Appalachian Dialect Heritage

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 3

Time for another Appalachian Vocabulary Test.

  1. Blackberry winter
  2. Blow
  3. Blue john
  4. Boot
  5. Brought on
  6. Budget
  7. Bumfuzzle
  8. Buss
  9. Bust a gut
  10. Branch

 

  1. Blackberry winter-the last cold spell in the spring “I was all ready to go barefoot for the summer and then blackberry winter showed up.”
  2. Blow-to brag or one who brags “Everybody knows he’s the biggest blow in the county.”
  3. Blue john-milk (skim) “Hope Ole Bessie get’s healed up for I need some blue john.”
  4. Boot-extra item given when making a trade “When I traded Ole Bessie to Uncle Ronnie I made him give me his 4-10 as boot.”
  5. Brought on-caused, self inflicted “She brought on all that trouble by marrying that sorry man!”
  6. Budget-luggage “Put my budget in the back room.”
  7. Bumfuzzle-confused or puzzled “Politicians bumfuzzle me to no end.”
  8. Buss-kiss “Come over here and buss your Granny.”
  9. Bust a gut-laugh, eat to much, work extremely hard “Every time I sit down to Sunday dinner I bust a gut.” (Pap uses this one all the time)
  10. Branch-small creek “Yellow root grows down by the branch.”

There are three words in this set I’ve never heard-blue john, budget, and buss. I wonder if the words are common in a different part of Appalachia or maybe the words were used farther back in time? All the rest I hear on a regular basis.

Hope you’ll leave me a comment and let me know if you knew any of this month’s words.

Tipper

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44 Comments

  • Reply
    Vera
    June 4, 2009 at 11:34 am

    I don’t remember hearing Blackberry winter, buss or budget. Blue john is milk that all the cream has been taken from, if you have ever milked a cow and let the milk set for a while all the cream will raise to the top and can be taken off, what is left is blue john. You need lots of cream to churn butter.

  • Reply
    Amy @ parkcitygirl
    January 10, 2009 at 8:10 am

    The only one I knew was “bust a gut” Thanks for the lesson!

  • Reply
    trisha too
    January 9, 2009 at 6:59 am

    Well, I failed this one miserably!
    Only “bust a gut.”
    🙂

  • Reply
    Apple
    January 7, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    I’ve never heard half of these. I was very surprised you hadn’t heard buss as that was quite common here when I was growing up but I haven’t heard it in awhile. We would say “I had to throw in the kitchen sink to boot!” Brought on and bust a gut I think are universal. Fun quiz!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    January 7, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    Never heard budget that I can recall and rarely heard buzz.
    I love these quizzes, makes me reach back to remember.
    Thanks to Nancy for sharing the lovely May poem.

  • Reply
    Shirley
    January 7, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Buzz and budget were the ones I hadn’t heard. I drank blue john when we had a cow on the farm here in NE Arkansas.

  • Reply
    Brenda Kay Ledford
    January 7, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    Tipper,
    Great test. Even though I’m a native of this region, I had some problems with the quiz.
    Brenda Kay Ledford

  • Reply
    Dee from Tennessee
    January 7, 2009 at 8:12 am

    Off topic here, Tipper, but sending special greetings to you today on “Old Christmas.”
    My grandfather always, always mentioned it and I’m the only one in the family who mentions it now. (My sweet hubby just smiles when I mention it. He got to know and to love my grandfather also so it does make January 6 a wee bit special for us both.)

  • Reply
    Carolyn A.
    January 7, 2009 at 8:12 am

    I knew only 4, buss, brought on, bust a gut and branch. Guess I’ve been away from the hills too long. 🙂
    Thanks for the great picture of the oil tank. We used to have one in the back yard on Fulton Avenue and as children would pretend it was a horse. Summer sun made it too hot to ride though. Miss that old house. xxoo

  • Reply
    noble pig
    January 7, 2009 at 8:12 am

    Love, love bumfuzzle…it’s beyond perfect.

  • Reply
    SandyCarlson
    January 7, 2009 at 8:12 am

    That was fun. I feel like packing my budget and moving down your way. God bless!

  • Reply
    Applie
    January 6, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    LOL I love these. I was able to guess two of the words. 🙂 Most of them just bumfuzzled me.

  • Reply
    Leslie
    January 6, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Blow, budget and buss….never heard these at all. But will be adding them to my vocabulary.

  • Reply
    Dejoni
    January 6, 2009 at 11:38 am

    I love bumfuzzled…it’s one of my favorite and most used words.

