Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 90

Appalachian vocabulary test see how you do

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!

A video posted by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on

1. Directly: in a little while; before long; soon. “You need to wash the dishes your mother will be home directly and I know she hates to come home to a mess.”

A video posted by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on

2. Doings: excited activity; a celebration. “Looks like some kind of big doings going on down to the folk school. They was cars and people everywhere when I came in from work.”

A video posted by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on

3. Do up: to complete or finish something. “Tell Granny as soon as I do up the washing I’ll be down to help her.”

A video posted by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on

4. Draw up: to shrink. “Momma can’t wash any of our wool sweaters in our new washing machine or they’ll draw up.” or “Every time I think about dropping that pan on my toe it makes me draw up.”

A video posted by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on

5. Duck fit: a tantrum; an outburst of excitement. “When he found out I quit my job he had a dying duck fit!

All of this month’s words/phrases are very common in the mountains of western North Carolina. How about where you live?

Hope you’ll leave me a comment and tell me how you did on the test.


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  • Reply
    Eldonna Ashley
    August 13, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    I use 1-4 all the time. Directly is pronounced more like “dreckly.”

    Now about that dyung duck fit I can only relate it to a chicken with its head chopped off but is a different way of saying it that means something just a bit different. I actually never heard the duck one before.

  • Reply
    Bobby C
    August 19, 2016 at 7:46 am

    Tipper, we still use them all here in north Georgia.

  • Reply
    Guitar Man
    August 5, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    Paul sounds so much like Dad (and Pap!) in this video.

  • Reply
    Glen Prater
    August 2, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    I was born and raised in Eastern Kentucky in the late 1950s. A word we used to mean something extremely smelly or filthy was “kuarn” (phonetic spelling), as in, “Your feet stink like kuarn.” It was literally decades later that I realized “kuarn” was probably our Appalachian pronunciation of carrion!

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    August 2, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    All but “duck fit” – I’m sure going to be using it, though! Love, love the videos♡

  • Reply
    August 1, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    B. Ruth-I pickled those beets : ) I’m still loving the ease of roasted beets too!

  • Reply
    Keith Jones
    July 30, 2016 at 8:12 am

    Tipper, my grandaddy Jones died when I was 4. The ONLY thing I really remember him telling me was when I was staying with him and Momma Jones while my folks went to a meeting. I asked when they’d be back, and he replied, “Directly.” Of course it sounded like dreckly to me.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 29, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    I don’t think I have ever heard “do up”. Finish up would be what I am more likely to use or get done with.
    Tell that youngin that if she puts it on while it’s wet, it will fit perfect when it dries.
    Tell b. Ruth that “roastin years” are fresh field corn. They don’t have the flavor that sweet corn does if prepared the same way but if roasted they taste like a cross between sweet corn and pop corn. “Roast nears” are cooked in the oven. Sorta like parched corn only you start with corn that is just starting to “come in”.

  • Reply
    Crystal Richmond
    July 29, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    I always enjoy your vocabulary section.
    I use ” draw up ” all the time. I never thought about it being a part of this lol. The only one I had never heard was duck fit . We say ” hissy fit”.
    Thank you for always making my day.. Crys Richmond

  • Reply
    Pam Danner
    July 29, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    I have heard all but duck fit. I love your Appalachian vocabulary test!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    July 29, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Tipper—All those words and phrases except duck fit are familiar to me in an every day, use ‘em all the time way. I’ve heard duck fit but hissy fit or conniption fit are much more common in my experience. Also, doings is invariable rendered with the “g” being silent. I think mountain folks tend to drop their “g” letters almost as much as Cockneys drop their aitches. The biggest difference is that Cockneys drop the aitch no matter where it appears in a word whereas mountain talk usually just drops the g in a word ending in ing.
    I’ve heard “do up” more often as “done up,” such as “that fetchin’ lass with the chinquapin eyes got all done up for the dance.”
    Similarly, “drawn up” is more familiar that “draw up,’ such as “after three washin’s them cotton britches was saw drawn up they cleared the top of my brogans.”
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Deb Kroll
    July 29, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    Use them all except “dying duck fit”, although I’ve heard others use that one. We say “have a cow” or “hissy fit”. 🙂

  • Reply
    July 29, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    I have heard “duck fit”, but usually heard it as “dying duck fit”. I would expect a dying duck to have a fit: kinda like “running around like a chicken with its head cut off”.

