Appalachia Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 74

Appalachian vocabulary words

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

  1. Pack off
  2. Piddling
  3. Pilfer
  4. Pitch
  5. Play pretty

Words used in appalachian vocabulary

 

  1. Pack off: to shift the blame. “I know he’s the one that done it but he’s done gone and packed the whole thing off on me. I don’t know how I’ll get out of this mess, but I promise he’s gonna pay me a pretty penny for getting me into this.”
  2. Piddling: insignificant amount. “James said they raised such a piddling amount of taters last year that he’d never grow’em again.”
  3. Pilfer: prowling around; sifting through items. “When I got over to the school there was a bunch of them pilfering through the trash barrel. They took off as soon as they saw me. I don’t know what they could have been looking for.”
  4. Pitch: to fall forward. “Bobby Sue just pitched right off the porch. Said she got light headed when she went out to throw out the scraps. Lord it scared me to death but she said she wasn’t hurt.”
  5. Play pretty: a toy. “Tell your momma to send you some play prettys next time you come. Granny don’t have nothing much to play with.”

I still hear all of this month’s words on a regular basis. Although play pretty is mostly used by older folks.

How did you do on the test?

Tipper

p.s. I heard through the grapevine that Ethelene Dyer Jones, regular Blind Pig reader and commenter, is in the hospital. Please say a prayer for her and send a good thought her way.

 

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43 Comments

  • Reply
    Janice Stout
    February 16, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    I have never heard of #1 and #5. But, I used piddling just last week. The others are commonly heard here.

  • Reply
    Glenda Beall
    February 13, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    Pack off is the one I never heard used in my family. When I hear the word pilfer, I think of my aunt Hortense who used it often. I still use piddle and I remember hearing toys called “play purdies” by aunts and uncles and my daddy.
    I hope we hear good news about Ethelene. My prayers go out for her.

  • Reply
    Carol Stuart
    February 12, 2015 at 6:55 am

    I am playing “catch up” this morning in reading my email – so am very late in getting to comment on my favorite post – VOCABULARY! I have never heard of pack off, but have certainly heard and used the others. Piddle had another meaning in WV because I have heard folks say that somebody “piddled in their pants” because they waited until the last second to head to the bathroom.

  • Reply
    Brenda S 'Okie in Colorado'
    February 11, 2015 at 2:32 am

    Growing up in small town Oklahoma with my grandparents, I heard most of these. My Granny would tell me to stop being a Pilfering Pete because I was always prowling in her drawers or boxes under her bed. She called my toys play pretties and when my cousins would come visit, she would tell us to play pretty(nice). I’ve heard people say, She really pitched a fit when he left her behind. I still use piddling today. Someone calls me and asks what I’m doing, I usually say, Oh, just piddling around.
    Lifting you up in prayer, Ethelene.

  • Reply
    Patty hall
    February 10, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    I’ve heard all these at one time or another.
    will say a prayer for Miss Ethelene.

  • Reply
    Jackie
    February 10, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    I thought I didn’t know # 1 until I read your usage. Then I remembered it from my youth. The other four I use and hear often, especially piddling when I am out in the garage and my wife asks, “What are you piddling on now?”
    Prayers for Ethylene are going up from here also even though a little late in the day. We’re in Nashville now on our way to Utah for a three month mission project. I hope we can get there, the alternator went out on the truck, so we’ll see tomorrow how long and how much it will cost.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    February 10, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    I knew all of them, heard them all at one time or other in East Tennessee.

  • Reply
    TMc
    February 10, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    First,,Prayers for Ethelene..
    Pack off I’m not familiar with, but the rest I hear a good bit.. My GrandMother use to say play pretty.. Pilfering is of my favorite hobbies now..

  • Reply
    Marianne
    February 10, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    I have heard all but the first. I have also heard “play purty” instead if play pretty.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 10, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    Prayers for Ethelene, for sure!
    I know and have used all these but number 1. I don’t recall ever hearing it before.

  • Reply
    trisha too
    February 10, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Hey, Tipper!
    Wow, I did terrible on this one–only piddling and pilfer.
    But they’re all so good, I’m going to start using all of them. (Maybe I’m easily influenced as well as easily amused?)

  • Reply
    Quinn
    February 10, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    I know some of them, but some a bit different in meaning. Pilfer means downright thieving here: “I caught those two fellows out in my orchard with a bushel basket, pilfering my best Macintosh. And it wasn’t a piddling amount they were taking, either – he already had two full bushels more in the truck! Well, I pitched a fit, and the one man was so surprised he pitched right out of that tree and landed on his behind. He tried to fob off the blame on his buddy, who was driving the truck, but that didn’t wash with me. I’ll be getting a load of firewood from those two, and we’ll call it even.”

