. “Last time I saw her was down to Johnson’s Store. She had all those young’uns with her-the least one was just a knee baby.”
  3. Kiver– cover. “After the last frost in the spring of the year Mother used to put all the kivers out to air in the sun.”
  4. Kilt– killed. “Old man Ledford has kilt more bear than most folks have ever even seen in their whole live long life.”
  5. Knowed– past tense and past participle of know. “I knowed that boy was trouble the first time I laid eyes on him.”

This month-I’m familiar with all the words. The 3 I hear on a regular basis are: kindly, kilt, and knowed.

So how did you do? Leave me a comment and let me know.



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  • Reply
    Elizabeth Swanson
    August 28, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    What a wonderful discovery! Born and raised in the mountains, I feel blessed. Now in the golden yesrs, I still carry on the old ways and I Thank You for introducing others to our heritage! The pride I feel when looking at my shelves filled with veggies and fruits we “put up” for the winter, and talking about “hog killing” weather, making liver mush, or laying by the garden. My mountains, my people.

  • Reply
    August 21, 2010 at 7:31 am

    Got them all except “kivers”.

  • Reply
    Charline Venturini
    August 17, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    Ditto – got them all except ‘knee baby’…
    Love it!

  • Reply
    Matthew Timbs
    August 17, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    My family uses “Kilt” to refer to the wilted branch lettuce salad that Mr. Casada referred to. I’m from northeast Tennessee. My wife’s mother’s family is from southwest virginia and they refer to the same dish as “scalded lettuce”. They use the same hot grease technique but instead of vinegar, they use buttermilk. Completely different taste but also good.

  • Reply
    Jeanna M
    August 14, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    I have to say I have never heard knee baby before. Of course I have heard all the others and most of them I hear regularly. What’s sad is a lot of these sayings are going away.
    Thanks for another great test.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 14, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Never heard knee Baby but know the remainder. I am familiar with kilt as in “papa kilt a bar”. Like Jim I am also familiar with kilt lettuce….a fine meal.
    Thanks Tiller, I love these vocabulary tests.

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    August 14, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Thank you, Tipper, for what I believe to one of our country’s most important links to Appalachian heritage.

  • Reply
    Dee from Tennessee
    August 14, 2010 at 12:28 am

    knee baby – hadn’t heard it.
    Even though I usually “know” most of the words, when I really think about it — I rarely hear them anymore.

  • Reply
    August 13, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    I seem to be in the majority and knowed them all but ‘knee baby.’ I wonder why Word underlines ‘knowed?’ 🙂

  • Reply
    Kim Campbell
    August 13, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    I knew 1,4, & 5!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    August 13, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Tipper–Like my brother, knee baby was new to me. On the other hand, I can add a second meaning for “kilt,” one with a culinary focus which I’ve heard all my life. “Kilt” branch lettuce or “kilt” ramps refer to the common mountain practice of pouring hot bacon grease or, better still, hot grease from fried streaked meat, over some of the earliest offerings of the good earth in spring.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    August 13, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Hey Tipper, knew all of these. My granny and older aunts all called a knee baby, a lap baby.

  • Reply
    August 13, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Hi Tipper, this same vocabulary was and still is used in southern Mississippi. I have heard the knee-baby and also here if the child could not walk it is called an arm tote. I made a 100! 🙂

  • Reply
    August 13, 2010 at 8:00 am

    I’ve heard or said kilt or knowed most of my life. But I’ve never heard the first three.

  • Reply
    August 13, 2010 at 1:03 am

    I knowed ’em all!!!! Thanky kindly.

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    August 12, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    i love these tests… funny that we dont live in your corner of the world… but ive never heard of knee baby.. or kiver lol
    but at least i knowed a few of them lol
    hope you are staying cool… its been a warm on here in pa..
    big ladybug hugs

  • Reply
    August 12, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    All the words are familiar except
    “knee-baby”, and some of my friends use the expression “shot-
    who” quite often. Good job explaining the vocabulary words.

  • Reply
    August 12, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    I love this..I knew all but “knee baby” also..When I first moved to NC I was shocked how some of the older folk it does nuttin’ but make me grin from ear to ear.

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    August 12, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Remember having heard them all and used some of them.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    August 12, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    I knowed them all too! They were used daily in my house. School changed my speaking, but I still say kindly, kiver, and kilt on occasion. Mostly kindly.

