Appalachia Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 80

Tipper granny pap appalachian language

Granny, Pap, and Tipper

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

  1. Snurl
  2. Soaky
  3. Sodie
  4. Spark
  5. Splatterment


Speak like an appalachian


  1. Snurl: to curl or twist. “I tell you what, she did not like him talking to her like that one bit. She snurled her nose and stomped off out the backdoor. She slammed the screendoor so hard I thought it was going to come off the hinges.”
  2. Soaky: (also soakey; soakie) biscuit softened in sweet coffee. “I had never heard of soaky until a Blind Pig reader told me about it-you can read my post on soaky here.”
  3. Sodie: baking soda. “I was going to make a cake but I’s out of sodie. When you go town I’ll need you to get me some.”
  4. Spark: to woo or court. “There’s a whole lot of sparking goes on at our house and the adults who live here don’t like it a bit.”
  5. Splatterment: a splatter; a mess. “Bless her heart, she dropped the milk bucket on the porch and made the biggest splatterment you ever saw!”

My thoughts about this month’s words:

  • I hear and use snurl on a regular basis. A few of you mentioned the word a while back here on the Blind Pig.
  • Granny and Pap both say sodie-I’m not sure I’ve ever heard them say baking soda.
  • I still hear sparking some but not much.
  • Don’t think I’ve ever heard splatterment but it sure is self explanatory!

Please leave a comment and let me know how you did on the test.



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  • Reply
    Melissa Grannon
    September 21, 2015 at 6:27 am

    Growing up in SE Ohio we had some words/clichés/phrased no one knew about ‘cept us stump jumpers.
    1. Rutter: To be called a “Rutter” is and insult. A dirty, lazy person who is poor due to being all the above.
    2. Fizzic: (pronounced Physic) a laxative.
    3. Weed Monkey: Usually a woman of loose morals has nothing to do with drugs. This woman could be found lying in the weeds with a man usually someone elses.
    5. Hog Wallerin’ Drunk: You were so drunk you were out wallerin’ with the pigs.
    6. Higher than a three month grocery bill: You were pretty drunk or high.
    7. Higher than a Georgia Pine: Again pretty wasted.
    8. Stump jumper, Hilljack: Hillbilly
    9. Sidewalk Sissy: To afraid to ride you bike on the road.
    10. Dorkbilly: Silly/stupid/dorky person.

  • Reply
    Kim Campbell
    September 4, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    I failed this one! But my MIL did share a similar recipe to Soakie. Instead of coffee they just used hot water.

  • Reply
    June Woodward
    August 31, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    Here in coastal down east Maine a snurl is a race with your lobster fishing boat , some other type of contest, a tangled mess of ropes, or even an argument or physical fight. You might be interested in looking on line at Maine Lobster Boat Races.

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    August 12, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    A+ Pap looks great!!! I know the whole Blind Pig Gang is thrilled to have him back on his feet-

  • Reply
    August 12, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    I have heard and use “Sodie” and “Spark”, but the other ones are new to me.

  • Reply
    August 12, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    I know and use all the words except
    “splatterment”. It’s the “ment”
    that gives me trouble.
    Just after 11:30 today, WKRK played
    another Gospel Song by the Blind
    Pig Gang and The Pressley Girls.
    It was nice!…Ken

  • Reply
    Pamela Danner
    August 12, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    I have heard snurl, sodie, and spark.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 12, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    Snurl is a word I was immersed in when I was coming up. Still am to a lesser extent.
    Soaky I’ve only heard of on your blog. I am a coffee purest. I don’t think it should even be kept in the same room with sugar much less mixed in. I can abide a bit of cream (preferable cow’s milk cream) if the coffee is a little on the bitter side, but never more than a teaspoon.
    Sodie is essential in Appalachian living. It’s one of the 3S’s (nothing to with personal hygiene.)
    Spark, by your definition, I know from reading and TV but have never used. Spark to me is when you get your little brother to hold the wire while you pull the crank rope. “Is she gettin any spark?”
    I’ve never hear Splatterment.
    My aunt Murrell used to say her grocery list always started with the 3S’s. Soap, Sodie and Salt

