Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 5

My life in appalachia - Clothes on the Line 

Time for this month’s Appalachian Vocabulary Test-

  1. catty cornered
  2. choke rag
  3. clabber
  4. clim
  5. cuss fight


  1. catty corner-in a corner or sitting cross ways. “The last time I saw Old Blue he was sitting catty corner on the porch.”
  2. choke rag– a neck tie. “I hate going to weddings, cause I have to wear a choke rag!”
  3. clabber-sour milk. “Don’t forget to put the milk back in the frig or it will clabber.”
  4. clim-climb. “Just clim up the tree and shimmy onto the roof, then you can turn the antenna.” (The Deer Hunter actually says clim for climb-and I always give him a hard time about it.)
  5. cuss fight-argument. “I came out of the dime store-and there was Trixie Goforth in the midst of a cuss fight with some youngster. It was the beatinest thing I ever saw!”

This month’s list doesn’t seem that unusual to me-but leave me a comment and let me know what you think!



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  • Reply
    January 20, 2022 at 6:54 pm

    “Catty cornered” always meant diagonally when I heard it used. I never heard it refer to an actual corner.

  • Reply
    August 20, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    My mother used to say: “Your milk of human kindness has turned to bonnie clabber”

  • Reply
    The Tile Lady-Marie
    March 14, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    I knew it all except choke rag and clim.

  • Reply
    Nancy M.
    March 13, 2009 at 12:22 am

    I knew most of them right away. I don’t remember hearing choke rag before.

  • Reply
    March 10, 2009 at 11:49 am

    I love your vocabulary!
    I didn’t recognize the words until you used them & then I can just hear them being spoken.

  • Reply
    Fishing Guy
    March 10, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Tipper: This one was unusual and the only one I use is catty corner. I don’t think I have said it for a while. Thanks for sharing them.

  • Reply
    Patty Hall
    March 9, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    catty corner, clabber and cuss fight I’ve heard, not the others.
    My mom used to say the milk was ‘blinked’, menaing it was going bad.
    Glad to see your feeling better.

  • Reply
    March 9, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    The only one I knew was “catty corner.” They call it “kitty corner” here, and I don’t like it. I always intentionally say “diagonal.”

  • Reply
    Helen G.
    March 9, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Glad you are back, even if you aren’t quite 100% yet…
    Clim and choke rag I’ve not heard. Choke rag is too funny. Glad I’m not a man and ever have to wear one. If I’d had to guess I probably would have said hankie (handkerchief) being from “dust bowl” Oklahoma, you know, to hold or tie over your nose to keep the dust from chokin’ you out. Clim??
    Is it pronounced like climb? Or just clem?
    The others I know well.
    Thanks for the fun.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 9, 2009 at 9:06 am

    Well, Tipper, once more you prove what a country girl I am. I know them all!
    It is no wonder that a tie was called a choke rag. It’s complicated to tie and it fits snugly around the neck, kind of like a hangman’s noose. haha

  • Reply
    March 9, 2009 at 12:08 am

    I only knew catty cornered though we usually say kitty corner around here. The others I have never heard and boy does choke rag crack me up!
    Love that comment about Bonnie Clabber. Very funny!

  • Reply
    Brenda Kay Ledford
    March 7, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    I sure recall these mountain terms. Many times my daddy complained about having to wear the choke collar. Cuss fight is a familiar term, also. Love your blog. I’m so glad you are back and posting again.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    All are new to me! I will not be sharing choke rag with my sons. LOL When I say kitty corner I mean across from and one to the left or right so the business on the NW corner of the street is kitty corner to the business on the SE corner.

  • Reply
    The Texican
    March 7, 2009 at 9:39 am

    Hi Tipper, I’m still laughing at “choke rag”. I’ve heard the others, but “choke rag” was a first. I have given you a blogging award today and you can pick it up at Pappy’s . Pappy

  • Reply
    March 7, 2009 at 7:30 am

    Here in Michigan it’s kitty corner. Everyone from the south says clim, I’ve heard that. Never heard cuss fight or choke rag. Figures.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2009 at 1:04 am

    I knew all of those except for choke rag..

  • Reply
    March 6, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    I have heard all the terms used except for clim. Grandma used to talk about the milk turning clabber.
    Thanks for the walk down memory lane.
    Blessings for a great weekend.

  • Reply
    March 6, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    The only one I knew was catty corner. 🙂 I don’t recall ever hearing the other words. 🙂

  • Reply
    March 6, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    I have never heard of choke rag but it makes sense….I have heard and used the others!

  • Reply
    March 6, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    When I was young and we’d go into town, we were always told if we walked catty corner at the stop lights, the policemen would get us. I never did figure that one out. And I never saw anyone get a ticket either.
    We never heard the term choke rag.

  • Reply
    March 6, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    Hmmm. . .I’ve never heard some of these–like choke rag, or clim. I am familiar with catty cornered (or corner), clabber, and cuss fight. I sure do enjoy these ‘vocabulary’ posts!

  • Reply
    March 6, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Always so interesting Tipper! I learn much! Thank you and have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

  • Reply
    Farm Chick Paula
    March 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    I’ve heard them all but choke rag… maybe because no man in my family ever wore a tie much! LOL

  • Reply
    March 6, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    I had heard of clabber before, but never as a verb.