  • Reply
    July 29, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    Heard ’em all and use ’em all!

  • Reply
    anita griffith
    July 29, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Couldn’t get the videos to work.I use all of these,maybe not draw up as much.
    Have you ever heard as wild as a gut shot guinea?

  • Reply
    July 29, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    I’ve heard them all except ‘duck fit’. I’ve heard many variations of it though. (hissy fit, tin lizzie, a calf or cow, etc.)
    When I was about 4-5 years old Dad told me to go tell Grandma to come out on the porch and come straight back. I made it down the hill, across two fences, through the hollow and up the hill to Grandma’s house. While she and Dad were having their conversation I started playing in the sand in her yard. They finished and Grandma asked me, “Do you want some cornbread skin?” We went inside. She skimmed off the bottom of the hot cornbread and buttered it. I ate it and went back to play in the sand. I heard Dad yelling, “Get back up here!” When I got home Dad said, “I told you to come straight back.” My response was, “You can’t come straight back. The trail is crooked.” He called me a smart aleck and spanked me with the hand saw. I didn’t know straight back meant immediately and directly meant when He got ready or we finished the project.
    He had a lot of things to say that made no sense to me through my growing up years. I learned that his “2 or 3” meant exactly 3. A “few” meant exactly 5. “Several” meant exactly 7. A “handful” meant all I could hold in both hands. He did a lot of carpentry and was constantly sending me for more nails.

  • Reply
    July 29, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    Grew up hearing all those every day. The only one I use is dying duck fit. So appropriate sometimes.

  • Reply
    July 29, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Yep, use and hear them all the time..

  • Reply
    July 29, 2016 at 11:55 am

    These short videos won’t come on when I click the white arrow, must be my computer. I didn’t know who Melvin is and wondered what he sounded like. I’m familiar with everybody else. Chatter is missin’ and unless I see them, I can’t tell who’s talking…Ken

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    July 29, 2016 at 11:51 am

    my dad had a saying that has to be his own creation. If something aggravated you or made you mad he’d day “don’t get all snatched off”

  • Reply
    July 29, 2016 at 11:50 am

    I never heard “duck fit” before. Do ducks have fits?

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    July 29, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Another 100 % for me on the vocabulary test. We shortened directly to dreckly.
    Every one of these are very common to me and I’m especially fond of using the duck fit expression. I guess a dying duck fit might be a little more intense than just a plain old duck fit. Love today’s words!

  • Reply
    July 29, 2016 at 10:34 am

    Never heard “duck fit” but see how it is a very appropriate metaphor – and instead of “have a calf” we often say “have a cow” for a similar situation.
    Have heard or used “draw up” very rarely, but the rest are a part of every day usage here.

  • Reply
    July 29, 2016 at 10:00 am

    I know all of these, and I love the videos- but giving the definitions right off takes away the fun a little.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    July 29, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Yep! All but “duck fit” are still in my vocabulary. Instead of “duck fit,” we always said,
    “Don’t have a cow! It’s not the end of the world.” or “When she accused him of stealing her book, he had a cow.”

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    July 29, 2016 at 9:51 am

    I knew all of these! It has been a long time since that happened.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    July 29, 2016 at 9:43 am

    One more thing…not totally to do with vocabulary but maybe it does too! ha
    Are you planning on roasting those beets or canning them. I usually cut my tops close if I was cooking to can, to keep from bleeding out so much! Just wondering how you do your beets!
    After years in the kitchen, I learned from you a great way of roasting beets and we love them that way, Until I saw your post, we had never roasted beets in the oven! At 75, I love learning new ways to can and cook veggies to save time. The old ways are good, but not always the best for todays busy life, especially if it works just as well or better!
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…Another thing I always heard all my life was a differential word about corn. For instance, someone would say that variety makes “good roastin’ ears”! Do they mean literally roasting on the fire or is the term just generic for all round cooking corn!

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    July 29, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Directly– came out more like dreckly. Mama used to say something sad, etc. made her “draw up in a little hard knot”. We had “running duck fits” and went to “big doings” whenever we could. It was more likely to hear someone got “all done up” to go to the “big doings”.
    I enjoy the vocabulary so much, Tipper, and hate to see the old sayings leaving our vocabularies. My mother was a treasure trove of these and kept using them more than anyone I’ve ever known. One of these days I’m going to try to list them all and what they meant.
    Thinking of you and your family often and saying a prayer for you.

