Appalachia Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 96

 

Blind Pig and The Acorn monthly Appalachian Vocabulary Test I

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. Hell: a dense tangle of briers, laurel, etc. “I’ve always heard about laurel hells that hunters ventured into that were so thick that they didn’t come out the other side for a good 2 weeks.”

A video posted by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on

 

2. Het up: upset. “The Deer Hunter is always telling me not to get all het up about this or that.”

A video posted by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on

 

3. High minded: haughty; arrogant. “He came in here all high minded like he knew more about my job than I did and tried to tell me what I ought to do different. Truth is he don’t know his hind end from a hole in the ground!”

A video posted by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on

 

4. Hold to: to adhere; to accept; to conform to. “She said her grandpa was always one to hold to old Christmas and didn’t go in much for the way we celebrate Christmas today.”

5. Hope: wish. “I hope you well on your trip!” or “I hope you good luck with your job hunting.”

All of this month’s words and usages are common in my area of Appalachia except using hope for wish. Even though the hope usage in the example sentences isn’t one I’ve heard, I like it! When you think about it hoping for someone or something is the same as wishing for them/it don’t you think?

Please leave me a comment and let me know how you did on the test.

Tipper

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32 Comments

  • Reply
    Tamela
    January 22, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    All are familiar except the use of “hell”. I am familiar with “hellish” situations or behaviors or “catching hell” for those same behaviors.
    But I’m wondering if, more than tangle and darkness, there’s something about the laurel hells that messes with a dog’ sense of smell – they’re usually pretty good at nosing their way home unless taken far away by some two-legged critter.

  • Reply
    Colleen
    January 21, 2017 at 8:12 am

    You did it again, Tipper, a great post.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    January 19, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    Speaking of Laurel Hells I had an event once in one where I thought the Devil had me. It was on the opening day of Deer Bow season, I had placed a Deer Stand above this particular Hell several days earlier. Prior to daylight opening day I was crawling through the Hell to get into my stand, I was wearing what we call a Jonesy Hat which has a brim that folds up around the sides and back,; the folded brim of my hat knocked a Grouse off it’s roost on one of the Laurel branches. Anyone who has ever heard a Grouse Burst when taking off can imagine it’s wing hitting the side of my head, for a second I thought the Devil sure enough had me. By the time I realized what had been hitting my head I was prostrate on the ground with my Bow and Flashlight some distance from me. I was lucky in that my light didn’t go out so I was able to retrieve it and find my Bow. I was in my stand for quite a while before my heart had slowed enough to have even contemplated a shot at a Deer had i even seen one.

  • Reply
    George Pettie
    January 19, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    The Laurel Hell is not an exaggeration. Up this way they were called “Ivy Slicks” in the old days. If you ever made the mistake of straying into a pure stand of mountain laurel up on a steep mountainside, you would quickly appreciate that it was indeed hellish, and do your utmost to backtrack out of there!
    I just love all the reader comments on this post. I read every one all the way through. They’re excellent! And I also love having the Appalachian Vocabulary Test audio feature. Strangely—because we’ve never met— I feel like I actually know the Wilson/Pressley family.

  • Reply
    Jack
    January 19, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    Taking the Kalmia digression a step further, there is a very nice botanical garden in Hartsville SC called Kalmia Gardens.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    January 19, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Tipper–Kalmias are rhododendrons–a synonym I’ve never heard used in our part of the world but it’s what they were once commonly called farther up the Appalachian chain (in Pennsylvania).
    I loved B. Ruth’s tale of the long gone dog. We had a similar experience with one of our rabbit beagles when I was a boy (probably too early for Don to remember). Dad was convinced the dog was stolen, and that may well have been the case, but months later it showed up emaciated, worse for wear, and clearly happy to be home.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Tipper
    January 19, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Jim-thank you for the great comments! I do not know what kalmias are-so please tell us : )

