Appalachian Dialect Heritage

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 4

shed barn

Time for this month’s Appalachian Vocabulary Test!

  1. Call On
  2. Conniption
  3. Captain
  4. Care
  5. Carry
  6. Crick
  7. Catamount
  8. Catheads
  9. Cheer
  10. Chunk


  1. Call On-to visit someone. “I believe I’ll call on Uncle Tex, I hear he ain’t been doing no good.”
  2. Conniption-a mad fit. “Granny had a conniption when she saw the mud tracked through her clean house.”
  3. Captain-a fine person. “Darren is a captain of a man.”
  4. Care-will do something, don’t mind to do something. “I don’t care to come by and pick up the kids.” (I never realized using care in this way was strange until-I heard someone ask a lady if she’d like to go to lunch-the lady replied “I don’t care if I do” meaning yes she wanted too. The person asking took it to mean she didn’t want to go and drove off leaving the lady wondering what in the world happened to her lunch invitation)
  5. Carry-to take. “Chitter carry this book to your sister.”
  6. Crick-a stiffness usually in the neck. “I must have slept the wrong way last night-I’ve got a crick in my neck.”
  7. Catamount-wildcat, mountain lion. “Mark swears he saw a catamount up on the ridge above the pasture.”
  8. Catheads-biscuits. “Granny makes the best catheads you’ve ever tasted!”
  9. Cheer-chair. “Pull up a cheer and stay a while.” (this one is an example of accent instead of an unfamiliar word chair=cheer)
  10. Chunk-throw something. “Chunk another piece of wood in the stove.”

I’m familiar with all the words this time-although-I rarely hear anyone using “catamount” unless they’re talking about Western Carolina University.

As always, I’m interested to see which of the words you’re familiar with-if any. I’m especially curious to see what you think about “carry” and “care” so please leave me a comment and let me know!


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  • Reply
    December 16, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Ha!!! My step daughter woke up complaining of a stiff, sore neck. When I explained it was just a crick, I had to explain the word! I had to check to see if you had used it yet!!! 🙂 I love these!

  • Reply
    February 7, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    I sat down in my best cheer to enjoy this list. We up here know a bit about coniption fits! Some concepts travel anywhere!

  • Reply
    February 7, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    LOL, love these lists.
    I still catch myself using the terms conniption, crick, and chunk.

  • Reply
    fishing guy
    February 7, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Tipper: I beg to differ with you on #6 crick. I fished in several cricks all my youth and never got a stiff neck. Just teasing, I did hear it used that way.
    What a neat list.

  • Reply
    February 6, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    I knew them all except for catheads… that’s a new one to me! I’m always gettin’ a crick in my neck and my Mom has a conniption if I don’t send a thank-you note to someone!

  • Reply
    February 6, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    I use care and carry all the time in the same way. I’ve heard all but cat heads and catamount.

  • Reply
    trisha too
    February 6, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Well, I definitely did better on this one, but if I offered to make catheads, well, let’s just say it wouldn’t go over too well around here!!

  • Reply
    February 6, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Hey Tipper,
    It sure is good to hear or see that someone else sounds like me.
    I use all those but the catamount.
    My husband loves cathead biscuits. A biscuit as big as a cat’s head.
    One saying that I don’t hear anymore is one that my Daddy always was saying. I am going to “hope” someone. Instead of help. Have you heard that one?
    Have a great day.

  • Reply
    Brenda Kay Ledford
    February 6, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Great vocabulary test. I actually knew the answers.

  • Reply
    February 5, 2009 at 10:39 pm this so much! I am familiar with all except 2. Catamount and catheads. My older relatives would say to carry something to who ever and it was just normal talk to me! blessings,Kathleen

  • Reply
    Helen G.
    February 5, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    I’ve heard them all, but ‘care’. If I heard don’t care to I would take it literally as they don’t want to go. I use conniption often and also “hissy fit”. That’s a red-headed conniption… or a real get-after-it conniption. Crick is a creek or a pain in the neck around my house, one of those dependent on other words to know which is meant. If you waded it’s the creek. If you slept wrong and woke up with a pain in the neck, its a crick. That doesn’t include husbands that snore. Carry = tote. Either work with me, although a lot of folks think tote = a sack or a bag. I think I first learned catamount from reading my ganddaddy’s Louis L’Amour western novels… which this is turning into a novel so I’ll quit now.
    Love these posts Tipper!

