Appalachia Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 29

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

  1. Never mind
  2. Nice Turned
  3. Nary
  4. Nature
  5. Nubin


  1. Never mind: makes no difference; doesn’t matter, forget about it. “I asked you to pick up the clothes but never mind I’ll do it myself!” or “It makes no never mind to me just do it the way you think it ought to be done.”
  2. Nice turned: well mannered, polite, nice. “I wish she’d a stayed with that first beau she had, he was nice turned and had money too.” or “I always knew that boy would be something big, he has such a nice turn.”
  3. Nary: none; not one. “He said he was going to school but he didn’t have nary a book with him. If you ask me he was headed to the creek to go fishing.”
  4. Nature: naturally inclined. “I knew it would upset Mother. She has such a nervous nature it don’t take much to send her into a fit of bawling.”
  5. Nubin: small ear of corn. “I always take the nubins and make pickled corn on the cob. That way they fit in the jar better.”

I’m familiar with all of this month’s words-and still hear them on a regular basis. How did you do on the test? Hope you’ll leave me a comment and let me know.



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  • Reply
    Nancy M.
    March 13, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    I’ve heard them all except the second one, don’t think I’ve heard it!

  • Reply
    Fishing Guy
    March 9, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    Tipper: Did you ever have a nubin of a pencil that you used to the shortest legnth possible.

  • Reply
    March 9, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Yep, heard them all and use most of ’em. LOL

  • Reply
    March 9, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    I only got 3 of them. I’m English so I have an excuse. Hubby also got 3.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 9, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    I know all these words but have heard nubin the least.
    I like the pictures with this post….wonder what she is thinking!

  • Reply
    March 9, 2011 at 6:56 am

    -Thanks! I think I used gommed on one of my first tests-or maybe on a post before I started the vocab tests.With my girls-gom gets used a lot around here : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at

  • Reply
    March 9, 2011 at 6:51 am

    Suzi-great one! We also use turn in a negative way. Like ‘she has such a hateful turn no wonder no one likes her’.
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at

  • Reply
    March 9, 2011 at 5:58 am

    The term ‘nice turn’ still makes me giggle 🙂 First heard it in central Ky.

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    March 8, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    Knew them all & have one more for you-“I’m not turned that way”-meaning some particular trait is not in my character. Example:Some people like to gossip about the neighbors, but I’m not turned that way.

  • Reply
    Sherry Whitaker
    March 8, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    I passed the test! I was very familiar with all those words. I am new to your site and love it. Brings back good memories of my home in Tennessee.

  • Reply
    March 8, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    Hi Tipper,
    I’ve heard all those words my whole life. I’m behind on your vocabulary tests. Have you ever heard or used “gommy” as in , “That child made a gommy mess!”

  • Reply
    March 8, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    I just came across your blog today while blog hopping. I love this test – the only one I didn’t know was Nice turned. The one I use the most I think is never mind.

  • Reply
    Helen G.
    March 8, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Nubbin is vaguely familiar… lurking somewhere in the recesses of my mind but all the rest are actively used in my talking. And I have to agree with oldentimes… the words lend such seasoning and flavors to any conversation.

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    March 8, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Nice turned is new to me — except as applies to spoken or written language. All the others are familiar.

  • Reply
    Larry Proffitt
    March 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Tipper , All these words are in common use here on the other side of the mountain , most especially by old folks like me who grew up before TV . We really enjoy your work. Thanks , Larry Proffitt

  • Reply
    Pat in east TN
    March 8, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    I’m not familiar with ‘nice turn’, but the others are used all the time.

  • Reply
    March 8, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    I’m not familiar with the examples for ‘nice turned’, nor with nubin.
    Keep the tests coming, for I do so enjoy them!

  • Reply
    March 8, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Very familiar with all of these. We use them all the time.

  • Reply
    March 8, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Enjoyed the word test today. I knew and use them all in usual
    conversations. Don’t you just love
    to get right in the middle of a
    bunch of old timers and listen to
    them talk? I imagine some folks
    have trouble digesting the way
    they treat the ‘kings’ language.

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    March 8, 2011 at 11:04 am

    don’t forget “hissy” – I can’t count the times I heard that one – “she’s gonna have a hissy” or “I bout near had a hissy”. Years later I had a coworker from England who said the same — I asked her where the phrase came from and she said “it’s a hysterical fit!”. Well, duh, Hysterical/hissy – makes perfect sense 🙂

  • Reply
    Debora Kerr
    March 8, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Never heard nubin or nice turned, but everyone was always saying “Don’t make me no never mind.”

