Appalachia Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 86

Growing up in appalachia keeping the voices alive

It’s time for this month’s Appalachian Vocabulary Test. In this test I’m going to try something I told you about back in January…I’m going to let you hear some of the words too! To start the videos below, click on them and then to stop them click on them again.

Take it and see how you do!

  1. Backset
  2. Backward
  3. Bait
  4. Bawl
  5. Bestest

Appalachian language is important

 

1.Backset: relapse of a sickness or aliment. “I saw ole James last week and he was doing a whole lot better. I reckon he took a backset cause he’s in the hospital again.”

A video posted by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on

 

2.  Backward: shy; bashful, reserved, or slightly strange. “I was so backward when I was a child I’d hide behind Granny or Pap’s legs if somebody tried to talk to me.”

A video posted by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on

 

3. Bait: a large portion of food; plentiful food item. “He come home from work with a big bait of bear meat. One of the guys down at the plant got a big one.”

4. Bawl: to cry “I wish you could do something. She’s laying in there bawling her eyes out over that ole boy.”

5. Bestest: best. “The bestest coat I ever had was made by Granny.”

A video posted by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on

 

All of this month’s words are still very commonly used in my part of Appalachia. What about where you live?

Tipper

p.s. The Pressley Girls will be performing Saturday March 19 at 5:00 p.m. at the Ranger Elementary School. Come out for some good music and some good BBQ too!

 

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34 Comments

  • Reply
    TimMc
    March 19, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    I’ve heard and still hear them all but backset.. Been a long time since I’ve heard that one.. neat idea on the example videos..

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    March 19, 2016 at 1:02 am

    1. Backset is when you think you are better but you have to go through it again. Setback is a card game that I was never smart enough to learn to play.
    2. I am backwards too. I always hid when company came unless I knowed them. Still do sometimes. Now backerds, which most people nowdays call backward, is opposite the direction you normally travel.
    3. Sometimes you have to bait a bear in order to get a bait of bear meat. Me, I don’t eat bear meat because they look just like a naked man when they are skint out and hanging.
    4. Bawling calves separated from their mother make a pitiful sound but a snubbing child who is trying stop crying but can’t is so much worse. It tears your heart apart.
    5. Bestest ranks right up there near beatenist when it comes to describing quality.

  • Reply
    Rev. Rose Marie "RB" Redmond
    March 18, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    Heard most of ’em, but for “backset” we say “set back” and I’ve never heard “bait” used that way.
    God bless.
    RB
    <><

  • Reply
    Crystal Richmond
    March 18, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    Can’t speak fer ya’ll but I been a hankerin’ for a big mess of poke salad with sum scrambled-in eggs fer a coons age now. I swan, if I don’t git sum soon imma gonna waste away. h
    ( I just got this from my sweet cousin in Georgia after he read the vocabulary words I sent him today. )

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    March 18, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    I’m very familiar with all the words today.
    I don’t hear them too much anymore other than when they come from my own mouth. I can hear my daddy say “I ate a bait of your mama’s beans last night and they bout kilt me”!

  • Reply
    ncmountainwoman
    March 18, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    I don’t hear them around here but my mother used all of them frequently. I could almost hear her voice as I read the words.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    March 18, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    – Tipper,
    After I called the radio station and requested that Donna Lynn play my favorite…”Shepherd of My Soul” , she then played them beautiful Pressley Girls singing “Working on a Building” and a song by Ray and Pap. It was an enjoyable evening with the Wilsons of Brasstown.
    Wish I could be there to hear the Pressley Girls tomorrow evening
    and enjoy some of that good BBQ…Ken

  • Reply
    Tamela
    March 18, 2016 at 11:29 am

    Does anyone use “spate” as “bait” is used in the Vocabulary test?

  • Reply
    Tamela
    March 18, 2016 at 11:18 am

    Haven’t heard “backset” but do use & hear “setback” in regards to health or fortunes taking a turn for the worse.
    “Backward” is used in these parts as someone who is old-fashioned or uneducated although possibly quite smart and loaded with common sense and kindness.
    I’ve heard “bait” used the way you described it but am more likely to hear it used to describe methods used to trick someone into saying or doing something the trickster desires – middle granddaughter (age 8) and their exchange student were having a spelling contest when middle child said “spell ‘I cup'”- and there we have our AFS girl “baited” with “kindergarten humor” . . . .
    “Bawl” is the sound the calves make when separated from the mothers; it’s also the sound of over dramatized angst quite common when a child does not get their way or feels horribly slighted in some way.
    “Bestest” – well -that’s just plain obvious – when there is no grammatically correct superlative to describe that most wonderful, love-filled, heart-warming thing or event, – it just has to be the “bestest”!

