Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 50

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 50

It’s time for this month’s Appalachian Vocabulary Test-take it and see how you do!

  1. Calf rope
  2. Carry
  3. Carry on
  4. Cheatingest
  5. Chock full

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 50 2


  1. Calf rope: to give up-as in a children’s game of wrestling or other contest. “After he got ahold of that tender place under my ribs I had to holler calf rope and give it up. I swear that boys tough as a pine knot!”
  2. Carry: to take, accompany, or drive someone to their destination. “I have to carry Momma to Franklin or Hayesville one next week. She’s going to see a new doctor over there.”
  3. Carry on: to behave loudly; to misbehave. “I heard he’s been carrying on with a widder woman over in Hiwassee. Don’t know if it’s true or not.”
  4. Cheatingest: a cheater. “He’s the cheatingest car dealer I’ve ever seen. He ain’t nothing but a beat treating people that away.”
  5. Chock full: full to running over. “I know you told me to bring in the wood but the wood box is chock full! Where’d you want me to put it on the kitchen table?”

I’m familiar with all this month’s words and hear them on a regular basis. I’m not sure I ever heard calf rope before I met The Deer Hunter, but it’s one of the phrases he and Papaw use to aggravate each other with.

Leave me a comment and let me know how you did!



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  • Reply
    Gayle Melvin
    January 14, 2020 at 9:28 am

    Got all but calf rope and I am from Delaware! All 4 that I got I still say and heard growing up, sadly they are getting lost now

  • Reply
    marsha king
    January 13, 2020 at 2:17 pm

    I grew up with all of them with the exception of calf rope.

  • Reply
    January 17, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    I’m an east Tennessee gal & have heard of every single one of these!! 😀 I just ran across your website today trying to find an old wives tale my husband was trying to remember about thunder & lightening in a snow storm, and Lord I’m glad I did! I love it!! 😀 Anyway, love the grammar lessons! My husband, whom I might add, is also from east TN (but clearly a snoot! Hehe!) makes fun of me for sayin I’m “fixin” to do something, like, “I’m fixin to go to the store …” 😀 LOVE your website! Gonna share it with my family d’rectly! 😉

  • Reply
    Joann McDonald
    January 9, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    All were used in the part of North Carolina I came from except calf rope. Unfamiliar with this one.

  • Reply
    January 9, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    I have never heard #1 but I use all of the others regularly! Chock full is my favorite because I can hear my grandma using that phrase…she used it all of the time!

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    January 8, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    I’ve been out of the hills too long. I know and use all of these except this usage of “calf rope”.

  • Reply
    Peggy Lambert
    January 8, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Tipper, I’ve heard all the words and
    have used them some time in my life.
    peggy L.

  • Reply
    Susie Swanson
    January 8, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    You can give me a hundred too.. I ‘ve heard all of them..Great test..

  • Reply
    Donna Godfrey
    January 8, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    I knew them all but cafe rope….I sure never heard of that. I like learning things like this.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    January 8, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    I never heard “calf rope”. We used to holler “Uncle”

  • Reply
    Sallie aka granny Covolo
    January 8, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    i used to know them all..There used to be a coffee named Chock Full o’ Nuts..but it had no it. I love the Appalachian Vocabulary Test.

  • Reply
    January 8, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Calf rope and carry have not been used in the way explained. However, carry on, cheatingest, and chock full are familar, not to say I use them often. Of couse, having taught English for a number of years, I’m not quite sure of the ‘est’ form of cheating. I think I better do some research. Good teaching!

  • Reply
    Sandy Craig
    January 8, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Well, I must be about 100 also because I’ve heard all of these! I love “carry” as in give someone a ride…….it causes a smile everytime I hear it!! I have visions of toting a big ‘un around!!

  • Reply
    January 8, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Knew them all, except ‘calf rope’- I’ve only heard of it in the way Jim C. expressed, i.e., to control an unruly child.

  • Reply
    B. ruth
    January 8, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Hey, I’ve used or heard of them all, except “calf rope”!
    I’d say, “quit it”, “stop it”, “I’m gonna bite ya”, “that hurts” or as a final last resort, “I give up” or “uncle”…and then once loosed, smack the “far” out of ’em and run like the “dickins”!
    This don’t have anything to do with this post, but yesterday!..When I was readin’ my olden 1800 cookbooks, looking for Gingerbread cookies,…I found a treasure trove of Gingerbread, soft Ginger cookies, Hard Ginger cookies, Ginger snaps, bakery Ginger snaps…One recipe said to keep your dough and dry, wrap it and store it in the bottome of the flour barrell until next use!!! Can you imagine! All used molassas..but called for cooking molassas.., All used ginger some not as much, some several tablespoons! Wow!
    Mom used Black Strop (Strap) like Jim mentioned..She kept the can on a top shelf??? Maybe the rising heat at of the kitchen kept them pliable…She also took a dose abut once a month..for the iron she said…
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    Tim Hassell
    January 8, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    I am truly surprised at the number that hasn’t heard calf rope, the expression is as common as an old shoe in my area. I’ve heard and used #’s 1, 2, 3, and 5. And although I may have heard cheatingest it is not in common usage in this area.
    Ed’s story made me smile. Boys, boys, don’t we all have a story that we were sure would send us to the ‘lectric chair?
    Ron, yes we mark you or “it” down when predicting a sure thing or a very unusual occurrence.
    Ya’ll have a great day.

  • Reply
    January 8, 2013 at 11:58 am

    I know all of them now, but a couple years ago was the first time I ever heard ‘chock full’, and that was when you was busy
    taking Rainbows from the beautiful

  • Reply
    January 8, 2013 at 11:29 am

    I knew them all–hadn’t thought about “calf rope” in many, many years.

