Appalachia Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 94

Words still commonly used in appalachia from england scotland ireland

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!

1. Galacker: one who gathers galax to sell. “Mommy said when she was young they would go galacking every fall to make spending money to buy Christmas presents.”

A video posted by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on


2. Gald: to chaf or burn; to inflame one’s anger. “Every time we plan something she promises to be there to help and the fact that she never not once shows up galds my hide!” or “His arm was galded something awful from where he spilt the boiling water.”

A video posted by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on


3. Gom: to make a mess. “When Chatter and Chitter were little they lived to gom. Give them a bucket of water and a dirty spot in the yard and they were in heaven.”

A video posted by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on


4. Gob: a large amount. “They had gobs of pumpkins down at the store and they were just giving them away. I wish I had got a few more.

5. Goody: a nut kernel. “Granny is so patient. She’ll work five minutes trying to get the goody out of one black walnut.”

All of this month’s words are beyond common in my area of Appalachia excpet galacker. In fact the others are so common I’d guess most everyone will know them.


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  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    November 19, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    Never heard galacker or gom, but have heard the rest. I’ve heard “goody” also used as a treasure, like to try to find a goody or eak one out of something larger which could be a nut kernel for sure.
    Now I have one for you. Have you ever heard someone say they were “fixin'” to get something, like a headache or even to get from a store? A while back, I told someone online from the Midwest that I was “fixin’ to get a headache” (meaning I feel one coming on), and they asked why on earth I’d want to do that. LOL But it is something that I’ve said and have heard said for years since moving down south.
    Hope everyone’s having a wonderful weekend, and that it’s a safe one too.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    November 19, 2016 at 12:55 am

    I missed “galax”. The others are common in our world.
    I have known Galax, Virginia but I never knew the name’s source. Studying the plant I recognize it as fairly common in some Indiana woods but I never knew a name for the plant.
    Tipper, I don’t know what all things are appropriate for asking God but our beautiful mountains and wildlife habitats in Blount County (Tennessee) are being burned away. South and east of Maryville near Townsend, firebugs and copycats have set mountain after mountain on fire. Soon, the Smokies will be threatened, along with the Chilhowie range and the Bays Mountains. Fires are also burning in the Clinch Mountains. I hope your readers will remember us in their prayers, asking and pleading for dousing rains to come.

  • Reply
    November 18, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    Galded was mainly used to describe a baby’s sore bottom. Gob and gobs I have heard and used always. Gom, gommed we said each of those; but mostly we said something was gommy!!

  • Reply
    Leslie Haynie
    November 18, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    We called pieces of fried crust from chicken/pork goody too.

  • Reply
    Coach Daley
    November 18, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    Tipper, I knew “goody” even living in the Delta of Mississippi, but related to Pecan more that Walnuts. We would crack them by squeezing two together. Usually crushed most of the meat but if you did it gently you could get a “good” and sometimes you would be lucky enough to get a double “goody” if you could get it to crack just right to where you could slip both sides out still connected!!! YUM YUM!
    A word I heard long before internet on an old 60s Flatt and Scruggs album was ‘demijohn’. I had to look it up in the dictionary or encyclopedia. But just last month I was watching Pawn Stars and would you believe that someone brought one in to sell!! It had the woven cover arond the jar and the metal rack that was ratcheted so you could pull it over an increment at a time for pouring! While all info says it was for making wine I’m sure it was used for corn liquor by someone somewhere.
    Coach Daley

  • Reply
    November 18, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    My only acquaintance with galacker is from some book which became a movie – perhaps “My Side of the Mountain”?
    Always spelled “gald” – “galled” and thought it was derived from the “gall”s found on many plants and trees and used in the way of “annoyance” or “irritation” or “nuisance”.
    “Gom” is new to me but use “gobs” all the time.
    Have used “goody” as described (trying to pick out that last precious little bit of nut meat); but also use it to describe any treat, to describe a person who always does things right almost to the point of incredulity (a “goody, goody”), or a person who does the good thing in the presence of certain audiences but is quite the opposite in other circumstances (a “goody two shoes”)

  • Reply
    November 18, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    This is for B. Ruth. The polite form is.”The fertilizer connected with the ventilator.”