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    March 18, 2016 at 11:09 am

    Tipper,
    I’ve heard and used all of these too, but my parents both used set-back instead of backset when speaking of illness.
    While we were talking last night, my youngest daughter noticed the ETSY Shop and the CD “Shepherd of My Soul.” After hearing it she thought that would be a real seller. And I told her that was my favorite song now…Ken

  • Reply
    Charline
    March 18, 2016 at 10:49 am

    I’ve heard them all through the years (except back set). I agree with Carol on ‘set back’. I can just hear my Mama saying, “Why, he eat a bait of them beans,”, etc.

  • Reply
    Peggy Lambert
    March 18, 2016 at 10:46 am

    Heard all at some time in my life, but not as much as when I was growing up.
    Peggy L.

  • Reply
    Chuck Howell
    March 18, 2016 at 10:45 am

    Well, I declare! If that ain’t a caution. He’s lookin a little peaked. He’s gonna Backslide if he ain’t careful. etc etc. I heard em all from my grandparents. The Howells lived in Robinsville N C. Blue John = skim milk. “Little fellers = any thing small. “I’ll be thar directly” Grand mother Polly would say. Miss them all.
    Chuck

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    March 18, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Mama often warned us about going out in our “shaller go neckids” after being sick–if we took a backset it would be worse than the original illness. In fact, taking a backset was said to often be the end of people.
    Bait, we most often used to mean a big belly full of some favorite food. “I’m gonna eat me a bait or I eat me a bate of…” In my family it’s usually biscuits and gravy or fried potatoes. this time of year we’re all wishing for lettuce & onions.
    All of us were backward children. I was even that way at home as a little girl. I got over it though and talk everybody to death now.
    People bawled but I also remember the cows bawling when they wanted to be milked–something I never learned to do as I was too little when we still had cows. I was scared to death of cows anyway.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    March 18, 2016 at 10:40 am

    Knew them all which probably means I use them for the meanings you gave without thinking about it. We were often warned as children not to play out in the cold lest we take a backset. And I also was a backward child and still am though I hide it much better now having learned to by necessity. The word ‘bait’ usually had some shade of meaning ‘procured as a result of especially good fortune’ such as finding unexpectedly in the wild or having been given whatever it was. ‘Bawling’ is reserved for deeper than usual feeling especially in a ‘soft-hearted’ person. And I use ‘bestest’ to ask our only grandson, “Are you Nana and GrayGray’s bestest grandboy?”
    Hearing the words spoken is a nice touch and makes me wonder if you are usually so soft-spoken. And I hazard a guess that green is a favorite color and spring a favorite time of year. Each year when the grass is so emerald green and there are the scatterings of white and pastel yellows and blues I think spring is my favorite. But in October I think fall is ‘bestest’.

  • Reply
    Barbara Gantt
    March 18, 2016 at 10:39 am

    I know them all and use them. Barbara

  • Reply
    Crystal Richmond
    March 18, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Have heard them all and still hear them regularly. I just love the vocabulary words. It’s always fun to see words I have heard all my life.
    Crystal in Arkansas

  • Reply
    Carol Rosenbalm
    March 18, 2016 at 9:50 am

    Tipper,
    In East Tennessee we say set back when someone is sick & gets worse. it would be she went to doctor and she’s having a set back with her illness. Lots of people hear say bless your heart over anything it’s sweet but it’s Appalachian.

  • Reply
    Quinn
    March 18, 2016 at 9:42 am

    I love “backset”!
    The only ones in use here are bawl (same meaning) and bait, which is a little different. “Bait” has a few meanings to me…baiting a hook for fishing, or hunters putting out bait (like apples or corn or a salt lick) to attract animals to a spot – a practice which many consider unsporting and which is sometimes even illegal. Oh, and people who show dogs use “bait” in the form of things like little chunks of freeze-dried liver (yuck) held in front of the dog’s nose to get the dog to stand alert when the judge is looking. And of course there’s “baiting” someone with words just to get them upset or to start an argument. Which is even worse than freeze-dried liver, I think.
    I really like the little clips, Tipper! Great idea! I hope you’ll do more. I’m not on Instagram, so thanks for also putting them here 🙂

  • Reply
    James Smithson
    March 18, 2016 at 9:15 am

    One I remember I would get laughed at for saying when in the Army was ” I’m so thirsty I’m about to perish.