  • Reply
    February 5, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    We use them all except catamount…I’ve never heard of it. We use cathead a little different too. Biscuits are biscuits when cut out properly, but the last bits of dough that are too small to cut are jammed all together into another biscuit…that one is the cathead and is prized as it is usually bigger than the rest!
    Also, we use prince in place of captain some…both are understood

  • Reply
    teresa atkinson
    February 5, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    “care” and “catamount” are the only two I was unfamiliar with – I carry the softball princess and her friends to school every day. and Angies Place advertises cathead biscuits in the window.

  • Reply
    Nancy Simpson
    February 5, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Tipper, I did good. I missed cheer, but yes I’ve heard it a plenty. I always enjoy the quiz. Keep them coming.

  • Reply
    February 5, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    I had heard of all of them except Captain. I was introduced to “care” when we lived in Atlanta in the early 70’s. My friend used it and I took it to mean the opposite. I think that’s also where I heard chunk used in that way. We always said “conniption fit”.

  • Reply
    February 5, 2009 at 11:45 am

    I don’t remember ever hearing captain used to describe a person, and I hadn’t ever heard catamount.
    The others are quite familiar to me.

  • Reply
    February 5, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Well if you don’t care to go to lunch I’d probably drive off too! The first time I heard carry was when I moved to NC – Uncle will carry you to school. I’ve never heard it used in the northeast.
    I don’t think I’d care to eat catsheads!
    We also use chuck rather than chunk.
    For Teresa – here the second verse goes:
    A woodchuck would chuck all the wood, if a woodchuck could chuck wood.
    Another fun one.

  • Reply
    Dee from Tennessee
    February 5, 2009 at 10:18 am

    I “know” all of them, but I’ve never actually heard “catamount” used.
    We still use “care” all the time the way you do. We don’t use “carry” the same way…more like commenter Teresa noted. My husband has relatives below Nashville and they do use “carry” in that context of taking someone in “carried Mama to the doctor last week.” (That was how I first heard “carry” used in that context.)
    My grandmother used “captain” all the time to describe a toddler that had tugged on her heartstrings. Needless to say, there were a lot of “captains” in the family according to her.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 5, 2009 at 9:51 am

    Oh I love these little vocabulary tests. I have heard them all but have more often heard Painter in place of Catamount.
    And not only have I heard the word conniption but have been known to have a few of my own.
    Is that your new dog? Can he smile? He looks like he could.

  • Reply
    Just Jackie
    February 5, 2009 at 8:51 am

    In our neck of the woods, crick was what we could not wade it. “Richard could wade in the crick but I couldn’t” We got “creeks” in our neck. LOL I didn’t hear the word”carry” used that way until I spent a week in Georgia when I was 12. Someone wanted to carry us to the store. Took a while to figure that one out.

  • Reply
    February 5, 2009 at 8:18 am

    I have heard them all but catamount. Seems I’ve heard it somewhere, but it’s been long ago and I had forgotten it.
    And I use Captain daily.

  • Reply
    February 5, 2009 at 7:32 am

    We use all of those words around here too, except for catamount. I don’t think I have heard that one before.

  • Reply
    February 4, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    Hi Tipper, I use them all except for captain, catamount, chunk and catheads.

  • Reply
    Julie at Elisharose
    February 4, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    I’m familiar with 1,2,5,6, and 10.
    And I regularly have a conniption myself, if you must know. : )

  • Reply
    February 4, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    Only #3 and #7 were new to me!

  • Reply
    February 4, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    I’ve never heard of catheads and the ‘care’ useage is very confusing. If you asked me to go somewhere and I said I don’t care to, I would mean no, I don’t want to go. I guess I’ll have to clarify if someone says it to me. Thanks for the fun. I love words.

  • Reply
    February 4, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    I didn’t know captiain or catheads but the others I have heard all my life

  • Reply
    noble pig
    February 4, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    I always love these.