  • Reply
    Jerry in Arkansas
    July 29, 2016 at 9:33 am

    I’ve heard all of them except “duck fit”. Having a “hissy fit” is more common here.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    July 29, 2016 at 9:27 am

    When you “do up” them beautiful beets, I’ll be beholdin’ to you, if’n you’d send me a pint!
    Just kiddin’, but those are some purty beets and greens. There are some chickens on your place that will be happy little hens to get a few of those greens.
    I love the videos of the vocabulary test. Great idea!
    I remember hearing my grandmother say “directly”! It seems like she just had a special way of pronouncing the word. When we would call out to her, “I’ll be there directly”, she’d say! Goodness, a one word memory!
    Back in my day, a “dying duck fit” was funnier than a “hissy fit”! A “hissy fit” was deliberate and mean and a “duck fit” was comical. I’m remembering one little girlfriend that actually would roll on the ground, quacking and laughing hysterically like “daffy duck”, If she got the best of you and so tickled that she just couldn’t contain herself! At least that is the way I remember. I still use both terms.
    I’ve “drawed up” more clothes washing in hot water, but I finally learnt’ better! ha
    Well, we’re getting ready for the “big doin’s” on the plateau next month, so I got to tag up some stuff and turn out the dogs!
    Great post, I always love, like everyone, the monthly vocabulary test!
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    July 29, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Never heard anyone say dying duck fit, but I use all the other words just like you all do in the videos. Where I come from, they would never say the sweater drew up. It drawed up after it was washed in a cold bucket of water I drawed right out of the well.

  • Reply
    Larry Proffitt
    July 29, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Tipper, All are common in my vernacular here in far east Tennessee . Larry Proffitt

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    July 29, 2016 at 9:09 am

    I haven’t heard 4 and 5 since my Gramma passed. But, I use the others every day. I can use them all right now: As soon as I do up the laundry, we’re leaving directly for the home place. Oh, we have big doings going on this weekend.
    I love going home!
    Thanks Tipper.

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    July 29, 2016 at 9:02 am

    Tipper, all of the vocabulary is familiar. It’s just the way we talk. I love the addition of hearing the words or phrases used.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    July 29, 2016 at 8:52 am

    4 of 5. I’m used to ‘hissy fit’ instead of duck fit. I think ‘directly’ means ‘without anything else intervening’ as opposed to ‘fixing to’ which is ‘on my to-do list and near the top’. It has been a long time since I heard ‘big doings’ or ‘do up’ but I remember them well. And I have had clothes draw up, some for real and some where the actual cause was me expanding.
    Thanks for the reminder.

  • Reply
    George Pettie
    July 29, 2016 at 8:49 am

    “Duck fit” is a new one on me.

  • Reply
    July 29, 2016 at 8:19 am

    I enjoy these little videos so much! Thanks for taking the time to make them, Tipper, and thanks to all your volunteer “pronouncers” 🙂
    I didn’t know duck fit or draw up, but the others are familiar.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    July 29, 2016 at 8:19 am

    I use all of these phrases except duck fit. We have hissy fits

  • Reply
    eva nell mull wike, PhD
    July 29, 2016 at 8:18 am

    Tipper: I am as ‘informed’ as Ms. Betty! I knew all the expressions except ‘duck fit’ and then her mama’s expression about that calf with a concrete tail is ‘foreign to me’ as we use to say in the Cove. Hope you are getting gentle rains. I am suppose to go to the TOMATO FESTIVAL today in Grainger County – but the rain is causing me to wonder – as it is a fairly long haul up there! But the folks are mighty fine and those tomatoes are THE BEST IN THE WORLD! You can find them in the grocery store over there!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Evelyn Richardson
    July 29, 2016 at 8:15 am

    I loved this. I have not heard of a dying duck fit.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 29, 2016 at 7:31 am

    Tip, I love your live performance of these words and expressions! I know all these words and I know all these people!

  • Reply
    Betty Newman
    July 29, 2016 at 7:07 am

    Knew (and use) them all except “duck fit”. That must be a NC term, lol! What my mother used to say was, “She’ll have a calf with a concrete tail if that happens!” And of course – I find it creeping into my vocabulary as well 🙂

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