Appalachia Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 91

Old words used in western nc

It’s time for this month’s Appalachian Vocabulary Test.

I’m sharing a few videos to let you hear some of the words. 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. Dutch oven: a heavy cast-iron pot with a close fitting lid and often with three feet on the bottom for cooking over an open fire.

A video posted by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on

2. Dinner bucket: lunch box. “He left his dinner bucket sitting in the woods where they were working, I’ll have to pack his dinner in a sack until he goes and finds it.”

A video posted by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on

3. Dauncy: sickly. “I told her she needed to rest but she wouldn’t listen. After working so long in the hot sun she’s laying on the couch feeling dauncy.”

4. Destryoment: destruction. “The floods in Louisianan have caused total destryoment.”

A video posted by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on

5. Dido: a fit; can also be used to describe a circular motion. “I can’t believe anyone would cut didos in a church parking lot. I’d be afraid I’d be struck by lightning for doing that!”

All of this month’s words are common in my area except dauncy. Hope you’ll leave me a comment and tell me how you did on the test.


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  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 31, 2016 at 10:58 am

    The Old Oaken Bucket was written about 1816 not 1916.

  • Reply
    August 30, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    I’ve never heard “dauncy” or destroyment. I like them though. Also, my Daddy used to say, “Percka-deedle-dido, I’ll take coffee.” I always meant to ask him where that came from. It must have been in some riddle or song he used to sing.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 30, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    A poem by Samuel Wordsworth. Written about 1917.
    The Oaken Bucket
    How dear to this heart are the scenes of my childhood,
    When fond recollection presents them to view!
    The orchard, the meadow, the deep-tangled wildwood,
    And every loved spot which my infancy knew;
    The wide-spreading pond and the mill which stood by it,
    The bridge, and the rock where the cataract fell;
    The cot of my father, the dairy-house nigh it,
    And e’en the rude bucket which hung in the well,
    The old oaken bucket, the iron-bound bucket,
    The moss-covered bucket which hung in the well.
    Reading such as this was oft a pastime in my misspent youth. There is more to the poem but I didn’t want to use too much space. Read it then read it again and substitute pail for bucket. That is why I never use the word pail except to rail against it.

  • Reply
    August 30, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    I’m 2 for 2 , Dido and Dauncy I’m not familiar with , the other 2 I am, especially a dinner bucket, been caring one for years.. all tho now days I carry it in a empty walmart sack, then throw everything away when I’m finished..

  • Reply
    Candy Davis
    August 30, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    I’ve only heard of Dutch Oven and Dinner Bucket. I really like dido though. That’s a good word and I’m going to have to use it. I have my mother’s old cast iron dutch oven. It looks just like the one your daughter is holding in the video. You can’t beat a dutch oven. I’m a native Floridian, and growing up, we always called a big meal in the middle of the day dinner, like on Sundays or when guests were coming. Otherwise we called the noonday meal lunch. I don’t know where I get some of my southern / Appalachian words and sayings from. My father grew up in Georgia and both sides of my mother’s family are from your neck of the woods; Murphy, Brasstown, and Peachtree. It seems like they both used the same words and sayings though. I still use them all, even if people don’t know what I’m talking about!

  • Reply
    August 30, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    Only two for me today! I cooked in a dutch over for years, but cast iron is hard for me now – or maybe I should say dangerous, with arthritis in my hands. And “Lunch pail” or “dinner pail” is more familiar to me than “bucket,” but then I grew up in MA with pails, not buckets. Then I lived in CO for 7 years, and had livestock, and out there it was all buckets. And I guess it stuck at least for the barnyard, because now I fill and carry 13 feed buckets every evening, and scrub out and refill the water buckets too. But I still say “pail” every now and again. Are there any pails in your neck of the woods?

  • Reply
    August 30, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    I know them all!! I would’ve said “I’m gonna send him off with a poke lunch until he finds his dinner bucket!”
    How I love Appalachian language!

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    August 30, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    I can’t recall ever hearing dauncy or destroyment. I’ve heard dinner bucket also called a dinner pail. I use to use a paper poke to take my supper in when I was working the night shift. If you were careful you could use them several times before throwing it away.

  • Reply
    August 30, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    I kept waiting for the videos to come on but that didn’t ever happen. It’s OK tho, I didn’t know most of ’em anyway this time. I do remember my mama using dauncy and she’d have to sit down. Musta been her blood pressure cause we all had that problem along with strokes in our family. I recon everybody has problems…Ken

  • Reply
    August 30, 2016 at 11:03 am

    I’ve only heard dinner bucket and dutch oven. I am thinking a little better this morning after coffee. Two very old words or expressions that used to be common in my Appalachian world are “well I swanee” and poke for bag. I even had a little aunt who shortened to “I swan.”
    I used to love to sit and listen to my uncle who would tell stories from his childhood. There were 12 children, and it took a smart and industrious lady to pack a bucket for all those little ones to carry to their one room school–no cafeteria and no picky eaters. He also recalled his bare feet stayed warm if he ran the couple of miles to school. He recalled taking a bucket full of milk along with a pone of bread. With their spoons they gathered around and ate their lunch. Hard to imagine, but most grew up to be healthy industrious individuals. He also remembered his bare feet stayed warm if he ran the couple of miles to school. Loved his stories!
    I like going over the comments as time permits, as I learn a lot from your Blind Pig readers. So very glad always to have a site where all the beautiful parts of Appalachia are preserved by Tipper.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 30, 2016 at 11:00 am

    I have never heard dauncy or destroyment.
    Dido is known as Kudido or cudido in my world and describes an exaggerated form of dancing or a tantrum from a child. Also known as cutting a rusty.
    Dinner to me is also the midday meal but if we were eating away from home we carried it in a lunch bucket, box, bag or poke.
    Dutch oven is a common word but the real ones are rare these days.
    One out of five ain’t so good is it? If I study real hard can I retake the test tomar?