  • Reply
    My Carolina Kitchen
    August 12, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    Tipper, like the others I’m so glad you are documenting this. I had not heard knee baby either, but knew most of the others. I have heard a similar phrase – knee high to a grasshopper.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    August 12, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    I ’bout “kilt” myself laughing so hard at this vocabulary test!
    When about the same time… I was keeping on, wouldn’t you have “knowed” that the neighbors little “knee baby” kindly started to “squal”, after hit skeered him making him drop his “sugar tit”. I had to “kiver” him a little with my arm so’s he wouldn’t see my “happy tears” a fallin’… and cry out more causing the dogs to “holler up” like they had “treed” a coon.
    Thanks…for the fun

  • Reply
    Julie at Elisharose
    August 12, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    I have heard kilt and knowed. You got me on the other ones, but I could guess was a knee baby was.
    I should take my laptop over to Aunt Sarah’s. She grew up in Philadelphia, Mississippi. I bet she knows most of your vocabulary words.

  • Reply
    August 12, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    I’ve always heard “kindly” used as an adjective of “kind”.
    As in “I thank you kindly”.
    Great post! <3

  • Reply
    August 12, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Knee baby was the only one I hadn’t heard before. But don’t hear many of them used in conversation any longer. I think the use of a lot of these words are going away as the older generation passes.

  • Reply
    Nancy Wigmore
    August 12, 2010 at 11:47 am

    I am extremely familiar with knee baby, because I was the knee baby in my family. Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful day!

  • Reply
    August 12, 2010 at 10:58 am

    I knew all but knee baby…I had heard titty baby…

  • Reply
    August 12, 2010 at 10:42 am

    I love knee baby! I figured the rest out. I love these, Tipper.

  • Reply
    August 12, 2010 at 10:11 am

    sitting here with a big grin on my face, i knew all of them but knee baby, and i could guess what that one meant. Kivers is the one that made me smile. i had forgotten about it. love these tests

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    August 12, 2010 at 9:59 am

    I’ve routinely heard all but knee baby — what I’ve heard is lap baby and tittie baby.

  • Reply
    August 12, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Caro-I’ve heard folks say ‘shot who’ for what around here too : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at

  • Reply
    August 12, 2010 at 9:34 am

    didn’t ever hear anyone say ‘knee-baby’ and if they ever said ‘kindly’ I thought they said ‘kinda’, I guess. All the rest I have heard in common use. Some jargon is not much different from the way people speak in South GA.
    But there is a funny instance that comes to mind. There is one old guy, who, if he doesn’t hear your correctly, doesn’t say “WHAT” and ask you to repeat yourself. He looks at you and says “Shot Who?”–Caro

  • Reply
    August 12, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Knee baby was a new one to me. I did know all of the rest.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    August 12, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Some good’uns, Tipper.
    Knee baby was a new’un for me. You threw in young’uns – although you misspelt it – for free, I reckon.
    Love your work – and I’m mighty proud to know you!

  • Reply
    kenneth o. hoffman
    August 12, 2010 at 9:04 am

    tipper:knowed a percentile,but not knee baby,easy to figger though,i alays could recon some. i thought i was kilt onst in a car smackup,but long for now.k.o.h

  • Reply
    August 12, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Kilt and knowed are pretty common around earshot for me. Gosh I love that you’re documenting these! I forget that not everyone knows how we talk!

  • Reply
    Vera Guthrie
    August 12, 2010 at 8:23 am

    I knowed em all LOL

  • Reply
    Patty Hall
    August 12, 2010 at 8:06 am

    Heard all but knee baby.
    Patty H.

  • Reply
    August 12, 2010 at 7:58 am

    Have heard of all except “knee baby”. Don’t hear people using any of them now as much as when I was a kid.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    August 12, 2010 at 7:45 am

    I correctly guessed knee baby, but had not heard the term.
    All the others I heard growing up.

  • Reply
    Jay Henderson
    August 12, 2010 at 3:23 am

    I knowed 4 of 5 — all but “knee baby” — thankee kindly.

  • Reply
    Boyd Guthrie
    August 12, 2010 at 1:27 am

    knee baby was a new one for me, the others were common when I was growing up.
    The vocabulary tests are fun addition.

  • Reply
    August 12, 2010 at 12:41 am

    I “knowed” kilt and knowed this time. I’ve heard knee baby, but only in books, I think.
    Another fun one!

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