Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 73

Words still used in appalachia

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

  1. Oncet
  2. Oodlins
  3. Outlander
  4. Offer

Great language from appalachia


  1. Oncet: once. “Oncet you bring in the wood I need you to carry those boxes on the porch to the barn if you don’t mind.”
  2. Oodlins: a large amount. “We had oodlins of taters this year. The most we ever growed.”
  3. Outlander: a stranger; outsider. “Nobody won’t listen to him because he’s an outlander.”
  4. Offer: to try. “I offered to split him some wood but he just wouldn’t have it. I guarantee his poor ole wife’ll be the one it falls to.”

I hear 1, 2, and 4 on a regular basis in my neck of the woods. I hear 3 only very rarely. How did you do on the test?



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  • Reply
    James (Jimmy) Gentry
    January 19, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    Granny used “oodlins” regularly, to describe having a lot of something. I miss it. No one says it anymore.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    January 9, 2015 at 7:46 am

    #2 wasn’t familiar to me. We say oodles

  • Reply
    January 7, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    Heard ’em all (though not many are used nowadays).
    God bless.

  • Reply
    January 7, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    We always say “oodles” instead of oodles; maybe regional difference?
    Use #4 more than the others, but have heard them all (with above noted chg).
    Love these quizzes!

  • Reply
    Brenda S 'Okie in Colorado'
    January 7, 2015 at 1:33 am

    My Granny always told me she loved me, Oodles and Gobs. <3

  • Reply
    George Pettie
    January 6, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    I agree with Jim Casada about Outlanders being more a literary term than a mountain colloquialism. Horace Kephart, the librarian from Iowa, was certainly an outlander in the Smokies early in the last century. But, as a literate and eloquent psycho-refugee to the southern mountains, his slant on the mountain culture is well worth reading.
    As to the word Oncet, it’s very common, though should be written Once’t, so it’s not pronounced On Set. I find many final T’s in mountain dialect. Told=Tolt, Cold=Colt. Some final T’s are add-ons. Only=Onliest. Best=Bestest.
    Tipper, yer blog is the onliest one what gits us to thinkin’ ’bout how old time mountain talk kin say thangs better’n book larnin’ talk.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    January 6, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    First time in a long time that I knew them all!

  • Reply
    January 6, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    I’ve heard folks say things like
    this a lot. The one thing that comes to mind though is “offer’.
    A couple weeks ago a friend from
    Brevard came by for a visit. When
    he saw that I couldn’t see well
    enough to do my Fish Knives, he
    offered to take them back and him
    and his boy would fix them for me
    for nothing. I was thankful, but
    I declined…Ken

  • Reply
    January 6, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    With no intention of causing a ruckus I must protest that oodles and oodlins are not the same:
    Oodles means a gracious plenty.
    Oodlins means “we’ve dug all we have a place to put. Come over and dig all you want ’cause they are just going to lay there and rot.”
    Mathematicians might understand it as:
    We had oodlins of stink bugs here last year. I wouldn’t normally wish harm on anyone but you need to understand The difference. So, just for your edification, may you be so blessed as we have been.
    Oodles of noodles on the other hand means more soup than substance.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    January 6, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    I rarely hear “Outlander” but the others are quite common, I hear “Flatlander” instead of “Outlander”. I guess the terminology is determined by how far one lives up the mountain.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    January 6, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Mama always said the secret to good chicken & dressing was “0odles” of sage & onions. We said & still say all except “outlander”.

  • Reply
    January 6, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    I got mite near all em cept for oodlins. Guess I orter known it too. Post sum more if you ont to.

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    January 6, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    I must admit to being a Flardonian as per Ed but I can do a curve wave! I started out in the mountains for my first 12 years and always return a few times a year to recharge. Those words are very familiar.

  • Reply
    January 6, 2015 at 11:26 am

    I got them all, but ‘oodlins’ was a guess, as I have always heard ‘oodles’. The t surprised me on ‘oncet’, which I first saw as onset. I probably would spell it ‘onced’, but pronounce the d as t.
    I love these tests!

  • Reply
    Damon Hanshaw
    January 6, 2015 at 11:01 am

    I must be more back-woods than I THOUGHT. Even though I have a Masters Degree, I still talk like a true Appalachian. I USE THOSE TERMS MORE THAN I hear them. Thanks for the quiz.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    January 6, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Knew them all. I use foreigner or outlander for folks outside Appalachia. Those that live in the flatter areas of Appalachia are flatlanders.
    Oncet is used here as well as oncer…as in ‘once or’ twice.
    I’ve heard oodlins but use oodles most of the time.
    If I’m not using ‘gazillions’ from the play “The Foreigner” when he said “That bowl has a ‘gazillion grits’ in it”.
    Sometimes in the mountain families, you just can’t offer to do something. You will never be accepted…just go ahead and do it…such as cut or stack farwood, pick up the paper, go to the store for’em or to hope a body with the gettin’ the cows to the barn of an evenin’ to milk!
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…Always love these tests!

