Appalachia Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 88

Appalachian vocabulary test do you know these words

It’s time for this month’s Appalachian Vocabulary Test. I’m sharing a few videos in this test to let you hear some of the words too. To start the videos, click on them and then to stop them click on them again.

Take it and see how you do!

  1. Case knife
  2. Chinkiepin
  3. Chock full
  4. Chunk 
  5. Cobbled up

A video posted by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on

1. case knife: butter knife. “When you get up, get me the butter and a case knife.”

A video posted by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on

2. chinkiepin: a small tree related to the American Chestnut with small round dark brown nuts. “When I was a little girl people always told me I had chinkiepin eyes.”

A video posted by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on

3. chock full: full to overflowing. “She left the bathtub stopped up and the water running while she was messing with that phone. I mean it was chock full when I went in there and found it.”

A video posted by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on

4. chunk: to feed a fire with wood. “Don’t forget to chunk the fire when you get home or the house will be cold when the kids get home from school.” (*as you can see I was thinking of one definition for chunk and my friend was thinking of another)


A video posted by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on

5. cobbled up: poorly constructed; rickety. “He built her house, but it was so cobbled up I heard you had to scotch things in place to keep them from rolling away on the floor.”


All of this month’s words are fairly common in my area of Appalachia, how about where you live?



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  • Reply
    Keith Jones
    May 9, 2016 at 8:33 am

    The commenter above is right that there is a chinquapin oak, but that doesn’t mean that there are not chinquapin trees, which are in the chestnut family. I think a chinquapin oak somewhat resembles a real chinquapin tree, or perhaps grows in the same area as chinquapins. About case knives–I think case knives (little “c”) were originally knives lined up side by side in a case, like a set of steak knives are sold now. But there’s also a company named for its founding family that makes Case knives (mostly pocket, hunting, and commemorative knives.) I’ve heard “chunk” used as a verb…”Hey pitcher, chunk that ol’ baseball in there!” And I wonder if “cobbled together” originally came from making cobbler pies, when chunks of fruit were pretty much thrown in the pie together with the fixin’s for the crust, which rises up through the filling as it bakes?

  • Reply
    May 8, 2016 at 8:05 am

    From southern Ohio here. I have heard (&used) these words and expressions all my life with the exception of Chinkapin. I’ve never heard of that! I like your video & hearing how the words are used in context. I couldn’t understand a word the two young girls were saying though! Apparently *my* Appalachian accent is different from theirs! 😉
    Looking forward to seeing more of these!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    May 7, 2016 at 12:50 am

    My neighbors, when I was growing up on Wiggins Creek, had a full set of cast iron cobbler’s lasts and the stand they fit on. I have no idea who had been the cobbler in the family but Aunt Pearl the matriarch of the family could darn up holes in socks and make rugs from looper clips which were the remains of what produced socks and hose. I suspect the lasts came down from her. I know she knew how to use them because I watched her put half soles and heels on her grandchildren’s shoes. I imagine the term cobbled up came from an attempt to repair shoes without the proper equipment.

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    May 6, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    100%- I’m loving the videos!

  • Reply
    Rev. Rose Marie "RB" Redmond
    May 6, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Yep! Heard ’em all.
    Hoping everyone’s having a GREAT weekend!!!
    Happy Mother’s Day ya’all!!!
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    May 6, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    I have never heard cobbled up, but all the others are standard!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    May 6, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    Tipper–Bill B.’s usage of chunk, and someone else mentioned it as well, falls in my main linkage to the word.
    I wonder if anyone among your readers is familiar with one of the things that I regularly chunked; namely, a donnick.
    I heard that word used regularly as a kid, but other than personally using it in writing a few times, I don’t recall encountering it in years.
    A typical usage would be some like: “If you don’t leave me along I’m going to pick up the biggest donnick I can throw and chunk it at your head.”
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    anita griffith
    May 6, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    My husband and I use all these words and they are commonly used in my part of KY,except chinkapin which we have 4 growing in our yard. chinkapins are closely related to the American chestnut,but have more resistance to the blight that has killed most of the chestnut trees.The nuts are good to eat,

  • Reply
    May 6, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    I’ve heard all these used, some it’s been a while, case knife I’ve heard used in the past, by my Grandparents, I guess it never caught on with us but I knew what they were talking about.. The rest is just everyday language.. I enjoyed the videos.. pass a couple of those cookies chock full of nuts and a chunk of that meat, I’m hungry..