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    August 30, 2016 at 10:46 am

    Dinner bucket and Dutch oven, yes. The others, sad to say because they are so colorful, no.

  • Reply
    Lonnie Baker
    August 30, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Dauncy was new. Dido in my neck of the woods meant a prank or a trick.

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    August 30, 2016 at 10:13 am

    Tipper, I look forward to your blog every morning. Thank you so much for creating Blind Pig and Acorn and being so faithful to post each day.
    I am familiar with all the words except “dauncy.” I love hearing them pronounced!
    I hope your Uncle Henry is doing better. I have been praying for him and your family. I think all of us understand how it feels to have the kind of week you described. Thankfully, Jesus does come by.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    August 30, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Never heard dauncy or destroyment but I love destroyment–sounds just like what the coon did to the sweet corn last year.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    August 30, 2016 at 9:08 am

    I have heard & use all but dauncy & destroyment. I’m not familiar with either of these. However with this summer’s heat I’m glad that I now know that the condition I’ve been suffering has a name, I too have felt dauncy several times, I just didn’t know it until now. I’ve found that the best treatment for my dauncy is a cool shower or a soak in a tub of cool water if there isn’t a cool creek or river nearby. When growing up at Needmore we lived on the Little Tennessee River and I found after a hard day in the fields a plunge in the same was a wonderful treatment for “dauncy”. I wonder if this treatment might have also cured the “Vapors” many of the older generations of the female persuasion suffered but we never hear of nowdays.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    August 30, 2016 at 9:01 am

    Never heard Dauncy or dido, Dido is an interesting word though and almost brings an image to mind.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    August 30, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Only 3 of 5. Never heard destroyment or dauncy. I think the ‘dinner bucket’ originated with the bucket for ‘dinner’ such as the coal miners used. The bottom held drinking water then an upper insert that was dry held the food. I recall seeing them as a child but have no idea if they are even made any more. Once the ‘lunch box’ came along it continued to be called a ‘dinner bucket’ for awhile. My Dad had lunch boxes but for some time called them a dinner bucket. Guess it was along about then that ‘dinner’ started becoming ‘lunch’.

  • Reply
    anita griffith
    August 30, 2016 at 8:44 am

    While growing up mostly heard poke for sack,Also heard poke used in to poke fun at somebody.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    August 30, 2016 at 8:29 am

    I really flunked today. I knew Dutch Oven and Lunch Bucket, but none of the others.

  • Reply
    jerry in Arkansas
    August 30, 2016 at 8:25 am

    Never heard of dauncy. I think the term “dinner bucket” comes from back when people carried their lunch in syrup buckets.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    August 30, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Tipper–Dauncy is completely new to me. I’ve never heard it verbally or seen it in print.
    Lunch buckets ought to be dinner buckets, because mountain folks eat dinner and supper. Incidentally, according to my late father, children literally carried buckets to school with their humble fare (often cornbread or biscuits with some sopping syrup (molasses) in the bottom of the bucket.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Pam Danner
    August 30, 2016 at 8:13 am

    The only one I have heard is Dutch Oven, of which I have one in my cabinet. I use it often.

  • Reply
    George Pettie
    August 30, 2016 at 8:13 am

    Echo that-never heard dauncy.

  • Reply
    August 30, 2016 at 8:10 am

    Dauncy is new to me.
    Destroyment sounds like one of those words where an extra syllable is thrown in for emphasis. My cousin has been doing that this week by trying to get folks “orientated” rather than just using “oriented”.
    – but – for the life of me, I can’t understand why cutting a dido in a church parking lot would lead to such an electric condemnation! Never mind – I was thinking of dado and rabbet joints; a wikipedia search set me straight!

  • Reply
    anita griffith
    August 30, 2016 at 7:47 am

    I’ve never heard destroyment.My father-in-law often used dauncy when he wasn’t feeling well.My wife uses it sometimes.I think it is a dying word.
    lg EKY

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 30, 2016 at 6:06 am

    Tip, I’ve never heard dauncy. All the others I hear regularly.

  • Reply
    Eldonna Ashley
    August 30, 2016 at 5:00 am

    We call a man’s food container a dinner bucket, a school child carries a lunch box though.
    Our college grandson was here over the summer, he was both working at a business and doing an internship at a museum. He took his food in a cooler. Like Tipper I called it his dinner bucket, sometimes I just asked, “Do you need anything for your bucket?”

    • Reply
      George E Wulf
      February 16, 2018 at 12:36 pm

      I’m from Central Illinois. Back in the 70’s before Roundup Ready soybeans, we used to walk the fields to cut the corn/weeds out. Typically, each person would take 4 rows, two on either side. Worked for a guy named Salty Spradlin, and there was a field that wasn’t too weedy, so he asked us to “kindly make a dido” through the field. He motioned with his hand or otherwise I wouldn’t have had a clue what he was talking about. Been interested in Appalachian dialect recently due to my Scots-Irish heritage on my Mom’s side…Central Illinois was originally settled by Upland Southerners in the early 19th century, so you still hear snippets of the Appalachian lexicon here and there. My wife (maiden name Bell) uses the term “side-goggled” from time to time; she has no idea where it came from, but I do know that her family moved to Illinois from Kentucky several generations ago. Only recently discovered that this is Appalachian terminology.

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