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    November 18, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    I wrote a comment about the word ‘gald’ but might have not mashed the right button! ha
    Anyhow, I’ve “gommed” up “gobs” of stuff doing my crafty thangs! Sometimes you just have to mess and gom until somethin’ turns into somethin’ worth lookin’ over! Yep, I throwed away “gobs” of paint I’ve mixed up, thinking a mix I made would be the right one.
    I betcha there are people that do some writin’ that has a “gommed up” floor frum “gobs” of eraser peelings. Otherwise, they could never get such great writin’ done to sound rite!
    PS…It’s a hot’en’ today. Now, they’ve changed the rain forecast to a scant, if any, 1/4 inch in our neck of the woods. I’ve been prayin’ for rain. But mountain folks might need to pull out there old timey charms, brews and meditations as well as the Good Book. Why there ain’t even a cloud in the sky for a plane to drop “rain seed” into! By the way, do you know how that “rain seed” works?

  • Reply
    November 18, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    I’m not sure I’ve ever seen galax, let alone been galaking. But I know all the other words whether I’ve used ’em or not. That’s the way Chitter and Chatter carried “Little Bit” around when they were over here. My little dog looked just like “Ruby Sue” and
    he just soaked that up. …Ken
    That Deer hair on the horned limb is something The Deer Hunter would notice.

  • Reply
    Patsy Small
    November 18, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    I never heard of galacker!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 18, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    I know all thee words, except galacker, heard them all my life.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    November 18, 2016 at 11:59 am

    I’m not familiar with galacker but the others are part of my vocabulary.
    Gom was something my mother must of said thousands of times while raising her brood because we were always making a gom or gomming up something. I’m sure it galded her when we made a gom after she had just cleaned. We had a walnut tree that produced gobs of walnuts and it was a lot of work to crack those things and dig the goody out.
    I was fishing with my older brother not too long ago and he was trying to use a new bait caster reel. It backlashed or birdnested as I call it and ever so calmly he said, “what a gom!” I smiled when he said it because I don’t hear it used except when I’m around my folks.
    I’m smiling as I type this because I was transported in my mind back to a time when we didn’t know that not everyone talked like we did. Thanks Tipper!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    November 18, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Many moons ago, I was a chunky (still am fleshy, so to speak) little gal. I had a pair of old Jeans (no “stretchies” back in those days) and I wore them fishing’ even though they were a ‘bit’ too tight!
    Well, where we were goin’ to fish was a fer piece to the lake edge and another walk down the muddy bank a’ways. I got hot in them jeans as the day went on, so I got myself wet in those old timey thick jean fabric jeans. It was time to hike back that evenin’! It was hotter n’blazes and I was still wet after sittin’ on a damp bank, messing around in the water, etc.
    By the time we got back to the car and home my “thigh innards” was “galded”! I never will forget it. Burned like the devil. I had to use some kind of talc for days til my legs dried up! I bet if I could find them old jeans they’d be wet still. That is the way I remember “galded”! ha
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    November 18, 2016 at 11:56 am

    B-thank you for the comments! With todays modern ways of making fake greenery for decorations I dont think anyone is gathering galax anymore-at least not around here : ) The photo is actually a small tree branch that was horned by a deer-you can see the piece of deer hair hanging on. 

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    November 18, 2016 at 11:37 am

    I love crackin’ Black Walnuts and pickin’ out the “goody”. I always thought that was what the inside nut kernels were called when I was a kid. Mom would tell us to crack the walnuts but bring in all of it and not eat the “goody”. Other than “Goody Powders” that is about the only way I’ve heard “goody” used.
    Oh heck no, I done forgot about a girl from high school that some called “Miss Goody Two-Shoes”! Yes, every week it seemed she had a new pair of shoes, not cheap saddle oxfords like the rest of us either! That would be fine but, she always went on and on about her new shoes. Ever cotton-picking’ time she got a new pair and that would have been fine with me, cause I knew how she was, bless her heart! Then one day, she asked a girl when she was going to get some new shoes? Ewww, did the “fit hit the sham” after that! ha
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…don’t think I’m going to need any feet-warmers this year (?) for the temperature here on November the 18th is supposed to be near 80 degrees or thereabouts!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    November 18, 2016 at 11:17 am

