Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 7


Time for this month’s Appalachian Vocabulary Test.

  1. Decoration
  2. Dinner
  3. Dodger
  4. Druthers
  5. Dreckly/Directly


  1. Decoration-putting flowers on graves. “Next Sunday is Decoration up at Bethel Baptist-are you going?”
  2. Dinner-lunch. “Pap fixed fried taters and cornbread for dinner today.”
  3. Dodger-a piece of baked bread. “All the boy had for dinner was a dodger and an apple.”
  4. Druthers-rather, choice. “If I had my druthers-I’d stay home from work today.”
  5. Dreckly/Directly-in a little while. “Granny said she’d be back from the store directly.”

I’m familiar with all of this month’s words-except #3-I thought a Dodger was a baseball player. I’m interested to see what you think of #2-to describe daily meals I say-Breakfast, Dinner, and Supper-what about you?

Hope you’ll leave me a comment about your thoughts on this month’s list of words. To see the other tests click here and scroll down.


p.s. The blue stuff on the girls face-came from a…Morris Dancer-they paint their faces blue-so the saying goes if you end up with blue on your face-you’ve been kissed/hugged by a Morris Dancer!

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  • Reply
    November 27, 2020 at 6:36 am

    In WV my pappaw worked in the mines and took his dinner pail. We also called memorial day Decoration Day. Maybe its because it’s a military thing and ‘decorations’ are awards, medals, ribbons, etc and we are honoring our soldiers

  • Reply
    May 31, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Yes, My daddy always called me, Corndodger.

  • Reply
    May 21, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    what heppened to Day Lord?
    ex. ” Day Lord…who’s that a-goin’ thar?”

  • Reply
    Erin d
    April 20, 2010 at 2:15 am

    My grandma always said dreckly meaning after while. I always thought it should mean right now since when your being direct your getting right to the point. Nice to see we aren’t the only ones using these words!

  • Reply
    August 2, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Oh! What about lip dob? (Lipstick)

  • Reply
    Bonnie Sparks
    July 5, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    In Southern West Virginia and Southwest Virginia we have Decoration on a designated Sunday in the summer. Decoration at our family cemetery is in August. Back in my grandmother’s day they had dinner on the ground, but we now have it at a selected family member’s home. I have never used the term dodger, nor heard it used in our area. Before embalming became commonplace a “Wake” was held to “set up” with the body to see if the person was going to wake up before they were buried. Now , of course, it is held to pay respects to the deceased’s family. Other Appalachian sayings I remember are “laid corpse” and “batter bread” among others.

  • Reply
    Kim Campbell
    May 16, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    #1-My family does it (my mom and aunt) but I don’t recall ever hearing it addressed as decoration.
    #3 Never heard of Dodger!
    All the others I knew! I love these.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 11, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Once again, Tipper, I know then all.
    Growing up I lived in several different states in the south. The issue of breakfast, lunch/dinner, and dinner/supper seemed different every where I lived so I adapted, figured as long as I ate they could call it anything they wanted to!

  • Reply
    May 9, 2009 at 1:07 am

    Me too! I’m familiar with all of them this month except Dodger, and, like you, thought that was a baseball player, or something you do when your sisters running after you – dodge ‘er.
    We have lunch, not dinner, but my best friends family always had dinner and never lunch!

  • Reply
    May 8, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    I remember my little son asking my mother-in-law why she called it “supper!” And my parents always said, “If I had my druthers…”

  • Reply
    May 8, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    I’ve heard all those terms except for Dodger. I think that is what we palyed at recess in grade school. Dodger ball!

  • Reply
    May 7, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    I only missed two. I’m really starting to be convinced that at least my father’s heritage must have tendrils that reach back to Appalachia.

  • Reply
    Cheryl Fleming Palmer
    May 7, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    I have given you the 2009 Friendly Award! You can pick it up here ~

  • Reply
    Coach Daley
    May 7, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Hey Tipper,
    According to the 2,129 page Websters Unabridged Dictionary I have, a dodger is a cake or bread made of corn meal. So, if Horace Kephart was truthfull in telling us that the main bread source of the Highlanders was corn, it would make sense that it is part of the Appalachian dialect. I’m wondering where the root of the word comes from that would make reference to food, but can’t find anything like that. I”ll keep my eye out though.
    I also grew up eating dinner in the middle of the day. Supper was at night. This Webster’s even says it’s so, as it is the last meal of the day regardless of time, usually following dinner. I don’t know if it is a Southern thing as my parents are from Northern Kentucky, but surely could be a mountain thing.
    One of my friends on the other hand, was a corporate kid who lived in West LA, Dallas, England for 4 months, and N. Atlanta. He had no concept of the daytime dinner, and had never even used the word supper till he got up with me.
    Once we were out and about and I asked if he wanted to get some dinner and where. He said “Dinner, yeah but it’s so early, let’s just eat a late lunch now and we can decide on dinner later.” I looked at him all bumfuzzled but I didn’t want to start nothin’. But I didn’t know how I was going to eat supper after eating two dinners.
    Another friend I had was from Massachusettes. We were in college together in North Carolina as his daddy had been transferred down to this country. One day we were walking through the student building and he asked me where the bubla was. At first I thought he was asking if Bubba was anywhere around. I didn’t know how he would have known Bubba but I just said I don’t think he goes here and left it at that.
    He realized I didn’t understand what she said and once again, more slowly this time he said, “Do they have a bubla (I heard it clear this time: bubbler) in here. I had no idea what he was talking about so I asked him what he meant. He said you know, one of those things that the water comes out of, I need to get a drink. I said OH! you mean a water fountain.
    He looked at me as if my mind was all in a clutterment and said I’m not drinking from no water fountain! Because you see to him, a water fountain was something that sprayed water high into the air.
    So on it goes, the wonderment of the cultural conundrums. But one thing I do know is that Bubba won’t be going up to Massachusettes anytime soon, because he also didn’t understand why anyone would put ice in their tea!
    Coach Daley