  • Reply
    February 4, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    I’m familiar with care and carry. I hear carry used a lot and care used some, though I think it’s getting more scarce. But as for Captain, I don’t think I’ve heard that one used. I guess Apalachian and Ozark/Ouachita speak are close to the same!

  • Reply
    February 4, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    I’m a country girl that grew up in Idaho, and we use a couple of these too…but we say conniption fit, we get cricks in our necks, and my dad never says creek – it’s crick. Other than that, I’ve never heard of any of them! But I think I’ll try to incorporate at least one of them in my vocabulary tonight – won’t that get me a smile!

  • Reply
    February 4, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    “Catheads” for biscuits was totally new to me! The rest I knew, and all except “captain” I use on a regular basis. We also use “crick” for a creek.

  • Reply
    February 4, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    I have heard and used all of them except catamount, captain and care. Instead of carry, here we say “would you run me up to the store”, and you usually get, “wouldn’t it be faster if you drove?” Ha Ha. We Okies think we are so funny! Have a great day and I am going to go make me some catheads and red eye gravy for supper, yum. Terry

  • Reply
    February 4, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    I’ve heard all of these (and use some) but captain. Painter is more common around here than catamount, a crick is a pain in the neck and also a creek and we use tote in addition to carry. 🙂
    Love these vocabulary tests!
    I saw where NC got some of this latest round of snow, hope you all did, too!

  • Reply
    February 4, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    Hey, I was cruising right along on the list until I hit Captain, I figured it didn’t mean what it meant, but I have heard it used the way it is used here, but more likely becasue I read it somewhere. Did hit a familiar one until crick and that was the last. So I learned a lot today I did.
    I love your pictures today, really I do, they are very inviting. Even the casing.

  • Reply
    February 4, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Oooh….I knew each one and have even used them myself.

  • Reply
    February 4, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    Oh I like this post. How fun, what great definitions. I have been a bit under the weather. I am feeling better already, catching up on all my friends. Congrats on the necklace, so will we see a photo of you wearing it soon…

  • Reply
    February 4, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    I’m a big user of ‘conniption fit.’
    I think I would’ve misunderstood ‘I don’t care if I do.’
    ‘Crick’ in your neck, yes. And we say (well not me, but locals) crick for ‘creek.’ ‘The kids are playin’ in the crick.’
    We don’t use ‘chunk,’ we say ‘chuck another piece of wood on the fire.’
    Catamount? I learned something new today!

  • Reply
    February 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    Up here, although we can get a crick in the neck, a crick is also a small stream…

  • Reply
    Valarie Lea
    February 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Catamount and captain are the only ones I don’t use. 🙂

  • Reply
    February 4, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    I use all of them except Catamount…never heard of it. Carry and care are very common here but they probably confuse outsiders the most…esp care used as you suggest. It almost seems backwards but locals get it. Another I hear some is ride, as in “Can you ride me over to the store for some night crawlers?” Talk about strange looks…

  • Reply
    Amy @ parkcitygirl
    February 4, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    I was with you until #7! My crick in the neck comes with the kids 🙂

  • Reply
    February 4, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    I’ve always heard of “chunk” as in a piece of something, but “chuck” as in “to carry.”
    “Chuck another chunk on the fire.”
    How much wood
    could a woodchuck chuck
    if a woodchuck could
    chuck wood?
    If a woodchuck could
    chuck wood
    he’d chuck all the wood
    that a woodchuck could.
    I, and those in this area, regularly use “care” in the Appalacian way. “Teresa, would you please help me ….” “I don’t care to” meaning I don’t mind to do it meaning YES, I will do it and I won’t feel put-out about it at all. I guess it comes from not having any hard or bad feelings about doing something, therefore you don’t care to.
    Carry, yes, but also “Don’t carry on like that! You’ll scare away the deer!”

  • Reply
    February 4, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    Haha, these are fantastic! What fun. The only one I really knew was conniption. I thought crick was a body of water like ‘I’m going fishing at the crick.’ Perhaps that is the Baltimore accent.
    I’ve been gone forever but I’m going to try to get back into at least reading blogs again, I missed it here!

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