  • Reply
    Shirl
    March 18, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Heard and said them all but it’s been awhile since I’ve heard bestest.

  • Reply
    Carolyn
    March 18, 2016 at 8:58 am

    Oh how this list makes me miss my granny.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    March 18, 2016 at 8:53 am

    Tipper,
    I passed with flying colors. I have heard and used all of todays words at some time or other.
    My husband just left here with rod, tackle and a canvas cooler with his “bait of lunch”! Nope not his bait to fish with…he uses those artificial lures…Hope he and my son catch a mess of fish so we can have a big “bait of Crappie” and all the fiixin’s, hushpuppies, taters and slaw. That’s some good eatin’ and family fun on a spring weekend.
    It’s a bit chilly here this morning. So I hope he don’t get a “backset” of that cough he’s been nursing for a few weeks…The pollen is yellowing his green truck today on this hill. Usually Crappie fishing is good when the pollen is floating on top the lake and backing up in the coves…
    I sure wish I could go, I love to fish, especially from the boat on a beautiful day. It almost sets me to “bawling” when I think of it…Those are the “bestest” memories. Slipping the boys out of school for only one early Spring morning. Loading the boat with gear, snacks and a picnic lunch. Then trying to get by the school bus, while pulling the boat, before it makes its way down the road with all those eyes peering to see who is going fishing! Yep, they’d tell at school for sure! Missing a school day for a good day of fishing never caused any bad grades or “backwardness” in my boys…that was always a problem, like their Dad they never have met a stranger and always high grades in school!
    I figure one missed day of school, fishing with their parents was a better learning experience than sitting in school daydreaming and wishing they were fishing! I always called that the “Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer syndrome! ha Do kids even read those books anymore…probably not!
    Thanks Tipper…Sorry about the long comment…

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 18, 2016 at 8:12 am

    I know all these words and hear them used on a regular basis. Also know all the pretty girls and see them often.

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, PhD
    March 18, 2016 at 8:11 am

    Well I reckin the way I tryd to tak wen I wuz litel, way bak in the Matheson Cove wuz not zackly core reck but I dun learened bedder now – since I dun winto the unversetity ober dar in ktown! Now thar, Ebay Nail!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    March 18, 2016 at 8:03 am

    I have heard or used all of these words except backset. Set back is used here. Like you Tipper am also familiar with bait as needed for fishing.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    March 18, 2016 at 8:03 am

    I have heard or used all of these words except backset. Set back is used here. Like you Tipper am also familiar with bait as needed for fishing.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    March 18, 2016 at 8:03 am

    I have heard or used all of these words except backset. Set back is used here. Like you Tipper am also familiar with bait as needed for fishing.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    March 18, 2016 at 8:03 am

    I have heard or used all of these words except backset. Set back is used here. Like you Tipper am also familiar with bait as needed for fishing.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    March 18, 2016 at 8:03 am

    Tipper–All are fairly commonplace to me, and since I write quite a bit about food I use one of them, bait, with some regularity in printed form.
    The first one, backset, I have always heard more frequently as setback.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    March 18, 2016 at 8:01 am

    I’ve heard and used all of today’s words. The word bait has multiple usage some being, last night I et a bait of Taco Salad and paid fer it all night, many folks hunt over bait as well as fish with bait as Chuck pointed out.

  • Reply
    Jackie
    March 18, 2016 at 7:21 am

    I knew all of them just by reading. I’ve heard some people saying, ‘bite’ with the bait sound.

  • Reply
    Carol
    March 18, 2016 at 7:19 am

    Have heard (and used) all but “bait”, haven’t said “bestest” since I was about 6 though! I didn’t even realize that these words weren’t commonly used everywhere.

  • Reply
    Chuck Taylor
    March 18, 2016 at 5:16 am

    I’ve heard all these words used but one in a different way. Guess where we’ve always fished, bait has always been used to catch fish lol

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