  • Reply
    May 7, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    Well in the UK it is the old North/South divide that mainly governs whether you eat dinner in the middle of the day or the evening. That said, when we were kids we went home for lunch while the other kids stayed for school dinners – we always felt so sorry for the school dinner kids. Generally “up North” we eat breakfast, dinner and tea. Supper being a snack before bed. But whenever I teach the names of meals in my French and Spanish classes we always have to clarify just when we eat what.

  • Reply
    May 6, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    I didn’t know dodger but I sure knew the rest. When I was growing up dinner was always in the middle of the day and supper was in the evening. blessings, marlene

  • Reply
    Dee from Tennessee
    May 6, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    We say lunch and supper but growing up it was dinner and supper.
    Didn’t know dodger.
    Just said Decoration Day today at work when I reminded someone that Decoration Day is the 4th Sunday in May at Long’s Bend, Harrison’s, and New Hope . And for good measure, North Fork’s Decoration Day is 1st Sunday in June and 2nd second Sunday at Keplar. Somebody stop me!

  • Reply
    teresa atkinson
    May 6, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    Breakfast – dinner – supper.
    and when we say directly it is more like tarectly.
    i also use fixin’ way too much

  • Reply
    Brenda Kay Ledford
    May 6, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    I actually knew the meanings of these words. I grew up hearing my grandparents use these words. It’s so much fun visiting your blog. I just love it!

  • Reply
    Farm Chick Paula
    May 6, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    I knew all of these this time, Tipper! Yay! I’m 5 for 5.
    I wouldn’t have known “dodger” for cornbread, but an elderly man at our church calls it that, so I heard it from him. The rest of them I say myself.
    And yes, it’s breakfast, dinner and supper for me, too!

  • Reply
    David templeton
    May 6, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    I was sitting in the barber’s chair the other day looking around while he talked and I read his sign on the door, turned around this way, and it said “I go to dinner every day at 11:30 and I always take a full hour at dinner.” (Well, he always is wordy).
    Here are some usages I don’t hear up here but they were common expressions in Southwest Virginia/East Tennessee:
    1. It was a’commencin’ to rain so we went in… Hit looked like a cloudbust comin’
    2. He was always a’devilin’ her, and next thing you knowed, she was a’claimin’ him.
    3. We seed them a’comin’ from way down yonder across the field
    4. If you’da cleaned out your yairs this morning, maybe you could hyair me more.
    5. We need more lightbread and sweetmilk. And, don’t spend none of that on a dope and a cake.

  • Reply
    noble pig
    May 6, 2009 at 11:51 am

    I love when you do these. The meanings are never what I thought they would be.

  • Reply
    May 6, 2009 at 11:13 am

    I was 3 for 5 in this quiz!

  • Reply
    Joan J
    May 6, 2009 at 9:48 am

    I knew these and love seeing the word “druthers” – that’s a real New England word and I didn’t realize everyone didn’t say it until I moved to Ohio. We have breakfast, lunch and dinner here, but supper gets used (for dinner) in equal amounts. I knew “dodger” from reading it somewhere – not from using it in daily life. I love these vocab lists!

  • Reply
    May 6, 2009 at 9:18 am

    I always say breakfast, dinner and supper. We were raised that way. Lunch was something we had at school. LOL. Blessings,Kathleen

  • Reply
    Julie at Elisharose
    May 6, 2009 at 8:11 am

    I have heard them all but 3. My grandmother and I used to go round and round about dinner vs. supper when I was a little girl. I use 4 and 5 regularly myself. : )

  • Reply
    May 6, 2009 at 7:47 am

    Growing up it was “Breakfast, dinner, then supper” but as I’ve gotten older I find that I say lunch instead of dinner, especially in mixed company (as there has been an influx of out-of-staters to move into this area) because of the confusion it causes them.
    Decoration day at the cemetery that my husband’s family is buried at is a real event. People bring chairs and stay to talk all day. Those who had moved out of state come down for visits, and everyone walks around the whole cememtery to admire the new arrangements on the stones and the mass of flowers on each grave.
    The first time that daughter got the experience of a maypole was last spring at one of Berea’s festivals. They taught about three different ribbon dances.
    Still loving your posts! And I thought of you immediately on a recent, guided wildflower walk. The guide pointed out RAMPS! It was the first time I had ever seen them. Now I know what to look for!

