Appalachia Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 82

Encouraging appalachian language

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

  1. Take after
  2. Thataway
  3. Thick
  4. Toucheous
  5. Thickety

Preserving appalachias language


  1. Take after: to inherit qualities from a parent or other family member. “She takes after her daddy’s family. They’ve all got that thick black hair and no matter how old they are not a one of them has the first gray hair in their head.”
  2. Thataway: that way. “When I was a child we had gravity water. During cold winters it froze in the black plastic pipe that snaked its way up the holler to the spring. One winter in the late 70s it stayed thataway for along time.”
  3. Thick: dense, numerous, plentiful. “Papaw could remember when the woods were thick with chestnut trees. I wish I had asked him more about them before he was gone.”
  4. Toucheous: irritable or easily upset. “Pap used to caution me about being toucheous when he was trying to give me much needed advice.”
  5. Thickety: a place full of thickets; overgrown with vegetation. “The yard of the old house is thickety but I reckon it’d clean up if somebody had the want to tackle it.”

I hear all of this month’s words on a regular basis in my area of Appalachia. Please leave a comment and tell me how you did on the test.


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  • Reply
    Rev. Rose Marie "RB" Redmond
    October 7, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    Have heard the first 3 often, but instead of the last two, I’ve heard “touchy” and “thicket”. I’ve also heard “favor” instead of “take after” and the word “thick” used for someone who is stubborn or has difficulty understanding things.
    Our father had many chestnut trees on his property – all started from a little seedling he found growing in the PA woods when hunting after a blight had taken almost all across the US. How we loved those trees, but not the burrs the nuts came in which were painful if you stepped on them or any rotted remainder of them lying in the ground after winter time.
    I think they’re all gone now, cut down by some who lived in the house after he left it because their burrs were more of a problem than the nuisance of just putting on shoes when they went outside. So now there’s no burrs, but no chestnuts or wonderful shade from the trees either, I swear it was 10 degrees cooler under those trees, truly welcome in summertime for sure. Sad.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    October 7, 2015 at 5:39 am

    Use these or hear them on a regular bases.. Who’s climbing safety is in the picture?

  • Reply
    October 6, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    Take after, thataway and thick are all commonly used by me and my family.

  • Reply
    October 6, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    I got them all too!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 6, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    I don’t get the comparison of a bald man to a sap sucker. I have been bald since my late teens. I have had no problems with it. I don’t pay for haircuts. I don’t clog the drain, I don’t need hairspray. I don’t own a comb or brush. I don’t have to worry if the wind is blowing. I have been been laughed at, pointed at, called baldy, chrome dome and cue ball but never sap sucker. If there is a legitimate reason to be called a sap sucker then I guess I’ll accept that too.

  • Reply
    October 6, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    Got them all!

  • Reply
    October 6, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    The first three were familiar to me…but toucheous and thickety…never heard them before! Thanks for the vocabulary lesson! 🙂

  • Reply
    October 6, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    Before Donna Lynn went off today,
    I requested “Just a Touch of the
    Past” and after it finished she
    said “That was by the Blind Pig
    Gang.” Then she played another
    favorite “He is Real” by The Pressley Girls.
    The WKRK Party Line is streaming online at “” …Ken

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 6, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    These are all familiar to me and I hear/use them on a regular basis.

  • Reply
    October 6, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    All these words are familiar to me
    this time. I’ve been told that I
    stand the way my daddy did. And
    like you taking after your dad, I
    still got lots of hair the way my
    daddy was. All his brothers were
    bald-headed as a sap sucker.
    Love these Appalachian sayings…Ken

  • Reply
    Chuck Howell
    October 6, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    I love this. My Mother & Father from the Smokey Mts. would say: “Bout ready for the Boneyard,” “Now sit there & Grudge.” “Why you little Scutter, (Scudder) “Now don’t talk about her” meaning gossip about someone not present. “Padding” stocking footed walking around. “Stogging, Slogging around” “He’s stogging around with the dead lice a dropping off of him.” “Going like a Fa-t in a whirlwind.” Them elbows are “Crusty.” Dirty. I’m feelin a little “Peaked.” Ill. “Likkered Up.” “Them Little Fellers.” Small obects. Many more to come. Thanks,

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    October 6, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    We said tetchous. Also used thick for the meaning given and also “thick headed”–meaning not too bright. We used “thicket” but not “thickety” Also “thataway” as a direction too–it’s over “thataway”. A lot of times “take after” was an insult referring to us acting like a thick-headed family member.
    I’m always glad to see the vocabularies–I enjoy all your posts but these are my favorites!

