Appalachia Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 38

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 38

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

  1. Rusty footed
  2. Run together
  3. Rout
  4. Rottening
  5. Roach

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 38 2


  1. Rusty footed: feet that are dirty from going barefoot. “I want you to take a bath so you’ll be nice and clean for Momma’s visit tomorrow. And I’m a-gonna check your feet so you better get all the rust off!”
  2. Run together: spend time together. “I wonder what ever happened to them two birds? They always did run together, you never seen one without the other.”
  3. Rout: a deep rut in a road. “My driveway has such deep routs in it the only way you can get up it is with a 4-wheel drive or by foot.” (sadly-that is true-our driveway is horrible)
  4. Rottening: to decay. “I don’t know why they won’t sell that house all its doing is rottening away.”
  5. Roach: a hairstyle. “All Everett ever used to roach his hair was Dapper Dan.”

My thoughts on this month’s words:

  • I hear and use all of them except #5 on a regular basis.
  • Anyone who has played outside barefooted knows about rusty feet even if they didn’t know that’s what its called. The dirt around your ankle and heel always seemed the hardest to get off, maybe because the skin is softer around there.
  • I bet all of you can think of folks who run together. I immediately think of a big doof The Deer Hunter used to run with actually I can think of 3 or 4 big doofs he used to run with.
  • Routs are just an accepted way of life at the Blind Pig house.
  • I know houses that are rottening down and I know a smell not far from here that tells me something is rottening.
  • I thought a roach was an insect or something you smoked. I never knew it was a hairstyle. I’m really curious to see if any of you have heard the word ‘roach’ used in relation to hair.

Leave me a comment and tell me how you did on the test!



You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Charles Howell
    January 2, 2020 at 9:21 pm

    My mother, a Smoky Mountain School teacher, would stand over me every time I got a haircut. She would say, “Can’t you roach it back in front. The barber “Lefty” did his best, I’m sure, but she was never satisfied as I recall. Feet and elbows were “Crusty” most of the time from going barefoot. The others, I remember well. “You long-necked thing, you look like the dead lice are dropping off of you” when I was really dirty. She was colorful to say the least.

  • Reply
    Bobby C
    January 8, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    I had to think about this one a little.
    First off, roach; I’m with you on that one Tipper, I only knew it as a bug or something that would be smoked.
    Rusty footed; heard and use that one and or wash the rust off your neck and from behind your ears. Makes me wonder if that couldn’t be localized by the red clay we have around here?
    Running together and rottening; use these all the time. And the first example that comes to mind would be like you, houses that are rottenin’ down.
    And finally, rout; that one I didn’t think I’d ever heard, but then I remembered my wife’s late grandma used to say, “That ol’ road is all routed out.”
    So, I was 4 for 5 I guess.
    Thanks Tipper!

  • Reply
    Nancy M.
    January 8, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    For today’s list I only know 2, 3, and 4 and have heard and used them all. The others I don’t think I’ve ever heard in that context.

  • Reply
    January 8, 2012 at 1:53 am

    For some reason I have almost never used the term “running together, “running with” etc. But my Momma did. “you stay from him/her, he is always running with so and so (who happes to be of questionable character). “Running with” seems to have always been a sort of derogatory term and I usually witheld judgement especially of persons my age and interests. I even heard Andy use it on Helen a couple of episodes ago saying in a jealous scenario that she was was welcome to “run with a new friend she had made if she wanted” and she too took it as an offense. I love the term, it is so direct and self explanatory.

  • Reply
    January 8, 2012 at 1:40 am

    Second grade, Miss Howe, in the days when the health dept invaded our privacy with vaccinations, mass physical examinations on school time. During one of those physical examinations at the part where the nurse and/or teacher had you take your shoes and socks off for an examination of our lower extremity bone structure, I won’t say his name but he explained his rusty feet by saying he had walked through a mud puddle on the way to school and that left the rust in those parts you mentioned, around the heel and ankle. In those days when I went barefoot a lot it seems that spot was a magnet for “rust”. Today, 60 years later I can not stop myself from scrubbing that spot on my heel just a little harder than it needs to be.

  • Reply
    susie swanson
    January 7, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    I’ve heard them all and use them alot.. except for the last one.. I’m getting behind on your wonderful posts.

  • Reply
    January 7, 2012 at 9:49 am

    I have heard and use #2 and #4, but have never heard the other 3. And that last one? I’ve never heard anything different than you.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    January 7, 2012 at 7:35 am

    Late on this busy yesterday. But, I get an F too. The only one I know and use is run together.

  • Reply
    January 7, 2012 at 1:06 am

    Got all but 3 and 5. Now, I have heard of getting your hair ‘ratted’ – that’s how they got big hair in the 60’s and beyond.

  • Reply
    Judy Mincey
    January 6, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Tipper, I am such a hillbilly, I knew them all. My Grandpaw roached his mule’s mane and my uncles roached their hair with rottening pomade or wax after scrubbing their rusty feet and ears before setting off down the routy road to meet their running buddies.