  • Reply
    PinnacleCreek
    February 10, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    There is much concern for Ethelene, as it is quite obvious she is a sweet spirit. I said a prayer for this very nice lady.
    I’m late on here today–those errands can certainly interfere with life, especially when I am in the habit of piddling until I wake up really well. I felt like pitching the magazines in the waiting room. What senior citizen wants to read parenting or Popular Mechanic magazines? There, I have already used 2 of the words. I use most of them commonly except the play pretty
    Play pretty brings back the sweetest memories ever. My little grandmother who was born around 1898 always used the word “Purdy” for play pretty. I have such fond memories of this tiny lady’s promises to give us a Purdy if we would do so and so. Apparently, I was hard-headed and never earned this because I can’t actually remember getting a Purdy. However, she would pull from her apron a small bag and hand out one a day of the wonderful candy orange slices to each child. She died rather young so didn’t get to enjoy her very long. She had 12 children and 11 survived to adulthood. I still remember the purdys and the orange slices when I see them at the store. Tipper, you have a way of making us think about routine things, and then they take on a magic when we reminisce about what part they played in our lives. Love your Appalachian vocabulary tests!

  • Reply
    Quinn
    February 10, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Ethelene is in my thoughts, and I hope she will soon be right as rain and adding her always interesting comments here!

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    February 10, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    I’m familiar with all of the words. I don’t hear play pretty or play purdy much anymore and piddling can be just goofing off or a small amount of something.
    Get well soon Ms. Ethelene!

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    February 10, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    enjoyed hearing them all again — brought some good memories to mind. Prayers for Ethelene (I read so many of her posts I feel we are on a first name basis!).

  • Reply
    Ken
    February 10, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Tipper,
    I’m familiar with them all except
    Pilfer, don’t recon I’ve heard that
    one before.
    Ethelene is one of my favorite
    and most knowledgeable commenters.
    My prayers are with her…Ken

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    February 10, 2015 at 10:38 am

    I got them all. Some of them have other meanings to me as well.
    Pack off can mean to steal. “You better watch them McCall boys. They’ll pack off everthing that ain’t nailed down.”
    Piddling is doing something just to kill time. “What you doing today?””Not much, just piddling around.”
    Pitch is how you get hay up in the barn loft.
    Play pretty means to behave yourself with other kids. “You can go out but you better play pretty or I’ll make you come back in.”

  • Reply
    George Pettie
    February 10, 2015 at 10:32 am

    2 out of 5. Okay, 1 1/2 out of 5, on account of being half right about Pitch.

  • Reply
    Luann
    February 10, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Know all of them and still use #2-4.
    I admit, before I read your definition of ‘play pretty’ I thought of ‘play nice’—get along with each other. Have used that one a lot in the past!
    Sure do enjoy these quizzes.
    Adding Ethelene to my prayer list.

  • Reply
    dolores
    February 10, 2015 at 10:13 am

    Two new ones for me -play pretty and pack off. The other three I could understand the use of them. I’m still learnin’. Happy day!

  • Reply
    Cheryl Soehl
    February 10, 2015 at 10:00 am

    Knew all of these except “pack off.” That’s one I haven’t heard. I have another “P” word for you: plunder. There’s a thrift shop here in Columbia named “Let’s Just Plunder.” Meaning, collect things (especially at yard sales…).

  • Reply
    Aquilla Yagoda
    February 10, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Another term for Play Pretty was when company arrived, all Mothers would tell their children “to play pretty”. Well most all Mothers, I asked my Mother why she didn’t say it and she replied “because you have been taught to ply pretty.”

  • Reply
    ncmountainwoman
    February 10, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Yes, I’m familiar with all of them. My granny used “play pretty” not only meaning a toy but as a verb to remind us to be nice to one another, “Now y’all play pretty with each other and I’ll give you some cake.”

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    February 10, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Tipper,
    Got them all except ‘pack off’!
    I usually say or hear, ‘put off’ in these parts! For instance, “He put off that job on me, and it wasn’t my fault to clean it up”!
    Yep, I’ve been ‘piddling’ all morning!
    “That masked bandit (RACCOON) has been ‘pilfering’ my birdseed! It’s stored on the porch in a large garbage can! Why that sneaky so and so. He even puts the lid back on when he leaves of a night”!
    When I was taking CHEMO, I would have a dizzy spell sometimes. I walked out on the porch, took a spell and “pitched” right off. I didn’t fare well. I was carried to the ER with a shattered wrist, in three places. After surgery, I woke with some kind of bar and screws in my hand and arm!
    I miss my Granny saying ‘play pretty’! At Christmas she would ask if Santa brought us some new ‘play pretties’!
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…I just knew something was wrong with Ethelene…She was on my mind several times yesterday and day before, when reading your blog. Whispered prayers are being sent to her!

