Appalachia Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 36

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 36
Time for this month’s Appalachian Vocabulary Test-take it and see how you do.

  1. Ruination
  2. Rotgut
  3. Risin
  4. Ragler
  5. Ruction

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 36 2


  1. Ruination: total destruction. “The other side of Blood Mountain is a total ruination after that tornado went through there last year.”
  2. Rotgut: poor quality liquor. “I ain’t a buying no more of his rotgut whiskey. If I decide to get me a drink or two I’ll get it from the store from now on.”
  3. Risin: a sore bump or swelled area. “After we came on back from camping, I had the sorest risin you ever saw on the back of my leg. I reckon a spider bit me.”
  4. Ragler: regular. “Well I don’t know about you, but ragler gas is all I use. Why who in the word could afford high test?”
  5. Ruction: a fuss; a loud disagreement. “I heard they had a big ruction down at the county meeting. They said they all got in a fuss about that new highway.”

I hear or use all of this month’s words on a ragler basis-except Ruction. The only place I’ve heard that one used-was back in my Appalachian Studies college class.

Hope you’ll leave me a comment and tell me how you did on the test.




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  • Reply
    Nancy schmidt
    January 18, 2019 at 9:47 am

    My friend raised in the Boston area says that the Irish use the word “ructions” very commonly.

  • Reply
    susie swanson
    November 10, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Heard all of them and still say them myself..Good lesson..Keep up the good work..

  • Reply
    Barbara Daca
    November 10, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    You ever get a risin – we got sum black salve that will fix that risin right up!

  • Reply
    November 10, 2011 at 6:50 am

    I’ve heard Ruination and Rotgut, but never Risin or Ragler. Instead of Ruction, I’ve always heard something similar….Ruckus.

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    November 9, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Heard of them all but risin.

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    November 9, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    I use the first three & ruination is one of my favorite words of all time- I knew exactly what it meant the first time I ever heard it & I was really young. However, it was pronounced rurnation. I also read ruction for the first time in Kephart, but I don’t necessarily think he is the expert on all things Appalachain. That’s a different story for another day!

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    November 9, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    I had a risin once and just after a bath it was particularly swollen and had a prominent ‘head’ My dad sterilized a needle and pricked it — he then said if you don’t get the core out it will keep festering. He took a length of thread and held it horizontally above it, just barely touching it. He roled it with his fingers and sure enough the ‘core’ caught on the string and emptied out. No squeezing or bruising. I thought it was magic and it sure felt better!

  • Reply
    November 9, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Another fun test! I hear and use all but risin and ruction. We use ruckus here in Ohio too.

  • Reply
    November 9, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    I have heard and also used Nos.1 & 2, but never heard of the rest. Dorothy

  • Reply
    Rick Kratzke
    November 9, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    I really do like it when you do these post. I am surprised at how many of those I have heard somewhere at some time but never really knew what they meant and never asked for some reason.

  • Reply
    November 9, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    I got them all! I agree with Jim’s spelling on ‘raigler’, although I knew it right off. The first time I saw ‘ruction’ was in Horace Kephart’s writings and thought it was a great word. I’ve not used any of the terms in daily speech, having been plopped into FL at age 10, but I hear them clearly in my memory.

  • Reply
    Bob Aufdemberge
    November 9, 2011 at 11:12 am

    In our area “ragler” was more prononced as “reglar”, and I mostly remember “ruination” used in such sentences as “that boy will be the ruination of us yet.”

  • Reply
    November 9, 2011 at 10:57 am

    I’m not familiar with #1 or #2,
    the others I’ve heard or used on
    a raglar basis. Speaking of the
    letter ‘a’ used differently, I got
    a friend who says “aggs” instead of “eggs.”
    These words tests are fun!…Ken

  • Reply
    Wanda in NoAla
    November 9, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Risins were the bane of my childhood. Don’t know why kids today don’t get them like we did, but that’s a good thing!

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    November 9, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Have heard them all but ruction…
    The crows always cause a ruckous early in the mornings around here…
    Thanks Tipper

  • Reply
    November 9, 2011 at 9:44 am

    I’m a ruckus user (and occasionally causer), too! All the others are a regular part of my vocabulary.

  • Reply
    Pamela Moore
    November 9, 2011 at 9:43 am

    From my family: purtineer – pretty near or soon and nighon – almost or purtineer

  • Reply
    Laurie Stone
    November 9, 2011 at 9:33 am

    I’m with the rest of the crowd on this – I’ve heard everything but Ruction – always heard rucus instead.
    Regarding Ragler – I remember a lot of folks who were very concerned with bein ragler, cause if you wasn’t ragler you was going to get the piles.

  • Reply
    November 9, 2011 at 9:28 am

    I got #1 and #4 right!

  • Reply
    November 9, 2011 at 9:04 am

    ragler I have not heard before the others i knew.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    November 9, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Tipper–I’m familiar with all of the terms, although I don’t know that I’ve ever used ruction verbally (although I have used it in print). Also, I would spell ragler as raigler, but you won’t fine either form in standard dictionaries (but I bet the word is in the “Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English.” An alternative and raigler use of risin is in the form of a dropped “g” as in “the sun’s risin'” or “them fellows got into that rotgut and is raisin’ such a ruction they’ll soon have bodies risin’ out of the boneyard.”
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    November 9, 2011 at 8:43 am

    I’m in general agreement with the other folks. Used them all but ruction…ruckus was used instead. Useful terms find a way of making good sense.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    November 9, 2011 at 8:21 am

    I’ve hear’d them all used on a ragular basis cept’n ruction, we too used ruckus as in “that murder of crows shore wuz raisin a ruckus when that Hawk showed up.”

  • Reply
    Kimberly Burnette
    November 9, 2011 at 7:59 am

    I have used all of them except ruction. We always raised a ruckus! 🙂

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    November 9, 2011 at 7:58 am

    There are a couple of words that are to ruction (I don’t use it, either) – rumpus and ruckus. I’d be apt to use ruckus myself.
    Speaking of risins, I’ve got a bunch on me right now – when you drag yourself through greenbrars, you’re bound to get poked and slashed. I think those things inject a little poison or something just to add insult to the injury.

  • Reply
    November 9, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Very interesting Tipper! Now that I see them, I do think I have heard a few.
    Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    November 9, 2011 at 7:50 am

    Wow, I thought I knew at least three. Nope, I only knew one, ruination.
    Thanks for the fun & the lesson.

  • Reply
    November 9, 2011 at 7:29 am

    These stumped me a bit…I’ve heard of Ruination…Ragler made sense after I read your definition…and we use “Ruckus” instead of Ruction. I really enjoy these vocabulary tests!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    November 9, 2011 at 7:28 am

    We used ruckus instead of ruction, other than that we use all. Also risin can be yeast or baking powder/soda areound our house.

  • Reply
    Canned Quilter
    November 9, 2011 at 7:25 am

    Hear em all and used all of em ceptn
    ruckler… that’s a new one.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 9, 2011 at 7:24 am

    I’ve heard all these words, Tipper. I have to say I have a particular attraction to “ruination”, it is such a clear descriptive word…..I think of it every time my mind drifts to our national politics! LOL

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    November 9, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Didn’t recognize ragler until I saw it used, then immediately recognized it.
    Never heard ruction, but heard the rest.

  • Reply
    Mary Shipman
    November 9, 2011 at 7:11 am

    Those words are still ‘alive and well’ here in the Ozarks too.
    At least parts of the old vocabulary is preserved in our parts of the world, and that is good.

  • Reply
    November 9, 2011 at 7:02 am

    Have never heard of ruction but have the others.

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