Appalachia Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 57

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 57

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

  1. Fleshy
  2. Feel of
  3. Figure
  4. Furnishment
  5. Feel for

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 57 2


  1. Fleshy: over weight. “He always was a big ole fleshy boy that wouldn’t lift his hand for nothing that resembled work!”
  2. Feel of: to touch. “Momma feel of the back of my head. I’ve got a big knot and its sore as a risen.”
  3. Figure: to calculate. “On the inside of our house walls-along the studs-The Deer Hunter and Pap used a pencil to figure the amount of lumber or other material they’d need next while building our house. Every once in a while I think of those figures-they are like hidden wishes for a dream that came true.”
  4. Furnishment: piece of furniture. “When we first got married we didn’t have one furnishment between us!”
  5. Feel for: to be inclined. “Ever since Chatter and Chitter were big enough to coo they just seemed to have a feel for music. They say they ‘think’ a piece of music that they have never played before but are trying to learn – and their fingers move to make the sound all on their own.”

My thoughts:

  • Fleshy, feel for, and figure are very common in my part of Appalachia and I hear them on a regular basis.
  • Furnishment-is one I’ve heard but not often.
  • Feel of– I found this one in my Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English. It’s hard for me to believe the entire world doesn’t use the phrase feel of to describe touching something.

So how did you do?


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  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    August 12, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Yep! Have heard them all. Furnishment was used a little differently the way I heard it, as in being fully furnished to do a good work, i.e. having all one needs to accomplish it well.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Susie Swanson
    August 10, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    I’ve got a feel for everyone of these words Tipper.

  • Reply
    August 8, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    This is off the subject but I love that Crazy Arms is added to
    Playlist. However, Midnight Special remains my very favorite.
    Thanks again for wonderful music
    that I enjoy every day!

  • Reply
    August 8, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    All but furnishment. Thanks! I enjoy these vocabulary tests so much!

  • Reply
    Shirley Owens
    August 8, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Words from one region to the next are so different, when I moved here to the panhandle of Florida, I had to learn a brand new way of talkin’. A while back, I asked my husband if he thought I was too fat. He wisely looked me over and said,”Well honey, I’d say you are pretty STOUT.” Since then I’ve lost 50 pounds not realizing that he meant I was STRONG but in Appalachian vocabulary, I was fleshy! Go figure. I like sparse furnishment,too, not so much to dust. But he would have no idea whatsoever what furnishment means. Good Day!

  • Reply
    August 8, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    The word ‘furnishment’ is a new one
    for me, but I’ve forgotten a lot.
    All the rest are regular words for
    Good luck Chitter and Chatter on
    tomorrow night’s singing at the Old
    Blairsville Courthouse. I bet they
    ‘bring the House down’, just like
    the last time…Ken

  • Reply
    speshal ed
    August 8, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    i wuz thankin furnishment wuz the place upinunder the flor whir the furnish is. i ant got no furnish caus i cant by orl fer it. but i have got me a good would heeter.

  • Reply
    August 8, 2013 at 11:20 am

    As a child visiting kinfolk on Roaring Creek, NC, I always heard, “My, ain’t she healthy lookin’!” That’s Appalachian code for fat. Then, of course, the next thing was, “Come on in – rest a while and eat!”

  • Reply
    Bob Aufdemberge
    August 8, 2013 at 10:42 am

    As with most of the commenters, all but furnishment are common (or used to be before social media, etc.) out here on the edge of the plains.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    August 8, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Oh, have I heard “fleshy”! My, my that one brought back memories! My Granny would say to my brothers, after not seeing us for a few weeks, “Those boys are sure gettin’ stout!” Then for me she would say, “She is still a smart fleshy!”…Oh, how I hated that word…but I am what I am and still am “fleshy”! I tried to get stout, thinking it totally mean’t with muscles and strong, but to no avail. So, “fleshy” it was til I was in my early twenties, stayed that way for several years and now am “fleshy” again!
    I’ve heard them all and use the terms except “furnishment”…that one is a very old and lost term for me. Now then, Ed mentioned “stick of furniture” and we used that term and still do. In fact I would like to get rid of every “stick of furniture” I have and do a “refurnishment” of the whole house!…
    Thanks Tipper,
    You sure have a “feel for” the terms of our mountains!

  • Reply
    August 8, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Sometimes the remarks spawn thought as much as the main text; Tamela’s caused me to remember the orange-crate cupboards and clothes-press when I was a wee lad. While furnishment has never entered my vocabulary, the rest of the words are part of my everyday speech. “Feel of” goes back to my days in the Yankee land where it was very common. We use “Feel for in the same way as Pinnacle Creek describes AND in the way you describe the girls’ learning a new tune as well. It’s’ a little difficult to explain how that works, but at least with stringed instruments (I am no authority on any other kind) the memory of the song, after you play it a few times, is in the fingers, not in the head, like so many other tasks the fingers perform. To prove this, try dialing or punching someone’s ‘phone number with your non-dominant hand.