  • Reply
    Ken
    January 19, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Tipper,
    The only one that I’m really familiar with is the first, cause I got hells of them laurels in my holler. I’m just now getting over a bad fall when working on my water about a year and a half ago. I went thru a laurel hell somehow and landed on my back. When I woke up, my little dog was wrapped around my head and whining something awful. I guess he was worried about me. …Ken

  • Reply
    Kim Campbell
    January 19, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    High minded and Hold To, the others are new to me. Love these!!!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    January 19, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Tipper,
    Momma Tweed, my grandmother, would say, “I’d hope you with that if I could!” or “She went and hoped her with the milking.” I remember her using “hope” other ways too, maybe it was in place of wish! It will come to me our of the corner of my brain one day I suppose! Goodness, just hearing that word brings back the vision of my sweet old momma Tweed!
    My Dad, probably in 1921 or so was hunting way before his 21st birthday. He said, that back then if you wanted to die a slow death, just get lost in a Laurel Hell! He thought he lost one of his prize hounds one time, gave up yelling for him and came back home to Madison county. A few weeks later that ole dog showed up, thin as a bone and near death. He said it was one of his happiest days as a young man for he never expected to see that ole dog again!
    All the rest are common to me, except “het up”! Somehow we always used “fired-up”! “Het up” is a derivative of what word? I wonder!
    Thanks Tipper, as always a great post!
    Brought back many memories. When we are in an area of long roads with views of many thickets of Rhodie’s (rhododendrons), Ivy, and Laurel, I look out the window and think of my Dads dog lost in the Laurel hell! I wish I could have been there and hope him to find his dog! ha

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    January 19, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    I’ve used them all except Hope for wish, I’ve heard old timers use Hope for help, I think it comes from Chaucer English.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    January 19, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Tipper, sometime when it suits could you translate those cryptic notes about your sources? I would like to get my hands on some of them I think. The only one I know anything about is Horace Kephart’s notebooks. Yours are the real thing but there are some around that are not nice because they are a mockery of the real thing.
    I think Lisa’s sister in law from California might could use a handy reference for awhile to. She might could just turn it around and astound her husband’s family with an Appalachianism or two just for fun.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    January 19, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    Hopes are wishes with expectations!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    January 19, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Five out of five!
    Hope is also the past tense of help. I hope him up on the horse but he fell off tother side.
    My coffee got cold so I put it in the mikerwave and “het” it up.
    High falutin is simler to “high minded.”
    I hear “Hold with” as well as “Hold to.”
    Anyone who doesn’t understand why it is call a laurel “hell” needs to get lost in one of them. You lose all sense of direction. At night it is even worse. You can’t see anything and the only sounds you hear is your own heartbeat and breathing. You have to crawl along on the ground half the time and the rest of the time you are off the ground in the tangle of trees. People have been known to disappear into one and never be found. I can imagine Satan’s abode itself being much the same.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    January 19, 2017 at 10:50 am

    Tipper–Like you, I’m unfamiliar with that use of hope. The others are commonplace to me, although hold is often pronounced as if it ends with the letter “t”. Mountain folks had a way with descriptive names, with hells being a prime example.
    There’s actually two places in the Park named Huggins’ Hell, one on the headwaters of Hazel Creek and a second on the Tennessee side in the Mount LeConte area. Supposedly the name comes from a cattle man named Huggins who got lost in the laurels (or rhododendrons–old-time mountain folks use the terms ivy and laurel, something I believe you wrote about at some point, but do you know what kalmias are?).
    Then there are, at the highest elevations, “woolyheads” (thickets of dense bracken), and of course place names like Stony Lonesome, Long Hungry Branch, Styx Branch, Needmore (some regulars here grew up in Needmore), Ad Valoreum Branch, and many more. I really cherish those place names that tell a story.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    January 19, 2017 at 10:32 am

    I’m unfamiliar with that use of “hope” as well, but also like it.
    There is another word which Matt used that has specific application – namely “laurel”. While getting through laurel thickets can be hellish, it is rhododendron which is an absolute nightmare.
    But mountain folks have long used “laurel” when talking about rhododendron, and used “ivy” when referring to laurel. Likewise, instead of azalea (as in native flame azalea), they used “honeysuckle”.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    January 19, 2017 at 10:26 am

    All but hope and hell (in the sense used in Appalachia) are standard in my vocabulary. I don’t recall ever hearing either of those.