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    August 12, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Never heard splatterment but it is pretty descriptive of some of the messes we make around here. Sodie was baking soda but also any kind of carbonated drink “sodie water”.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    August 12, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Snurl, I suppose was a gentler form of snarl…yep, heard it myownself.
    Soaky, My main favorite was cornbread and milk in the biggest glass I could scrounge out of the cabinet. Next favorite was crackers and milk soaky…no coffee/sugar in any of them.
    I guess if we had any milk, grease, etc. left over we got gravy to soaky our biscuits…Dad made his brown gravy with coffee even added a touch to his (chicken) white gravy. Also, he always made his red eye gravy with coffee, ham drippings and water. I loved biscuits soaked in this mixture..yummmm.
    Sodie…For heavens sake, what in the world is soda? LOL
    Spark or Sparking…What happens before and after you try to get the dead battery jumped off using cables from a stranger! That was when your whole notion was to find a place to spark to begin with! Then inevitable happened…yep, it happened to us when we parked to spark on the lakeshore and to watch the moon over the water don’t you know! LOL
    Spatterment…That was what I/we nearly got when my Dad approached us fur gettin’ in so late…What a mess that would have been all over the porch! LOL

  • Reply
    Sam Ensley
    August 12, 2015 at 11:10 am

    I’ve always heard and used snurl, sodie, and spark, but the other two are new to me. The older I get, the more I appreciate and use the old mountain terms. What I don’t like is to hear people using them in a derogatory way. What I call “Snuffy Smith” language.

  • Reply
    August 12, 2015 at 10:48 am

    Most are familiar except splatterment, and I think I will just add that cute word to my vocabulary. I could write for hours on these words but will stay focused.
    Soakey was rarely heard, but I grew up with an unusual word Soppy. Mom cooked greens and green beans dry. On the other hand, Dad had grown up with liquid being left in the food, and he always called it soppy. Mom had to change her ways at times–never knew what you would get. My sister and I still love the soppy in greens with cornbread.
    By far the most unusual word I grew up with was referred to as “the Mother.” They called the skim that formed over a crock of pickled corn or beans the “Mother.” I always wonder if some of our words were unique to the very remote mountains, as have never heard that word used except by my Mom’s family. But then people rarely pickle in crocks any more.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    August 12, 2015 at 9:59 am

    Understood 4 out of 5 but could not be sure I have heard all 4 used. ‘Soaky’ was a new one to me. Nearest to the idea I’m used to is to say that very wet and soft ground is ‘sobbey’.
    I hope the ‘old-timey’ words don’t fade away altogether but your tests show me I have moved a long way away myself. I remember words I do not use. So chances are my children have never heard them.
    Hope you and yours and all your readers have a blessed day.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    August 12, 2015 at 9:23 am

    Sodie and spark, definitely (there is also sodie-water,
    or sodie-pop!). But not the other two.

  • Reply
    August 12, 2015 at 9:18 am

    I could put snurl and spark together as well as splatterment. The other two were up for grabs for use. Like you said, splatterment, is sort of self explanitory, except that it is made into a noun with the ment.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    August 12, 2015 at 8:36 am

    I’m familiar with all but splatterment.
    I don’t hear any of them much anymore but they were common with dad and mother’s generation.
    Great photo of you and your patents!!

  • Reply
    Linda Lane
    August 12, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Shaky and Splaterment I have not heard but the others heard regularly as a child and some still yet.
    It is funny how you forget these things till you are reminded.
    Thanks Tipper!
    PS: I do enjoy the vocabulary tests
    Have a blessed day!

  • Reply
    carol stuart
    August 12, 2015 at 7:39 am

    Have heard all of them except the last one.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 12, 2015 at 7:39 am

    Never heard splatterment but I find it a very descriptive word!
    Also don’t recall soaky also not familiar with putting a biscuit in sweet coffee.
    The remaining three spark, snurl, and sodie I have heard.
    You know Tip, I think I’ve created a lot of splatterment in my life. Jackson Pollock made a lot of money with splatterment.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    August 12, 2015 at 7:33 am

    I knew and use (or used to use) them all except “soaky.” Therefore, since I know the “language of Appalachia,” and usually score 100% on your vocabulary tests (except today’s “soaky”), I guess I can count myself a true citizen of Appalachia–and proud to be! And I loved the black and white pictures of you and your folks!

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, PhD
    August 12, 2015 at 7:27 am

    Tipper: Guess we were limited in our vocabulary in the Cove. Spark is the only term that I have used – dealing with a boyfriend. Although I never did get that serious with fellows back then!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Darlene Debty Kimsey
    August 12, 2015 at 7:13 am

    We had soaky at my house growing up.

  • Reply
    Mary Shipman
    August 12, 2015 at 6:01 am

    The first 3 are still used pretty regularly by the older (my) generation in these Missouri Ozarks. Splatterment was new to me.

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