  • Reply
    Jane Bolden
    February 10, 2015 at 9:27 am

    I’ve heard play pretty, pilfer, and piddling many times.

  • Reply
    Shirl
    February 10, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Piddling is used in a slightly different way around here. I say I’ve been piddling on days when I don’t get into big jobs around the house. I have definitely heard all the words used just like your examples. It’s been years since I’ve heard anyone say play pretty.
    Get well soon, Ethelene Dyer Jones! Sending prayers your way!

  • Reply
    Jack
    February 10, 2015 at 9:04 am

    Don’t think I’ve ever heard “pack off”, but am familiar with the others. Always kinda liked “play pretty”. As long as were in the P’s, how bout “pert near” (almost).

  • Reply
    Brian Blake
    February 10, 2015 at 8:21 am

    I missed all but one of these expressions, a “piddling” amount of something, meaning minimal. This is considered a colloquialism, used in dialogue but not in formal writing.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    February 10, 2015 at 8:13 am

    I don’t remember “pack off,” but all the others are alive and well in my vocabulary. I think I have heard about
    folks who “put off” their responsibilities onto someone else.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    February 10, 2015 at 8:00 am

    Piddlin is a word I use now to mean slow.
    I told the dog this morning to quite piddlin around and get down to business.
    I hadn’t had my coffee yet and she was taking way too long.
    I also use it to describe cars that are just piddlin along holding up traffic.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    February 10, 2015 at 7:53 am

    Pack off is new, the rest are part of my speech. We say put off or push off for pack off.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    February 10, 2015 at 7:53 am

    Pack off is new, the rest are part of my speech. We say put off or push off for pack off.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    February 10, 2015 at 7:53 am

    Pack off is new, the rest are part of my speech. We say put off or push off for pack off.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    February 10, 2015 at 7:53 am

    Pack off is new, the rest are part of my speech. We say put off or push off for pack off.

  • Reply
    Barbara Gantt
    February 10, 2015 at 7:51 am

    I have also heard, You kids need to play pretty. Meaning that you need to get along.
    I hear all of these expect pack off.Here, the word pack is used to mean carrying a gun. Barbara

  • Reply
    Judy Mincey
    February 10, 2015 at 7:34 am

    I hear them all here in Gordon County. Play pretty not common anymore. Prayers ad good thoughts for Miss Ethelene.

  • Reply
    Lola Howard
    February 10, 2015 at 7:25 am

    I have heard everyone of those words.
    May Ethelene soon be well .Prayers for her.

  • Reply
    Lola Howard
    February 10, 2015 at 7:25 am

    I have heard everyone of those words.
    May Ethelene soon be well .Prayers for her.

  • Reply
    Lola Howard
    February 10, 2015 at 7:25 am

    I have heard everyone of those words.
    May Ethelene soon be well .Prayers for her.

  • Reply
    Lola Howard
    February 10, 2015 at 7:25 am

    I have heard everyone of those words.
    May Ethelene soon be well .Prayers for her.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    February 10, 2015 at 7:21 am

    I’ve never heard “pack off” but the others are familiar friends.
    Prayers are being lifted for Ethelene. I’ve never met her in person, but just from the articles she’s done for BlindPig and comments she’s offered, it is clear that she is a fine and dear soul.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    February 10, 2015 at 7:15 am

    Tipper–First and foremost, Ethelene is certainly in my thoughts and prayers. She always has perceptive comments and clearly is a most knowledgeable woman of Appalachia.
    While I’m familiar with the words and phrases, I know and use some of them in a slightly different way.
    Piddling to me is most often just fooling around or wasting time, such as “I think I’ll go out in the garden and piddle around a little bit.”
    Pilfer is an act of thievery, such as “Someone done gone and pilfered my watermelons.”
    Pitch has multiple other meanings, with the most frequent one involving assisting in something. When our neighbors saw we were struggling with that big project, they just pitched right in and helped. Another usage would involve making a case for something. “I reckon that carny barker’s pitch is about as believable as Beelzebub.”
    I more frequently hear “play purty” than play pretty, but that’s a matter of pronunciation, not meaning.
    Jim Casada

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