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    January 6, 2015 at 10:26 am

    Other than saying “oodles” rather than “oodlins,”
    these are all familiar. I haven’t heard “oncet” in quite a few years though.

  • Reply
    Ken Ryan
    January 6, 2015 at 10:09 am

    I grew up hearing 1, 2(oodles), and 4 regularly, but I’ve never heard the word “outlander” used.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    January 6, 2015 at 10:07 am

    1,2 &4 are very familiar to me. Number 4 I’ve heard but not often. It is a term used way back in Scotland referring to an outsider. It is also the first book title in a series of books by Diana Galbadon which I highly recommend! Oncet you read the first one you are hooked. They are full of history and fantasy and oodlins of great characters. I’d offer to explain the story but I would not do it justice. Great words Tipper!

  • Reply
    January 6, 2015 at 9:27 am

    The words are used by my family all the time. I’ve got a cousin who likes to correct our vocabulary when we are together. The next time we talk, I’m going to deliberately use the words oncet and offer to test her.

  • Reply
    January 6, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Okay! I failed this one. I knew the fourth one and use it in the sense you have it. Outlander is one word used in a series of books, so I knew the word, but really never thought about its meaning. The first two – you got me. I have had a good learning experience this morning.

  • Reply
    January 6, 2015 at 8:45 am

    When I first read “oncet”, I read it as two syllables – that threw me. Then I realized it was the one syllable word I’ve heard all my life and still use “oncet in a while”.
    “Oodles” has the same meaning/use as “oodlins” and is more familiar to me: “Grandma made oodles of noodles for the family dinner.”
    “Outlander” is not so common but familiar – mainly it makes me think of a TV show my sister likes.
    “Offer” is very familiar but reminds me of a debate with an aunt and cousin about the proper use of “proffer” vs “offer”.
    It is so cool how single words can gather in so many memories!

  • Reply
    Judy Mincey
    January 6, 2015 at 8:34 am

    #4 is most used down here in Gordon County, GA. I hear oodlins once in a great while, haven’t heard oncet since my grandmother died. Never have heard outlander, my Dawson County forebears just said furerner.

  • Reply
    January 6, 2015 at 8:33 am

    Hm.. I’m 4 for 4 this morning as I’ve been an outlander oncet or twice(t); nobody listened to me then, much, either. I still offer to do things but I don’t have the oodles of energy I useta.
    If I remember correctly it was Fred Lasswell, the creator of the comic “Snuffy Smith” that used the phrase “Flatland tourister” to describe strangers.

  • Reply
    Carol Stuart
    January 6, 2015 at 8:33 am

    “oncet”, I have heard people say over my lifetime and have even heard country singers say it in a song. “Oodlins”, maybe have heard that a time or two. “outlander”, I have heard that for sure and have even been one in a couple of places that I have lived! “Offer” is probably commonplace everywhere. Webster’s Dictionary states: “To give someone the opportunity to accept or take” as one of the word’s main definitions. I always love your Vocabulary Tests.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    January 6, 2015 at 7:57 am

    Tipper–I’m familiar with all four and use or hear all of them regularly. However, I always have heard oodles, not oodlins. As for outlander, which you say is the least familiar of the four to you, I often use it in writing about Horace Kephart, noting that as an outlander many of his pronouncements and perceptions in “Our Southern Highlanders” were highly questionable. Sylva playwright Gary Carden used the word as the title of a play he wrote about Kephart.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Barbara Gantt
    January 6, 2015 at 7:47 am

    Here number three would be flatlander. We hear that all the time. It means anyone from Southern New England/New York that comes to ski. Barbara,

  • Reply
    January 6, 2015 at 7:26 am

    I’m familiar with all these words but only use “offered” regularly. Also have used “Oodles” (not “oodlins”).

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    January 6, 2015 at 7:15 am

    I did same as you, Tip. I know and hear all of them but outlander is one I hear rarely. Number 4, offer, is actually the only one I hear frequently.
    We do have some colorful language, don’t we!

  • Reply
    January 6, 2015 at 6:45 am

    When did they take the T off of Oncet? Now all the fairy tails won’t sound right.
    I have heard outlander but always call then Flatlanders or Flardonians. You know, the ones that can’t wave at you in a curve without running clean off in the ditch line.

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