    I’m familiar with all the words today. I don’t use galacker since no one around here goes galacking.
    However, If I found someone in my woods “poaching” Galax. I would consider my actions to line up with being the same as shootin’ a chicken thief or a Ginseng poacher! Mostly we just have Ground Pine ferns and Mosses that are used in Christmas wreaths that are still gathered. By the way I feel the same about my flat, five fingered ground pine! It was actually on the endangered list here for a few years. My Morels in the Spring are another thing I wouldn’t allow a poacher to get away with. Love your picture but I’m sure you know that’s not Galax. Galax used to bring 100.00 a bunch on the Northern floral market in years past, especially if it contains some large, extra shiny red/orange, red and bold Christmas green leaves in the mix. Read up about the scarcity in some areas of our mountain Galax due to poaching in the mountains of NC. Sometimes the poachers pulling up the whole plant, cutting the leaves and leaving trails of bare roots to die off! Sickening!
    Thanks Tipper,
    I’ll get off my soap box now! ha

  • Reply
    anita griffith
    November 18, 2016 at 10:44 am

    All common but galax.That must be a plant that grows in the higher mts. of Appalachia.

  • Reply
    November 18, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Galacker is not familiar at all, but all the others are very familiar. I tried to google Galax and it just showed a smart phone. One little lady whose retired husband was never home said he was Mossin’ to make extra money. In fact, he had found a market for the abundant supply of moss in the forest around his home. Favorite saying by one relative is “gommin’ and messin’.
    My family always went yard sellin’. Unlike galacking, It does not make any money. It can create a gob of too many useful items if not careful. It seems I donate items constantly to the Salvation Army so I can make room for more junk. I have a corner where I gather a gob of stuff to de-clutter. It is so difficult for a hoarder to do this, and it really galds me when children want to store all their memorabilia at Mama’s house–not really. I may just have to haul that wedding dress off to the consignment shop 🙂

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    November 18, 2016 at 9:43 am

    Me too, all but galacker. But we dug ginseng instead of picking galax. That made us ginsingers, don’t you guess?

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    November 18, 2016 at 9:01 am

    Never heard galacker and we didn’t use goody to mean a nut meat. I’ve heard gald more to mean a person had a raw hiney or inner thighs.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    November 18, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Tipper–I’m familiar with all of them and even wrote a syndicated newspaper piece years ago about galackers (and sangers–those who gather ginseng) focusing on these as examples of a closeness to the earth, its beauty, and its bounty that seemed to be vanishing. Three generations ago galackers looked forward to this time of year because galax was a favorite among city folks for wreathes and other Christmas decorations.
    Jim Casada
    P. S. Thanks for the promotion of the book event in Bryson City. Our mother was librarian at the Marianna Black Library for a decade after Don, our sister, and I were grown and gone from home. That consideration, plus the fact that the library was founded by and is named for our next-door neighbor, makes it near and dear to this avid reader’s heart.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    November 18, 2016 at 8:56 am

    Three and a half out of five for me. The half is ‘goody’ because the meaning I know is anything good, not just nut kernel. The clean miss is ‘galacker’ because galax does not grow where I grew up. I do not recall when I first met up with it in the woods. Gom and gob are well known to me. ‘Gald’ (for ‘gall’ or ‘galled’) I know though it is heard very rarely. Folks who have not been very active in hot weather probably can’t relate to being ‘galded’, a painful sore caused by friction.
    Your vocabulary tests cumulatively bring home the point that Appalachianers are to some degree a unique group, though migration has blurred the connection to an identifiable geographic area. If migration had been into rather than out of any distinctions would have been much more diluted by now. I wonder if the local folks in the very popular places, such as Sevierville and Pigeon Forge, have had their manner of talking changed without hardly being aware it was happening.

  • Reply
    November 18, 2016 at 8:50 am

    Galacker an goody got me on this test. Mom used to pronounce a nut kernel as qurnel. Strange how your test brings back memories of things we might not have ever remembered again.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    November 18, 2016 at 8:19 am

    I never heard galaker never used gald, but gall with the same meaning. Gom I use all the time as if we want something good we’do better gom onto it before it’s all gone

  • Reply
    Cynthia Schoonover
    November 18, 2016 at 7:56 am

    I’ve used gobs before and I’ve heard of galded. Your dog is so cute and it looks like it could be our dog’s sibling! Our little guy is a tri-color chihuahua-rat terrier mix.

  • Reply
    Eldonna Ashley
    November 18, 2016 at 5:11 am

    Yep, everything but galacker.
    Gald, gob or gobs, and goody are used more commonly than gom.
    I really like these vocabulary tests.

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