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    May 6, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    One more thing…
    I know I shouldn’t use this comment page for off-subject comments but I get carried away with a thought….Tell Jim and Don that my blackberries have berries on them. So I think, at least on my hill it is not blackberry winter…I actually heard my first “Chuck-wills-widow” early this morning around 4:00 AM…I still have not heard my first Catbird…and my wild honeysuckle is not blooming so far…but my native red honeysuckle is in full bloom as well as the two bi-color orange and bicolor peach! Something seems reversed…I really need to keep a written book of these events…my mind can’t remember the timing but I do believe Mother Natures shook things up a bit this year!
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    May 6, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Tipper–All the terms are familiar to me, but in a couple of cases in a somewhat different way. If you say Case knife I think of the brand (it’s a fine, American-made brand with a long tradition, and one of their many models is the pocket knife I carry).
    Rather than “cobble up” I’ve always heard and used “cobble together.”
    When it comes to chinquapins, and this is something I didn’t learn until a few years ago, there are actually two varieties. I would describe the ones growing in the Smokies as a bush or shrub rather than a tree, but the Ozark chinquapin is a sho ’nuff tree. I first found out about it when I read about people making box calls for turkey hunting using chinquapin wood. I thought to my self that you’d do a powerful lot of seeking to find a Smokies chinquapin big enough for a blank to make a wood call, but a turkey-hunting buddy who lives in the Ozarks enlightened me.
    Jim Casada
    P. S. It was great to see you and Matt last evening.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    May 6, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    I love the colorful picture of the girls or one girl in front of the post with the growing grey Foliose and Fruticose lichen!
    I love lichens…I use it on drift wood, clay, in glass jar crafts or terrariums …it can dry out. If you moisten it, the stuff just softens back up and looks like its growing again but you can permanently dry it. It can be baked to kill in teeny critters, but not too hot, just a low slow heat. That has been my experience! I have used the little upright type (Fruticose) for trees in miniature landscapes and the grey (Foliose) leaf like on rocks or for flat areas or backgrounds…I have dried shelf lichens as well…I used to play in the forest with all these pretties of nature…pretending to be a fairy just flitting around the woodland picking up this and that for a fairy house landscape! I was always too big to sit on the shelf lichen. I hear there is some places in the world that lichens grow big enough to sit on! Used to know all the lichen names long ago when I was a child!
    Sorry I didn’t mean to get started on this….
    I wanted to say too that I am enjoying the voice definitions of the vocabulary words…great idea! May I suggest that sometimes the girls might slow their speech just a bit so and old lady can hear all the words…just wondering?
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    Eldonna Ashley
    May 6, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    We use or have used four of the words exactly as you described.
    I never heard of chinkapin.
    Love the vocabulary tests, love your blog.

  • Reply
    May 6, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    All are familiar to me except the case knife–that’s a new one! And might explain my husband’s penchant for pulling out his pocketknife to cut fruit, bread, whatever. I hate to think of the germs on that thing.
    Still sending prayers for all of you.

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    May 6, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    Because up north people didn’t know what I meant by “case knife” (the “knife” part of “knife, fork and spoon” table setting), I learned to say “table knife”. Now, back in Tennessee, I can return to proper English and not be misunderstood when I say case knife.
    Feels good to get a hundred on a quiz.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    May 6, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    Food Lion stores around here have the hot pepper cheese, which I love, in the deli. It’s not the pepper jack that others have. Jack cheese doesn’t have and flavor so all you taste is the pepper. This stuff has a salter more cheesy taste. Anyway, I asked the young lady for two pounds. She held up what was left of the block. I said “I’ll take it!” How do you want it sliced?” “Just leave it in a chunk!”
    She was happy because she didn’t have to clean up the slicer. I was happy because cheese tastes better when left in a chunk.
    B.Ruth’s monkey has been over here too but it is chasing the weasel around the vinegar jug.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    May 6, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    1. I call a butter knife a “Case knife” but am more likely to use it as a screwdriver than to spread butter.
    2. I remember the little “Chinkiepin” nuts in their little burrs. Makes you step carefully when you are barefooted. My eyes are hazel so I have hazelnut eyes I guess. By the way, May 1st, along with being your husband’s birthday, is the 1st day of barefoot season.
    3. I have used “Chock full” but am more likely to say “slap dab full” or “slam packed.”
    4. A “Chunk” is a portion of unequal size. Cornbread is properly served in chunks because the partakers break off as much as they think they can eat. Hunk can sometimes be substituted for chunk. Other things that are in “Chunks” are cheese, bologna (baloney) livermush and meatloaf to name a few. Even butter which you smear with your case knife can be in cut into chunk.
    4½. “Chunk” in my world is also used to describe a chubby little kid. “Well now ain’t he getting to be a chunk!”
    5. “Cobble up” is only one word I use to describe a sloppy job. I also use throwed together, throwed up, haywired, and rigged just to name a few. I guess I need more words because I see way too much of that kind of stuff round here.