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    March 8, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Yep me too used them all, we also use nubbin to indicate a small amount of anything. As in I’ll just have a nubbin of that candy bar.

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    March 8, 2011 at 10:50 am

    In the Navy a “Nubin” is a new, untrained, unqualified sailor.

  • Reply
    Bob Aufdemberge
    March 8, 2011 at 10:28 am

    It seems that most of those terms were not limited to use in Appalachia. We used all of them except “nice turned” out here on the edge of the Great Plains. Like some of the others, I’m pretty sure “nubin” should have two b’s (it, by the way was probably the one out of the bunch I heard most as a kid). And if you saw ther movie “True Grit” (either the original one from 1969, or the recent remake) you may recall Rooster Cogburn telling Mattie, “Why, you’re no bigger than a corn nubbin.”

  • Reply
    John Dilbeck
    March 8, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Good morning, Tipper.
    I enjoyed your test, again.
    I know all of these and use them frequently.
    It’s interesting how each of the words make me think of a different person in my family who would have been more likely to use that word regularly.
    Another way I use “nice turn” is to describe someone’s writing, as in recognizing and enjoying a “nicely turned phrase.”

  • Reply
    March 8, 2011 at 9:54 am

    I know and use all but nice turned. We use nubbin for nearly anything small or mostly used up; like a small potato, a short pencil stub, or a cigarette butt. I love these tests, keep ’em coming!

  • Reply
    March 8, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Nice turned is new to me but all the rest are common and we use them regularly!

  • Reply
    March 8, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Not heard of nubin. Am familiar with the others.

  • Reply
    Jerry McKelvy
    March 8, 2011 at 9:09 am

    We always spelled it “nubbin”. We have a Nubbin Hill community near us.

  • Reply
    March 8, 2011 at 8:26 am

    nubin is new to me, the rest i use all the time and the one that makes my husband furious is “never mind” he goes off like a fire cracker if i say it to him. love the photos, beautiful

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    March 8, 2011 at 8:16 am

    I don’t remember ever hearing “nice turned”, but all the others are familiar.

  • Reply
    March 8, 2011 at 8:12 am

    I knew them all but nice turned. I use them all but nice turned and nubin…for corn. I think “nice turned” is a nice one.,,makes me think of a pretty, wooden piece.

  • Reply
    Nancy @ A Rural Journal
    March 8, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Nubin and nice turned are new ones for me. 🙂

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    March 8, 2011 at 8:04 am

    Tipper–As usual, all the words and phrases were familiar to me. I’m not sure whether that’s a commentary on my raisin’, my lifelong exposure to mountain talk, my education, or what. I always though nubbin was spelled with two bs and pronounced thus, and I looked it up in the “Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English.” They have it that way as well. I’ve also heard to word used to describe something small or a runt–such as “that pup ain’t nothin’ but a nubbin.” I always enjoy the vocabulary offerings, because they make me think about how I talk.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    March 8, 2011 at 7:11 am

    Never mind that those were such well-turned folks a’sellin’ their home place cheap, ‘cause them “knuckleheads” that bought it had no nature in them to grow even a nubbin on that land!…
    Love it…such fun!
    Don’t use nubbin all that much….The rest I have used or in jest..Nary a bite of cake left!
    Thanks Tipper

  • Reply
    March 8, 2011 at 6:10 am

    I did well on your vocabulary quiz. Most of those words and phrases were common, whilst I was ‘jerked up’ in the Ozarks of Missouri.
    Here on our ridges and in the hollers, they are becoming rarer as technology replaces our words and thoughts with homogenous terms and many of the older generation have now ‘went on’.
    We need to stop being ‘dilatory’ about saving these wonderful words and their meanings! They bring a pleasant flavor to language and a rich seasoning to conversation

  • Reply
    Vera Guthrie
    March 8, 2011 at 6:10 am

    I passed!!! I always liked eating the nubbins when I was small and you would nary a complaint out of me if got the nubbins while the others ate larger corn on the cob!

  • Reply
    Dee from Tennessee
    March 8, 2011 at 4:32 am

    Not heard “nubin”….and the way I used to hear nice turned was: “she had a nice turn to her.” —speaking of someone who had passed away — haven’t heard that in years though.

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