  • Reply
    January 8, 2013 at 11:25 am

    I use calf rope all the time!!! Always considered “carry” as on your list a ‘Southern’ use. Still use chock full and carry on. Love these vocabulary tests!

  • Reply
    January 8, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Thanks for another fun test! I have never heard of calf rope, we say uncle around here when we give up.
    I’ve never heard anyone use carry, but have seen it many times in books. I’m afraid we don’t have many such charming phrases this far north.

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    January 8, 2013 at 10:24 am

    know them all well — and, truth be told, I hollered Calf Rope more than once!!!!

  • Reply
    C. Ron Perry, Sr.
    January 8, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Everything but calf rope.

  • Reply
    Patsy Poor
    January 8, 2013 at 9:45 am

    I find it interesting to search some terms like chockfull many times i find some of our terms had their beginning in the old english.
    meaning full to chocking and is a old english term having to do with nautical or shipping. anyway to answer your question no. 1 and no. 4 I neaver heard tho’ no. 4 we may use even now and I didn’t realize it was different. tho’ I think we use “cheater.” instead.

  • Reply
    Donna W
    January 8, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Never heard of “calf rope”. Heard “carry” used in that fashion from friends raised in the south, although it wasn’t used in the part of north Missouri where I was raised. The other three were very common during my growing-up years.

  • Reply
    January 8, 2013 at 9:26 am

    I knew and use all of them except calf rope. That one is completely new to me!

  • Reply
    Kimberly Burnette
    January 8, 2013 at 9:18 am

    The only one that I have not used is “calf rope”. I still use all of the rest, especially carry on!

  • Reply
    January 8, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I always love the vocabulary tests. They usually provide me with a smile and you do a good job with the examples too! 🙂

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    January 8, 2013 at 9:04 am

    I know all these words, Tipper. The second one, Carry, has always struck me as a strange expression. You carried Pap to the doctor yesterday but in actuality there is no way in the world you could pick lift Pap and carry him anywhere.
    Oh well, we are talking about usage not logic!

  • Reply
    January 8, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Never heard of calf rope. We always had to holler ‘uncle’ when we were ready to give up.

  • Reply
    Lonnie Dockery
    January 8, 2013 at 8:43 am

    I’ve heard all of them except calf-rope. Sounds like it works though. And I think it’s true about the widder woman…I heard that too!

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    January 8, 2013 at 8:39 am

    All but calf rope were familiar and occasionally used. Interesting lesson!

  • Reply
    January 8, 2013 at 8:28 am

    I have never heard calf rope. We just always said uncle when wrestling, and if that did not work we yelled uncle loud enough for the parents to hear. Yep, girls wrestled when one had oodles of cousins to compete with. Surprising enough, cheatingest not used in this neck of the woods. We don’t carry, but do drive folks to places.
    Now for the expression used as a type of catch all. “That woman will carry on with anybody who wears pants.” “The store manager used to carry the coal miners until they got paid.” “He will carry on the family name.” “The widow had to carry on when her husband died.”
    As usual, this coffee is making me too wordy.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    January 8, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Tipper–I’m familiar with all of them and use the last phrase, “chock full,” in my writings from time to time. However, the way I’ve heard calf rope used is in a context differing from the one you supply. It has been in the context of control, such as: “When he was a youngster that Don Casada needed calf roping on a regular basis, ’cause he was wild as a painter and mean as a snake.”
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    January 8, 2013 at 8:07 am

    I remember one time when us youngins was playing in the road out in front of the old Jeff Wikle place. I got my cousin Ferman in a big bear hug trying to make say “Calf rope.” I was bigger than him and had his feet off the ground squeezing with everything I had. Every time I said “say calf rope” he would laugh and I would cinch up my hold a little tighter. This went on for quite a while and I finally got so arm weary I had to turn him loose. He turned toward my with a smile like “you didn’t make me say it,” took a deep breath and fell over face first into the red clay road bank. I thought I had killed him. He just laid there for what seemed like forever. Visions of the ‘lectric chair were running through my head. Finally he started breathing and moving a little. I helped him up and helped clean the mud out of his eyes, then we went back to playing again.

  • Reply
    Wanda in NoAla
    January 8, 2013 at 7:53 am

    I have heard and used them all except calf rope. I’ve heard carry used in reference to stock in country stores–“They don’t carry but one brand of tobacco.”

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    January 8, 2013 at 7:50 am

    Tipper, I am familiar with each one of these so, mark me down a hundred! Does anyone else say “mark me down”?

  • Reply
    January 8, 2013 at 7:49 am

    I have heard and used all except the expression calf rope. Have a terrific Tuesday from middle TN.

  • Reply
    January 8, 2013 at 7:40 am

    I knew all but calfrope. When I was a kid we yelled ‘uncle’ to indicate giving up.

  • Reply
    January 8, 2013 at 7:37 am

    I had to call calf rope on the first one for I’ve never heard that term. The others were familiar to me, though. I always enjoy these tests and learn something new about every time.

  • Reply
    January 8, 2013 at 7:34 am

    Have used all of them except calf rope. Never heard it used this way.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    January 8, 2013 at 7:06 am

    I knowed ’em. I don’t think I ever used any of them ‘cept calf rope. I had to say that a lot when I was younger.
    Carry is also what the storekeeper does for you ’til you sell the ‘baccer.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    January 8, 2013 at 6:53 am

    calf rope is new to me, rest of them I still use all the time

  • Reply
    Tim Mc
    January 8, 2013 at 6:25 am

    Yep, have heard and still use some of them on a regular bases. Calf rope brings back memories of my young days when we’d wrestle or we say “rasle”.

  • Reply
    January 8, 2013 at 6:12 am

    The last three were familiar to me, I’ve heard of the second but don’t use it, but I had no idea of what calf rope meant! You had me stumped on that one!

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