  • Reply
    May 6, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    I love it every time you write this column!

  • Reply
    Dee Parks
    May 6, 2016 at 10:51 am

    Tipper, I remember all those words except one being used when I was a child. I had not heard “cobbled up”. I remember my mother saying so and so had eyes as dark as “chinquapins.” I asked my mother, “what is a chinquapin?” She explained that in MS it was a tree with little nuts that were almost black. I thought my mother had eyes like chinquapins too. One word I haven’t seen in your Applachian lists is “scutter.” I remember it from my childhood. Mostlly, like my father would say with a smile and looking at a little child, “you little scutter.” I’m not sure that is correct spelling but that is what I heard.

  • Reply
    Nancy Schmidt
    May 6, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Chinkapin is a variety of oak. Chinkapin oak. Maybe in some places it came to mean the chestnut thing also.
    Cobbled up is related to a cobbler of course. We always felt, and still do, that it means putting something together with whatever comes to hand, even it it doesn’t exactly fit just perfectly.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    May 6, 2016 at 10:11 am

    You’re holding a case knife in the first picture. Looks just like mine.
    And I got 3 or 4 Chinkapin Trees pretty close to the creek. Daddy planted them in the early 60’s and they’re still going strong. I ain’t got no idea where he got ’em, but there’s about 4 in each burr and they’re about the size of my thumbnail. I’ve seen 5 squirrels, all in one tree feeding on these boogers.
    I know and use all these words, but when I put my curser on the little white arrow, there was no sound. It’s probably my system. Nice post today…Ken

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    May 6, 2016 at 10:08 am

    Well, I didn’t do so good on this one. I thought Case (uppercase) as in Case XX, and I thought of chunking a chunk of firewood in the back of the pickup (maybe you’ll give me partial credit for that one).
    Sheryl, I love to hear Tipper talk, too, but have to correct you on something. Tipper doesn’t have a southern drawl (which my wife does). Tipper has a mountain accent. Katie and Corie inherited some of it, but their talkers get to going so doggone fast that it can be hard to pick it out.
    BTW, doing this by video is a great idea, Tipper.

  • Reply
    May 6, 2016 at 10:04 am

    I learned about “chinkiepin” here on this blog.
    Other than that I’m familiar with these words if not exactly as you describe them.
    Like Quinn, I know a “case knife” as a pocket knife; but I also know it as any of an assortment of smallish knives that are kept in a sheath.
    “Chock full” – I’ve only heard & used that one in reference to solid matter tightly fit to overflowing in a container; or when having to do with ideas or thoughts as in “His brain was chock full of ideas that were going to get him in trouble.” Hearing it in reference to liquid is new to me.
    “Chunk” I heard used as demonstrated but most of the time it’s used in reference to mischief as in “chunking rocks at that squirrel” or for just passing time as in “chunking dirt clods at the log”.
    Cobbled up I know just as you describe; but I wonder if it originated as an indirect slight against those who made their own shoes as my mother’s father did for his family. Mom often spoke about how proud she was when she was able to buy her first pair of store bought shoes; and how sad she was when she realized she was inadvertently hurting her father’s pride.

  • Reply
    May 6, 2016 at 9:54 am

    All of those used here except chunk. I have heard people described as stocky, chunky, or stout. The case knife is so familiar and not until I read this did I become puzzled as to why most men carry a pocket knife with name brand Case, yet we always referred to those safe type knives as case knives. After watching the men pull those handy knives out to do just about everything, I started clipping a small one on my keychain. It has been very helpful.
    One of the cutest things I recall from childhood was most neighbors calling a refrigerator a Kelvinator. I still have one dear friend who still refers to them as Kelvinator. I always wondered if that was just a local thing.
    On another note. Just when I feel I have mastered telling those lovely twins apart, I get confused again. Fraternal twins and triplets have appeared in our family rather regularly for the past 150 years–none identical.. This is of added interest to our study of genealogy.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    May 6, 2016 at 9:38 am

    I got them all but I used chunk more often as meaning “to throw” for example; “as a youngster growing up on Needmore I thought I was supposed to chunk every rock I saw into the river or at some critter trying to eat up our garden.”

  • Reply
    Joan Parker
    May 6, 2016 at 9:32 am

    My Mother had a “saying” for every situation. One of them was if she was house cleaning and didn’t have time to do a thorough job she would say “I am going to give it a lick and a promise and I won’t promise it much next time”.