  • Reply
    Gina S
    August 8, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Furnishment is a word I’ve read but never used nor heard used. All the other terms I’ve heard and sometimes used. Once my aunt-by-marriage commented on my grandmother losing weight by saying that Mrs. A looked better before she fell-off. I was about eight at the time. Grandmama died in hospital during a January snowstorm. Her daughter, Aunt E, insisted on having visitation in the home. All beds were removed from the large front bedroom. Grandmama in her casket surrounded by flower tributes, my cousins going in to kiss her brow, Daddy horrified and grief-stricken…memories that linger too long.

  • Reply
    August 8, 2013 at 10:07 am

    All of these are familiar to me. My great-grandma, who was from around Roane Mountain, Tn. area, would say, ‘don’t disfurnish yourself” when my mother was about to give something away. My Dad was a saw-miller and lumber jack in his younger years and he could “figger” multiple sums in his head!

  • Reply
    August 8, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Never heard furnishment used. Mom’s family used to say flash instead of flesh. They always said flashy when describing an overweight person. We used the word figure when we talked about our plans. I figure I’ll wait till next year to buy that new car.

  • Reply
    Carol Stuart
    August 8, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Know all but furnishment.

  • Reply
    Sam Ensley
    August 8, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Feel of it is one of the holdovers from old English same as the phrase I’ve read in many of the above comments. Another common one is “Taste of it.”
    Looking forward to seeing and hearing y’all at the Old Courthouse in Blairsville tomorrow night.

  • Reply
    Kimberly Burnette
    August 8, 2013 at 9:13 am

    I have heard and use all of these with the exception of furnishment. I have heard about that one before, but never used it.

  • Reply
    August 8, 2013 at 9:13 am

    This time I could sort decipher meanings, but the use of feel of in your sentence felt awakward for me. I liked the new terms for me, so keep throwing them my way. I’m still learning!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    August 8, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Tipper–I reckon the fact that this was test #57, along with the fact that I learned from our nation’s leader that we had 57 states when all along I had thought there were 50, put me off my vocabulary game. Four of the five I’m intimately familiar with, but I’ve never, until now, heard of furnishment.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    August 8, 2013 at 8:47 am

    I have heard and used all of them except for furnishment. That is a new one to me.

  • Reply
    Jeanna M
    August 8, 2013 at 8:43 am

    I have heard and used all of them except furnishment. The rest are pretty common.

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, Ph.D.
    August 8, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Well, it ‘appears’ that FURNISHMENT is the new word of the day! Like other folks, I never heard the word! But I will ‘pull it’ on my Grandsons as soon as possible!
    Eva Nell
    p.s. By the great effort of my wonderful Editor (EDJ), “Fiddler of the Mountains” got FINISHED two days before our DEADLINE! Thanks to the Good Lord!

  • Reply
    Lola Howard
    August 8, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Never heard of furnishment, all the rest I have heard and still use.
    Are the girls twins ?

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 8, 2013 at 8:06 am

    Tipper, I don’t remember ever hearing furnishment. As I’m, typing this I’m getting a red line under furnishment. Seems that spellcheck does not believe it’s a word.
    Feel of and feel for are very common expressions to me. Figure, well I thought everyone said figure to refer to calculating numbers.
    Go figure!

  • Reply
    August 8, 2013 at 8:05 am

    I hadn’t heard fleshy for a good while. It seems different words were always used instead of fat with stout, stocky, or fleshy used. Feel for is used commonly to show compassion such as, “I feel for Tom since Annie ran off with that salesman.”

  • Reply
    Carol Isler
    August 8, 2013 at 7:47 am

    Furnishment, is a new one to me. The rest are pretty common down here. I was kinda surprised to see “feel of ” in the list, too. We use it every day, almost.

  • Reply
    Jane Bolden
    August 8, 2013 at 7:47 am

    Heard all but furnishment. Used all but furnishment and fleshy.

  • Reply
    August 8, 2013 at 7:39 am

    I’ve heard “furnishment” used in a way that meant all the accessories such as rugs, vases, pictures, lamps, etc. (even doilies and throws) in addition to chairs, tables, couches/sofas, and such. Like Judy and Ed, we talk about “stick of furniture”: Before they had a stick of furniture of their, own they made do with fruit crates.
    All of the other terms are part of our everyday conversations.

  • Reply
    August 8, 2013 at 7:23 am

    I have heard and used all except,furnishment. Happy day from middle TN!

  • Reply
    Judy Mincey
    August 8, 2013 at 7:21 am

    Know and use all but furnishment . I (and my grandmother ) would say, “We didn’t have a stick of furniture between us.”

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    August 8, 2013 at 7:14 am

    Furnishment, I have never heard used, but remember seeing it in a book or movie somewhere.
    The rest I use and hear very often

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    August 8, 2013 at 7:13 am

    Never heard “furnishment” before. All the others were familiar to me.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 8, 2013 at 6:58 am

    Do you use “stick of furniture?” They set up housekeeping without a stick of furniture!

  • Reply
    August 8, 2013 at 6:40 am

    Have not heard of furnishment but have used all the others.

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