  • Reply
    January 6, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    I’d heard all those except the last one. I sure know what rusty footed meant. As kids growing up here in Florida, granny’s yard was a mixture of black dirt and sand and that meant some real dirty feet! She kept an old galvanized tub of water on the back porch that we were expected to use to clean our feet. Or we didn’t come in her house!

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    January 6, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Yay! I know ’em all-but only use the first four. Mitchell does use roach some & please tell Granny Sue he swarps all the time. It is apparently a word with many unique uses-

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    January 6, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    I definitely heard of and use run together and rottening. I am familiar with rusty feet and rust behind the ears, too.

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    January 6, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Rusty footed and rottening are new to me. Some folks would roach their mules’ manes (Cut very close.)

  • Reply
    January 6, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    I’m beginning to wonder about roach in that meaning, given that so few of us have used it.
    I can’t tell you how many times I lied to my mother when she asked, “Did you wash your feet?” She checked every time, and every time I had to crawl out of bed and wash my rusty feet.

  • Reply
    Larry Proffitt
    January 6, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Tipper , Like you I hear and use all the first 4 but never have used roach in this context. Larry Proffitt

  • Reply
    January 6, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Um…none! Who would’ve thought country people could be so different?!
    [email protected]

  • Reply
    January 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Don’t use a one, but have heard the run around one and rottening. Never heard rusty footed, in Hawaii we go barefoot all the time.. Mom would say, “your feet are filty” (h is never sounded). Roach is a gross creature that I can’t stand or like you said.. something that’s smoked. Hehehehe

  • Reply
    barb Johnson
    January 6, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Hear all but number five all the time…had no idea that Rottening was just

  • Reply
    January 6, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Oh this is fun, I was right on a couple of them. My Father grew up in the West and I grew up in the North – we had terms like snow go and squito. I am always saddened that we don’t have much of a heritage.

  • Reply
    January 6, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Granny Sue-we would say he didnt mow the whole yard he just cut swarps through it is that what it means to you too?
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    Angie Siddall
    January 6, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    I like to do the “word power” each month in the Reader’s Digest and it stumps me quite often, but I do learn the meaning of words and how to use them in a sentence. Yours is Great stuff too!

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    January 6, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    I have never heard of #5 in relation to hair. I thought it was a bug or like you the left over end of one of those left handed cigerettes!
    Rotten is a spoiled child as well.
    An old mountain man I knew had a house full of young-uns one of which was a real brat. Someone told him that boy is just rotten and he said ” Ah, he ain’t rotten, all my kids smell that way”!
    Great post!

  • Reply
    dolores barton
    January 6, 2012 at 11:56 am

    I had heard the first four on occasion, but never heard roach referred in hair context. I have heard a car referred to as a roach – in very,very bad shape. Of course, the bug is another reference. Hummm! I think I will consult Webster.

  • Reply
    January 6, 2012 at 11:44 am

    I think I only know 2 and 4. The rusty foot thing brings to mind playing where chickens were allowed to run in the yard. Remember stepping in “it”, then going to a bitterweed and pulling your toe up through the weed to clean “it” off?

  • Reply
    Lonnie Dockery
    January 6, 2012 at 11:44 am

    I knew them all except “roach”–never heard that one! Hadn’t thought of that use of “rout” in a while. All the roads around here used to get routed out pretty badly until the politicians made enough promises to get them all paved! I wasn’t sure about “rusty footed” until I read your explanation…but yes, now I remember!

  • Reply
    Wanda in NoAla
    January 6, 2012 at 11:38 am

    I hear and use them all except ‘rout’ and ‘roach’. That rusty footed James has started to run with those rotten Johnson boys!

  • Reply
    Granny Sue
    January 6, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Only run together and rottening are familiar to me, Tipper. Regional differences, I guess. Anyone cut swarps down there?

  • Reply
    Pam Moore
    January 6, 2012 at 11:14 am

    I have heard them all used. We used to “roach” a horses mane. It was a short haircut like a buzz cut.

  • Reply
    January 6, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Well I get an ‘F’ on this one! The only one I’m familiar with is run together. Reminds me of a saying of my great-grandmother, “Tell me who you run with and I’ll tell you what you are.” A pretty clear injunction to be careful who we associated with.
    I am so awfully curious about the roach hairdo, I’m going to google it!
    Thanks for another great vocabulary test!

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    January 6, 2012 at 11:10 am

    I’ve heard all and used them except ‘roach’ in the hair style context…
    Wash that rusty neck and behind your ears and of course your heels and feet are rusty was common warnings when I grew up! I don’t think my Grandchildren play or work outside enough to get rusty like we used to…Saturday night scrubbins for Sunday morning are a thing of the past…LOL
    Something smells like ‘charn’ (sic) it must be them ‘rottening’ forgotten Easter aigs under the couch..!
    And our driveway has routs so deep that I pray for a lost Mac truck to come up the drive and have to back down to ‘mash’em down’…LOL Six hundert dollars of gravel washed to the next county during the last gullywasher!
    Love your posts as usual
    Thanks Tipper

  • Reply
    teresa atkinson
    January 6, 2012 at 10:59 am

    I’m thinking I must be the “doof” that the Crusty Old Guy runs with.
    Have a great day.