  • Reply
    May 6, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Finally, I have heard and used all of these words! Except: “chunk” – the way I have heard it used would be to say “You need to chunk some pieces of wood in the fire”. ………. and instead of cobbled up, I have heard “cobbled together” as “I just cobbled together a bunch of things for supper this evening”.

  • Reply
    Kimberly Burnette
    May 6, 2016 at 9:11 am

    I use all of these words and the interesting thing is that my husband and I was just talking about case knife the other day. We both use it to refer to a butter knife.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    May 6, 2016 at 9:03 am

    I knew case knife but haven’t heard it in years–we called it a butter knife or a table knife too. Also knew it as a good brand of pocket knife. We said “a chunk of wood” or “chunk that bunch of blackbirds”–meaning throw a clod or something at them.
    My brother, the carpenter, called it “out of kilter” & told a funny story about a friend who misspoke and said it was “out of helter skelter”.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 6, 2016 at 8:40 am

    I know all these words and hear them. Case knife I’ve heard the way you use it as well as the way Quinn uses it.
    Jason is a different kind of guy and I expect most any word you give him he will give you a different example that you thought!
    I have a cobbled up shed out back, I know the exact meaning of that word!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    May 6, 2016 at 8:23 am

    5…All around the cobblers bench
    The monkey chased the weasel
    The monkey thought ’twas all in fun
    Pop goes the weasel–
    Now I’d say that monkey could cause a “cobbled up” mess if he got his tail caught in the weasel !
    I inherited one of those said “weasels” and they do pop after it is full of yarn. The pop would scare me when I would watch it work…but then I’m not a spinner, wish I knew how…
    Have you heard this two terms together? “Well I never, if that ain’t a “gomed and “cobbled up” mess!”
    4…”Chunk” another log on the fire, in about 30 minutes, we’ll be ready to toast some marshmellers!”
    3…”Chockfull of Nuts” is a coffee too…however my garden is “chock full” of weedy babies after the rain, they turn to green like a zillion little critters crawling around!
    2…”Chinkiepin” Mom said they picked up “chinquapins” or chinkiepins” when she was a girl and ate them. Akin to American Chestnuts she said, but sadly the chestnuts died out!
    1…Case knife that is used like a butter, mayo or jelly spreader, never used the word in reference that way, in our immediate family! Only used it as a brand of knife!…Case knives, etc..
    Guinn forgot my favorite way to cobble up….Duck tape it all together!
    Thanks Tipper…only missed one today!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    May 6, 2016 at 8:14 am

    Case knife equaled a table knife not so sharp, but some have serated edges which will not cut meat.
    Chinkapin I have heard of, but not a tree that grows where I live.
    Chock Full, I use all the time, why there is even coffee with that name
    Cobbled up again, use and hear all the time
    Chunk, I am like deer hunter, we use it meaning a chunk of something, not building a fire.
    Good words this month and I really love the speaking roles, gives me a chance to hear your sweet Southern drawl again.

  • Reply
    May 6, 2016 at 7:58 am

    I was always told I had chinkiepen eyes. I’ve heard all the others all my life also, however “chunk” has also been used to describe me in later years. 🙂

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    May 6, 2016 at 7:43 am

    100% for me on this one. Case knife I’ve heard both ways. As a butter knife and as a folding knife. One common way to describe a rambunctious child was to say, “That boy is wide open as a case knife!” It doesn’t make any since at all but I still hear people say that.
    Chunk the fire, chunk it over there out of the way and cut me a big chunk of that cheese.
    I’ve have eaten chinquapin (chinkiepin) nuts and they are tasty.
    I’ve have made a few cobbled up messes that had to be done over and I like my coffee mug chock full in the morning.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    May 6, 2016 at 7:26 am

    All the words are very familiar to me. Nowadays, though, I hardly ever see a chinquapin tree and the tasty little nuts it bears. We used to also call them “little chestnuts,” for–other than the shape and size–they tasted a lot like the larger chestnuts that also grew wild in the woods near our house. Maybe the “chestnut” blight of the 1930’s that killed the southern chestnut trees also attacked and killed the chinquapin bushes, too.

  • Reply
    May 6, 2016 at 5:39 am

    Well this is interesting, because except for “chunk” I use these words but with a slightly different meaning! To me, a “case knife” is a jack-knife, or folding pocket-knife. A chinkapin is a type of oak that I’ve not seen in MA but have seen in places slightly west and south of here so maybe it’s your tree? It looks similar to a chestnut oak, which does grow here and is my very favorite oak. I use “chock full” all the time, and sometimes “chock-a-block full.” And just like your “cobbled up,” I use “cob job” to mean the kind of half-baked, pallet-and-baling-wire, slapped together “just for now” construction project that you can see all over my place, I’m embarrassed to say! 😉

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