  • Reply
    March 6, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Nice translations. 🙂

  • Reply
    March 6, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Choke rag was new to me…but cuss fight is used on a daily basis. LOL!

  • Reply
    petra michelle
    March 6, 2009 at 11:13 am

    Morning, Tipper! Only word I knew was catty corner. Choke rag sure makes a lot of sense. I don’t know one man who likes to wear a tie and have heard them refer to it as a stranglehold.
    “beatinest” is an interesting word. Similar to intense? Or something similar! Well, I sure feel like I’m making my way around Appalachia today! Thanks, Tipper! :))

  • Reply
    Matthew Burns
    March 6, 2009 at 10:12 am

    I always like to set our TV cattycornered so that everyone can see it without craning their necks.
    We use “clum” instead of “clim” up here in WV, as in “I clum the hill up to the old springhouse”. Not to be confused with the other usage of “clum” which means “completely or totally”, as in “That man is clum stupid.”
    Funny little story about clabber. Where I’m from on the mountain there is this woman named Bonnie and she isn’t very attractive. So of course when she was little, people said she had to sneak up on a glass of milk in order to drink it before it clabbered because she has a face that could clabber milk. So it was only a matter of time before people started calling her Bonnie Clabber. She has been Bonnie Clabber for so long, that many people have forgot what her real last name is, so much so that this woman has embraced her new name. I kid you not, she is now listed in the local phone book as Bonnie Clabber.
    Glad to see that you are up and about again. We were all getting concerned about you, and wondered if all of us acorns were gonna have to migrate down to check on you.

  • Reply
    Julie Curtis
    March 6, 2009 at 6:38 am

    In Arkansas I hear catty corner, clabber and cuss fight. I never heard of choke rag or clim.
    I have a couple:
    Whompy-jawed – sort of like catty corner. Out of place.
    Cow slobber – meringue on pie.

  • Reply
    March 6, 2009 at 2:55 am

    You’re back, no fuzzy people! Yeah! Clabber I know, grandma cooked with her clabber not store sour cream.
    Catty corner, kitty corner all grown up?
    Cuss fight? Didn’t know what they are called. I have those by myself. They’re cathartic.

  • Reply
    Dee from Tennessee
    March 5, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Dee from Tennessee
    Not familar with “choke rag” or “cuss fight” or “clim.”
    Again, very thankful you are feeling better. (The flu is still going strong in our little town. Kids and adults so sick with high fevers for 5-6 days. Ugh. I’ve washed my hands 10 billion times more than normal and I already am know for excessive use of hand santizer. This is a wicked flu!)

  • Reply
    Julie at Elisharose
    March 5, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    I use catty corner all the time. I have heard the others used, but not in a looong time.

  • Reply
    March 5, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    I’ve always used catty corner and clabber, I didn’t know what the others were. When you churn milk to make butter you have to let it clabber first.

  • Reply
    Nancy Simpson
    March 5, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Yea! 100%.
    I always enjoy the vocabulary test.

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    March 5, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    It’s good to see you recovering. I’m an alarmist and when I didn’t see you for so long, I convinced myself that something really bad (I mean even worse than the flu) was happening.
    Thanks for the word game. I always enjoy them.

  • Reply
    Carolyn A.
    March 5, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    I knew the first two and here in Bawlmer (Baltimore) we say what sounds like ‘clim up air.’ I know, there’s not much difference between Appilachian speak and Baltimore speak, is there? 🙂 xxoo

  • Reply
    March 5, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    And it’s so nice to have you back, Tipper!

  • Reply
    March 5, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    I have never heard of a choke rag! But my boys are going to love it, that’s what I’m sure they’ll be calling their ties from now on!

  • Reply
    March 5, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Oh, I hadn’t heard choke rag but I really love ‘cuss fight’. To me cuss means to swear, but I think we might use cat fight for a noisy fight between women. I grew up using catty-corner, but when I use it to tell people that my office is catty corner from the post office, many people don’t know what it means.

  • Reply
    March 5, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    You got me this time. The only ones I knew were catty corner and cuss fight.

  • Reply
    Amy @ parkcitygirl
    March 5, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    Funny Lesson Tipper! I always heard “Kitty Corner” and I’ve used it a bit too 🙂 the others are new to me.

  • Reply
    March 5, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    The choke rag was not familiar to me. I would have guessed it to be something you used on a motor when your choke wasn’t working.

  • Reply
    March 5, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    These were a little easier for me. Choke rag was the only one I had never heard. I love the sentence you gave for cuss fight. Love how it rolls off the tongue.

  • Reply
    Betty Cloer Wallace
    March 5, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    Over here in Cartoogechaye we use “clim” as past tense of “climb”: “He clim up a tree on that fateful day when the bear chased him.”

  • Reply
    March 5, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Use catty corner, clim and clabber. The other two I don’t think I’ve ever used, but figured out what they meant. Don’t you just love Appalachian dialect?

  • Reply
    March 5, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    Again, very funny and delightful! Have a great weekend, blessings,Kathleen

  • Reply
    March 5, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    I have not heard choke rag or cuss fight.
    But we always shimmied up the tree.

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