  • Reply
    Becky
    January 6, 2009 at 10:41 am

    I’ve only heard half of those. But with this weather we’re having this year, we may possibly call it a blackberry winter.

  • Reply
    Terry
    January 6, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Hi Tipper, did not know buss or budget. All the others I have heard and used. My “folk”, as my granny used to call them, are orginally from Georgia. She would be all in a tizzy, cleaning and baking, saying, “the Georgia folk are coming soon.” I wish I were older back then so I could remember the stories that were told. “Youth is wasted on the young”. Mark Twain? P.S, Granny Sue, I loved the story. Anyone read Marjorie Rawlings books on the people of Florida in the early 1900’s. The Yearling comes to mind. Great read.

  • Reply
    Mary
    January 6, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Tipper,
    This is very interesting. I did know what buss meant but had never heard of blackberry winter, budget, blue-john or boot. Grandpa had a “branch” on his property. Thanks for the interesting read.
    Blessings,
    Mary

  • Reply
    Lisa
    January 6, 2009 at 10:41 am

    I had not heard blue john, buss or budget either. Brought on and bust a gut are everyday utterances from me though!

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    January 6, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Tipper, can you tell me where you may have heard or seen “budget” used as it is here? Do you know of a region or family line that still uses the word?
    The other words I know and have used, well … I only use “blue-john” teasingly with my mother-in-law. Up to now, she’s the only one I ever heard use the word regularly. She’s Irish, 2nd generation but I’m not suggesting they brought the word here.
    Anyway, “budget”, as used here, seems a rare expression … coming from an old, old, European derivitive. I sure would like to know if you know of a particular clan or region that still uses the word.
    I really enjoy the study of words.
    Good fun! Thank you, again.

  • Reply
    Kim Campbell
    January 6, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Bust a gut, blow, brought on, and a variation of bumfuzzled…

  • Reply
    The Texican
    January 6, 2009 at 10:41 am

    I think I have heard, used and heard variations on all of your list except “Buss”. Instead of “budget” I’ve heard people say “matched Greyhound luggage” meaning two brown grocery sacks tied up with twine. By the way, was that an old “Still Pot” in the first picture? “Vincent Black Lighting 52” is one of my favorite Bluegrass numbers. Thanks for the verbal trips back to the roots of our language. Pappy

  • Reply
    Jennifer in OR
    January 6, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Oh my goodness, Granny Sue is a hoot!! Thanks for the fun vocab lesson, Tipper. 🙂
    Blessings, Jen

  • Reply
    Debbie
    January 6, 2009 at 10:41 am

    I’m bustin’-a-gut reading these! I love when you put up new words!

  • Reply
    nancy Simpson
    January 5, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Hi Tipper, I had fun but missed two, blue john and budget. I love the words blackberry winter. Blackberry hits here in western NC when the blackberries bloom, May. I wrote a poem that was published in Davidson Miscellany and Night Student:
    WHITE LIE
    End of May, and we have nothing
    better to do that walk on the mountain,
    our cardigans closed against the cold.
    You cannot take back one lie,
    not even white ones, subtle
    as berry blossoms beside the path.
    I kick a stone and tell you I believe
    we will pull free from brambles.
    Old timers call this Blackberry Winter,
    a temporary cold spell, quick to pass.
    http://[email protected]

  • Reply
    Farmchick
    January 5, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Hmmm… I know/use all of those words except: budget, boot, and blow. Not too shabby for the city transplant.

  • Reply
    Dee from Tennessee
    January 5, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    No for “Blue John” or “budget.” Knew what “buss” meant, but more than likely, probably have read it, rather than heard it being actually used in that context.
    Not only do we have blackberry winter, we also have dogwood winter too.

  • Reply
    Lanny
    January 5, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Well now on the coast, in modern times, if you were a business man a “blackberry winter” might be the time that you are without your blackberry cuz you dropped in the toilet. That really just blows. If you just hadn’t used that stupid blue john in the park, you wouldn’t have had to waste your time to re-boot all your stuff on a new blackberry.
    But now I’m stymied, cuz I don’t know what to do with “brought it” so I won’t be “bringin’ it” any more.
    Have a great day,
    PS I’m starting to think I have some relations from back there ’cause I recognize several of these words and their correct meaning as you state in your post!

  • Reply
    Janet
    January 5, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Hi Tipper, I had not heard of blue john or budget. There is a certain day in early June that if it rains it predicts if there will be a lot of blackberries that year or not, don’t know if that has anything to do with the term Blackberry winter or not, tho.