  • Reply
    January 6, 2012 at 10:59 am

    I’m familiar with all these words
    but “roach”, had never heard of it
    till I saw “Oh Brother Where are’t
    Thou”. Love how everyone relates
    to these Appalachian Word Tests…

  • Reply
    January 6, 2012 at 10:23 am

    I know 2, 3, 4 but have never heard the other 2…interesting

  • Reply
    January 6, 2012 at 9:46 am

    for the first time in your vocabulary tests i have heard none of these before. so i failed the test.

  • Reply
    Bob Aufdemberge
    January 6, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Years ago when people used to trim a horse’s mane so short that it stood straight up a couple of inches high it was said to be roached. That even shows up in the dictionary, and it’s probably how it came to be applied to human hair styling.

  • Reply
    January 6, 2012 at 9:15 am

    I have heard three of the words used all my life. Seems like I remember Mom telling us to make sure we washed our rusty ears. Washing the rusty feet was the most important thing before going to bed. Our zitty teenage face didn’t get near as much attention. I wonder if Dippity Doo was used in the roach hairstyle… We always referred to those washed out roads as having ruts instead of routs.

  • Reply
    B f
    January 6, 2012 at 8:44 am

    heard grany call “roach” meaning a hair style : comb your roach back boy , you know better than that “what will people think about us”?
    well i,ve heard just about all of them and more
    ive heard “thern ” hern, his,n and
    that,n and “mornt” meaning more
    oh well
    happy new yr and hang in the there tipper

  • Reply
    amy jo phillips
    January 6, 2012 at 8:43 am

    I heard of all them but #5. Love the voc. tests. !!

  • Reply
    January 6, 2012 at 8:40 am

    Knew them all except roach. Heard some kids talking about roach but I didn’t know what they were talking about and if I had I probably wouldn’t have believed it.
    This rusty foot deal I remember. People around here used to say that boy must have a lot of iron in his system cause he sure is gettin’ rusty.

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    January 6, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Heard all but the 5th one. I too will wait to see if anyone has heard of or used that one. Tipper I hope one of those “doofs” the Deer Hunter “ran” with doesn’t have a computer. 🙂

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    January 6, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Tipper, I know all these words. Many times I was instructed about cleaning my rusty heels. I rarely wore shoes as a child.
    Know all about runnin’ buddies. That was the kids you run around with, and in the times when I was a child it really was runnin’, as in walking everywhere we went.
    Now roach was a word I heard more from my grandparents generation. I only heard it used about boys and it was like “he got his hair roached over and went to see his sweetheart.” Roached over to them meant he put some kind of cream or pomade on his hair and combed it over to one side of his head. The cream was to hold it there so he would look tidy. I suspect that the expression came about as the result of the cream/pomade looking shiny, kind of like the back of a roach. LOL
    Ed is so funny, I didn’t have a lot of runnin buddies either.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    January 6, 2012 at 8:19 am

    I had never heard Roach refer to hair either and I agree wit Ed on Rottun and I use it to describe my Grandchildren Daily. Ed & Charlie Run Together so don’t let him wuff you bout that. Seein as how we went barefoot from May till the first frost we had rusty feet that were so tough we could run wide open down the routs of a gravel road. Keep up the Education of the Half-backs, maybe you can teach them proper Anglo-Saxon Middle English yet.

  • Reply
    Karen Larsen
    January 6, 2012 at 8:19 am

    You stumped me this time. My fave is #5!!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    January 6, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Do you ever use ashes from the wood heater (or clinkers if you can afford coal) to fill in the routs in your driveway? Works pretty good and you don’t have to worry about a live ember setting the garden on far.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    January 6, 2012 at 7:22 am

    You stumped me this time. I was familiar only with the first two!

  • Reply
    Pat in east TN
    January 6, 2012 at 7:17 am

    1 and 5 are new to me. I enjoy these ‘tests’, always interesting and fun!

  • Reply
    Mary Shipman
    January 6, 2012 at 7:15 am

    I have heard them all,but roach was in a different context. Granny used to say, “he got his head roached”, referring to someone with a fresh haircut.
    These vocab tests are so much fun!

  • Reply
    January 6, 2012 at 7:13 am

    Never heard of roach describing a hairdo but am familiar with the others.

  • Reply
    January 6, 2012 at 7:11 am

    Ed-I think you’re right about rotnen-I don’t have any problem when it comes to speaking Appalachian-but trying to spell the words the way I say them is a different story : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    January 6, 2012 at 6:18 am

    I did pretty well. I never hear the roach though. I wander if Wildroot Creme Oil would work for that. Routs is wher barefoot youngins can walk on a gravel road. Between the routs is were you get your throwin’ rocks. That rust affliction wasn’t confined to the feet. We got it all over. Had to scrub almost to the bleeding point. Rottening should be pronounced without the g in the proper Appalachian dialect (rot nen) Right? Just like youngin and throwin. As far as runnin with anybody I never did because nobody would run with me, so I never learned the phrase.

  • Reply
    January 6, 2012 at 5:59 am

    I really enjoy these vocab tests…but I didn’t do so good this time! 🙂

  • Leave a Reply