  • Reply
    May 5, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    I’m not familiar with #3 either. When I was growing up, we said Breakfast, Dinner and Supper. Now I say Breakfast, Lunch and Supper.
    Enjoyed the vocabulary test and seeing the old invoices. Those are awesome.
    Take care. I hope you’re enjoying some nice weather.

  • Reply
    May 5, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    I got them all but thought a dodger was a biscuit. Pretty good for a Northwesterner!

  • Reply
    Carolyn A.
    May 5, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    I’ve heard them all except for Dodger. You bring back a lot of the language of my youth and hearing my Grandmom and Grandpop talking to us. I also remember our Mother telling our friends, ‘If you don’t use your boarding house reach, you’ll starve at this table.’ Have you ever heard that one? xxoo

  • Reply
    May 5, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Life in Ireland taught me that dinner is the noon meal. The word created such confusion at first!

  • Reply
    May 5, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    3 out of 5 of these words I have not only heard of but use. Can’t say I have ever heard decoration used in that context. Dodger is totally new to me.

  • Reply
    Sheila Bergeron
    May 5, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    Good evening! All of the sayings are familiar except for 1 and 3. I wasn’t familiar with Decoration Day, although I remember our folks saying they were going to clean off graves. Cornbread was cornbread except when it was fried, then they were fritters.

  • Reply
    May 5, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    I knew all of these. I always call the evening meal ‘supper’ On Sundays we always say Sunday Dinner for the big meal. We always cooked our best for Sunday. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, biscuits, green beans, etc. Seems like most people around here now go out to eat for dinner after Sunday School, but I always go home and cook a big meal for us to eat, just like Mom did when I was growing up.

  • Reply
    May 5, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Woo Hoo! I know all of them today. We have breakfast, dinner and supper around here, and I only holler once, so you better git yourselves set down to the table right quick and please pass the gravy.

  • Reply
    May 5, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    I’ve heard of dodger, but never really knew what that meant. Thanks for clearing that up. tee hee
    And yes, I say all three. Although I do occasionally get caught up in the dinner for supper thing.

  • Reply
    May 5, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    I’ve heard of all of them, and in our neck of the woods they were all used but “dodger”. We always used the same words for meals, although I say lunch and dinner. Sometimes I say supper though. Just depends on how “country” I’m feeling that day. 🙂

  • Reply
    May 5, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    I did well this time and knew all of them but dodger- I have always heard it referred to as “corn dodger”. We have always had breakfast, dinner and supper. Like Julie, dinner in our family was usually a light meal except on Sunday’s and we had a large family dinner early afternoon.

  • Reply
    Nancy M.
    May 5, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    I didn’t do quite as good this time, I missed numbers 3 and 4. Don’t think I’ve ever heard them.

  • Reply
    Amy @ parkcitygirl
    May 5, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    I know most of these! Dodger is the only new to me word 🙂

  • Reply
    May 5, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Well I’ll Swanee, you say it just like I do. Oughters ain’t Beavers. I oughter do that some day, but if I had my druthers I’d just go fishin’. Pappy

  • Reply
    May 5, 2009 at 11:53 am

    I’m familiar with all this time. We at dinner around 12 noon every day and had supper no later than 6p.m.
    The word battry comes to mind when I think of words that either sound different or mean something different. My dad always kept his battry charged up. He had others, but this one always comes to mind.

  • Reply
    May 5, 2009 at 11:09 am

    I have heard them all but dodger, I now say breakfast, lunch and supper, when I was younger it was breakfast , dinner and supper. I always enjoy your Appalachian Vocabulary test.

  • Reply
    May 5, 2009 at 10:14 am

    I’ve heard and used all of them except the first one. My dad’s people always called the noon meal dinner and the drop biscuits were dodgers.

  • Reply
    Fishing Guy
    May 5, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Tipper: I really enjoyed the words you chose. I would say breakfast, dinner and supper.
    If I had my druthers I like meat and potatoes for supper and I’ll be there directly.

  • Reply
    May 5, 2009 at 9:35 am

    I knew all of them this time. In my family, “dinner” was always used for a big meal. So on Sundays, we had Sunday dinner (lunch) at Grandmother’s after church. If it wasn’t a big meal, lunch was just “lunch.” But we almost always use “supper” for the evening meal.

  • Reply
    Julie Curtis
    May 5, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Please excuse my typo. “Sort of”, not “fort of”!!!!

  • Reply
    Julie Curtis
    May 5, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Good Morning Tipper! I’ve heard and used all those words except “dodger”. We make cornbread in a skillet and we also make fried cornbread. We call fried cornbread “dog bread”, which fort of sounds similar to dodger. A lot of people around here, especially my daddy’s age call the mid-day meal “dinner”. He has breakfast, dinner and supper. I have breakfast, lunch and supper. Julie

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