  • Reply
    grandpa Ken
    October 6, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    That looks like a wornout linemans strap? The Vietnam wall will be in Blairsville Oct 8- 12 if anyone needs to known that.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 6, 2015 at 11:38 am

    I know and use them all. After I moved here I found toucheous had evolved into touchless. Touchy and peevish are used to mean the same as toucheous.
    Do you ever use “take after” meaning making attempt to catch something? Ever time I go by their place all them pups take after me and foller me home. I’ve got to where I’d just as soon take the long way around.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    October 6, 2015 at 11:08 am

    The first 3, yes — still use them. We say tetchy, rather than toucheous, and we also use thick to mean “getting close to” as Maybelle’s gettin’ thick with the wrong crowd at school — and to mean slow-witted as she’s always been a little bit thick in the head. I have never heard thickety that I recall.

  • Reply
    Gina S
    October 6, 2015 at 10:58 am

    I had to guess at toucheous for I’ve never heard it. Cranky was the term used in my family.

  • Reply
    Larry proffitt
    October 6, 2015 at 10:00 am

    Tipper , all are common vernacular for me. I hate to admit that that my dialect is so heavy thay perhaps thataway wood probably sound like attaway. Larry Proffitt

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    October 6, 2015 at 9:45 am

    Tipper, all of those words are completely familiar to me. I use most of them regularly. Though, like others, tetcheous may be more familiar than toucheous. I also realized that so much of this Appalachian vocabulary was drilled out of me when in college and in my years as a teacher – but since retirement have fallen quickly back into the speech that I grew up with.

  • Reply
    George Pettie
    October 6, 2015 at 9:17 am

    Oh, frabjous day! 5 out of 5 for my first time ever! I echo Lori Thompson on the second meaning of “thick”, as in being in close collaboration. Also echoing Jim Cassada on the spelling and pronunciation of “tetcheous,” and on the very different “tetched,” to mean “not all there, upstairs,” to repeat an old idiom.

  • Reply
    Henry Horton
    October 6, 2015 at 9:11 am

    First three familiar from the Ozarks. #4 was touchy in our neck o the woods, but never did hear thickety…musta got lost in the migrations in the early 1800s!

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    October 6, 2015 at 8:26 am

    I’m familiar with all of the words but dad and grand dad would say techy. “Ah, don’t be so techy about it, I was just a kiddin ya!” The older I get the more I realize just how much I take after my daddy.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    October 6, 2015 at 8:25 am

    Guess I could say 4 of the 5. I thought of ‘thick’ as I hear it used to mean ‘mentally slow’ or emotionally ‘clueless’. But I don’t think that is Appalachian. Your meaning for ‘thick’ is the traditional one. Tells me I’ve been influenced by the mass culture.
    Here is something odd though. I bet your readers have noticed it. Even if I don’t think of the Appalachian meaning, if I hear it used that way I would have no trouble at all understanding it. I reckon one could paraphrase the old saying about not being able to take the country (Appalachia) out of the boy – or girl either.

  • Reply
    October 6, 2015 at 8:10 am

    I have heard and used take after all of my life and never gave a thought to the fact that it might be Appalachian Speak! I have heard a few people say thataway – mainly in old movies…. Now thick is my favorite word from today’s list. I have always heard it used the way you described. Also, I have always heard and used the expression “thick as thieves” and “thick in the head”…..for somebody who just doesn’t get it!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    October 6, 2015 at 7:34 am

    I reckon I’ve heard all of today’s words. I suppose I use them quite a bit too, since I take after my heritage.
    You know people can talk thisaway and thataway but if you listen close enough, you can pick up where their from. Of course there’s them that are thick as thieves and you couldn’t pull a sound of home out of any of ’em! They tend to get quite toucheous if you say, “Well, I believe you sound kin to so and so!” When you know good and well they’s born from that thickety ivy hill and holler the same as you!
    Thanks Tipper,
    Loved this post!
    PS..Bytheway, those hounds that got loosed from them collars didn’t come thisaway!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    October 6, 2015 at 7:16 am

    Toucheous is the only one of this bunch I haven’t heard. My parents used touchy in it’s place. I still use thataway, thick, and takeafter.

  • Reply
    barbara Gantt
    October 6, 2015 at 7:16 am

    I use the first three but not familer with the last two words. They do make sense for their meaning. Barbara

  • Reply
    Glynn Harris
    October 6, 2015 at 7:15 am

    We use every one of these words down here in outback Louisiana. I grew up hearing and saying them.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    October 6, 2015 at 7:13 am

    Tipper–All these are not only familiar to me; they are commonplace. However, toucheous as I’ve always heard it would be spelled tetcheous, just as the related word describing someone whose thinking was a bit cattywampus would be tetched, not touched.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Lorie Thompson
    October 6, 2015 at 7:06 am

    Here is another use for “thick”. “Those two are ‘thick’ as thieves.”

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