  • Reply
    George Pettie
    January 19, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Hope to mean wish was definitely used in the Blue Ridge. I hope me die if it ain’t so, Tipper.

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    January 19, 2017 at 9:37 am

    I’ve used all but laurel hell. High minded I’ve heard a good one for that. I’ve used this one a few times.
    I would like to buy him for what he is worth and sell him for what he thinks he’s worth.

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    January 19, 2017 at 9:37 am

    I’ve used all but laurel hell. High minded I’ve heard a good one for that. I’ve used this one a few times.
    I would like to buy him for what he is worth and sell him for what he thinks he’s worth.

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    January 19, 2017 at 9:37 am

    I’ve used all but laurel hell. High minded I’ve heard a good one for that. I’ve used this one a few times.
    I would like to buy him for what he is worth and sell him for what he thinks he’s worth.

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    January 19, 2017 at 9:37 am

    I’ve used all but laurel hell. High minded I’ve heard a good one for that. I’ve used this one a few times.
    I would like to buy him for what he is worth and sell him for what he thinks he’s worth.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    January 19, 2017 at 9:37 am

    I’ve heard of a laurel hell but it was not something that was common. I don’t believe I have heard hope used in that context but hope used in place of help was very common and my grandfather said it often. Het I’ve heard but rarely.
    I always look forward to the next vocabulary test because most of the words are part of my daily life or from years past and people no longer with us.
    Thanks Tipper!

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    January 19, 2017 at 8:52 am

    My family used the word “hellish”. That was a hellish thing he did or the weather was hellish.
    I remember a Grannyism I heard as a child and wonder if anyone else heard it also. It was “keep your nose clean even if it takes both sleeves”. I took it to mean always do the right thing and never compromise your beliefs.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    January 19, 2017 at 8:48 am

    This is one of those times when I can’t be sure if my memory is serving. None of the meanings were in any way a surprise except ‘hope’. Like Miss Cindy the way I heard it growing up was my Grandma using it t mean ‘help’.
    By the way, the use of hell to mean a dense tangle has not stayed in the Appalachians. One of the swamps in south Georgia is called Tate’s Hell. The story is that Tate stayed lost in it for about three days before finding his way out. As for mountain laurel and rhododendron, an alternative word is ‘slick’. I have spent many a day in and around such places and they will test one’s private character. They are hard places to love.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    January 19, 2017 at 8:44 am

    Heard all of these except “hell” used that way.

  • Reply
    Lisa Snuggs
    January 19, 2017 at 8:23 am

    My California-raised sister-in-law is new to North Carolina and commented just yesterday how she loves the language here. This is gonna flat out tickle her silly.

  • Reply
    Jackie
    January 19, 2017 at 8:07 am

    I’ve heard all of them in my younger days. I still hear “hold to”, “high minded” and “hell of a mess” or’ “I caught hell” over it.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    January 19, 2017 at 7:55 am

    I too never heard hope as wish. I have read about the Laurel hells though.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    January 19, 2017 at 7:46 am

    Tip, I’ve heard all the words used as described. I’ve also heard hope used in place of help like, “Let me hope you with that.”

  • Reply
    Tracey Green
    January 19, 2017 at 7:39 am

    Not sure I’ve ever heard hell in that context; rarely heard het up; heard high minded and hold to quite a lot when I was growing up but not much anymore; and sometimes heard hope in that context. Thanks for your blogging!

  • Reply
    Eldonna Ashley
    January 19, 2017 at 6:11 am

    I grew up with and use het up, high minded, and hold to.
    IDK about hell used as a laurel hell, etc. My family was very strict about language and did not tolerate the use of this word. A substitution for the word was often used even when reading the Bible.
    I never heard of hope used the way it was here. It is common to say I hope everything turns out ok or something similar.
    I really enjoy the vocabulary.

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