  • Reply
    Patty Hall
    January 5, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Granny Sue-lol! that was good.
    I have heard of all but those 3 as well. Although seems I have heard that luggage was called a budget. I’ve heard of a fuss-budget.
    thanks for the lesson today

  • Reply
    solsticedreamer
    January 5, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    i have heard a few of them in books i have read. this is making me think of regional words we have here…

  • Reply
    twosquaremeals
    January 5, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Once again, I knew the same words you did and had never heard the three you hadn’t. We must have grown up in similar parts of Appalachia. Or maybe it is a generational thing…I should ask my grandma which she knows.

  • Reply
    Helen G.
    January 5, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    I knew buss, but blue-john got me. And I’d never heard budget for luggage. I’d heard of blackberry winter, but if you’d have asked I wouldn’t have been able to define it for you. I just assumed when my aunts spoke of it back in Tennessee it meant it was a good year for blackberries.
    Helen

  • Reply
    Just Jackie
    January 5, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    I knew all but two, blue john and budget. I didn’t learn Blackberry Winter until I moved to NC. My favorite “country” word is fixin. Drives my city kids nuts when I say I’m fixin to do something. LOL

  • Reply
    Vera
    January 5, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    I never heard Blackberry Winter, Budget or Buss.
    Now, as for Blue John if you let milk set for a while after milking, all the cream will come to the top, if you take all that cream off then you have “Blue John” It even looks kind of blue.

  • Reply
    Egghead
    January 5, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Out of all of those I only have heard of three (buss, brought on, and bust a gut). The rest are new to me. Thanks for the new vocabulary lesson. So interesting.

  • Reply
    Fishing Guy
    January 5, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Tipper: I may have heard half of them. I wonder how many people knew what the 4-10 was? I wouldn’t think many. I have never shot one myself but a lot of 16 and 12 gauge.

  • Reply
    GaFarmWomanPam
    January 5, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Hey Tipper,
    I haven’t heard of those three either. One that I use that my husband made fun of when we first met was, been had. Like, I been had that dress a while.
    I grew up in North Georgia and it seems like each community would have it’s own ways and vocubulary.
    Branch and bust a gut is very familiar.
    Have a great day.
    Pam

  • Reply
    Valarie Lea
    January 5, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Ok we use half of those 🙂

  • Reply
    TennZen
    January 5, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    I have not heard of blue john, budget or buss, but I have heard of “buzz” as a kiss in Middle Tennessee. I asked my granny about it and she said she always thought it had to do with honeybees and honey – as in, “gimme some sugar.” Honeybees make honey, honey is sweet as love, and bees buzz.
    I don’t know – it’s all country wisdom. I’d love to find out where “blue john” came from!

  • Reply
    Teresa
    January 5, 2009 at 11:11 am

    I’m the same, hadn’t heard those three…
    Here’s one I learned yesterday. I was giving Hubby my best innocent face (while plotting an attack on his ticklish neck) when he said, “you’re looking wolfish.” He said his granny used to say that about the grandkids, when they were up to something sneaky.

  • Reply
    Kathleen
    January 5, 2009 at 11:11 am

    Well, I have to say… I have never heard these terms before!{: Very interesting! I just got the chance to catch up and read your other posts, and so enjoyed doing so. Blessings, Kathleen

  • Reply
    Paula
    January 5, 2009 at 11:11 am

    Brought on and Bust-a-gut are words we use as well, though I haven’t heard the rest of them. My favorite from this list is Blackberry Winter. I may have to start using that. Out in our part of the country we have Chinooks~ a warm wind that blows during the night and starts to melt the snow and ice. Is that a word you use?

  • Reply
    Diane ( Crafty Passions)
    January 5, 2009 at 11:11 am

    I enjoyed that, we have some strange sayings here up North too.
    Diane

  • Reply
    Granny Sue
    January 5, 2009 at 11:11 am

    The only one I didnt know was budget, Tipper. I’ve never heard that expression before. I’ve heard blow used differently too, as in “well blow me for a fool if he didn’t hornswoggle me.” The others are all familiar to me.
    I guess it would be hard for someone from out of this area to understand if you said, “I traded ol’ Bessie to Hap John and he says he’s gettin’ a gallon of blue john from her, but I know he’s just a big blow because he’d have to bust a gut to git that much and he’s a layabout. I’m bumfuzzled as to why people believe that blowhard. His troubles are all brought on by his big talk. He wants to buss every female comes close and last I saw him he was hightailin’ it up the branch with his budget a-swingin’, tryin’ to git away from some big gandydancer who caught Hap John with his girl and just rared up on him. Don’t reckon we’ll see Hap John soon; he’ll be hidin’ the bresh for a good while unless we get a blackberry winter that freezes him out.”

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