Appalachia Appalachian Dialect

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 47

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 47

It’s time for this month’s Appalachian Vocabulary Test-take it and see how you do.

  1. Acrost
  2. Abide
  3. Age
  4. Alkyhol
  5. Arrowy

Appalachian Vocabulary Test 47 2


  1. Acrost: across. “He lives just acrost the bridge below Clay’s.”
  2. Abide: to endure; to put up with. “I will not abide with anyone acting like that in my house, I don’t care who they are!”
  3. Age: be or become old. “Mrs. Beavers fell and broke her ankle. I’m afraid since she’s up in age it’ll be hard for her to get over it.”
  4. Alkyhol: alcohol. “Once he started drinking that ole alkyhol he just went plum crazy. Weren’t nobody could do nothing with him from then on.”
  5. Arrowy: arrow. “They’ve got a arrowy painted on the road showing you were to turn off now. I reckeon they think people can’t do nothing by themselves.”

I hear 1-3 on a regular basis in my area of Appalachia, and I hear older folks-like Granny and Pap say #4-but not people my age or younger. The alkyhol usage will mostly likely be lost once Pap and Granny’s generation are gone-that train of thought reminded me of #5.

Back in the day-before I ever laid eyes on The Deer Hunter, I went on a date with a boy from way down in the lower portion of Cherokee County. We went bowling. He was trying to explain the art of bowling to me-when he told me to watch for the ‘arrowy’. I said “Watch for what?”, he said “The arrowy.” After a few times of that I finally figured out he was telling me to watch for the arrow. He sorta blushed and told me “All his family said arrowy for arrow.” I told him not to worry my family talked funny too.

So how did you do on the test?



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  • Reply
    October 13, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Have heard and used all but #5…it’s new to me.

  • Reply
    susie swanson
    October 11, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    I’m familiar with all of them except arrowy.

  • Reply
    October 10, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Knew all but #5; I rarely hear them anymore since we’re getting to be the old folks.

  • Reply
    October 10, 2012 at 12:52 am

    Heard them all, except #5, but I’ve heard ‘bow ‘n R’ a lot. Not so much #4, except in jest.More often, I’ve heard, ‘He was awful bad t’ get ‘im a drank o’whiskey.’

  • Reply
    Bobby C
    October 9, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Four out of five for me too Tipper.

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    October 9, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    Alkyhol is alive & well in my neck of the woods-everyone says it, so hopefully it will live on. I’ve always said “air” for arrow, as in bow & air. Don’t ask why, don’t know.

  • Reply
    Judy Mincey
    October 9, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Know and have used all but #5, Can understand it as an adjective, but how does it get to be a noun? Pronounced arry?

  • Reply
    Wind Dance
    October 9, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    I grew up in WV, moved away, and returned 30 years later. I’ve lost most of my WV accent. I plead guilty to saying across with a t, and my sister uses the expression “getting up in age”. What’s even worse is that I just now realized that I put the t on across!!

  • Reply
    A R Rowe
    October 9, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    I seen one of them arrowy things on a sign in the middle of the 4-lane. It wasn’t a straight arrowy, it kinda curved all the way arround and pointed back the other way. I thought it meant refresh like up at the top of this tv thingy here, so I shut off the truck and got out and refreshed myself. MISTAKE!! Two carloads of Police showed up and put me in cuffs. I think the magistrate couldn’t put me in jail cause he couldn’t quit laughing.

  • Reply
    October 9, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    I’ve heard and used them all but
    arrowy. That one I ain’t ever
    heard. You know, the Good Lord
    watches over youngin’s, cause when
    my brother and I was little, we
    played Cowboys and Indians. One day I got a double holster cap gun
    and loaded with caps. I practiced
    my draw a lot and my brother jumped out from behind some rocks
    and I let him have it…both of
    ’em. Only trouble is as he was
    fallin’ he got off his arrow and
    it hit me right between the eyes.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    October 9, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    I don’t remember ever hearing “arrowy”, but I knew all the others well.

  • Reply
    R U Reddy
    October 9, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Lonnie-You might want to stay away from the lower end of the county too. There might be somebody down that way that can read.

  • Reply
    Carol Isler
    October 9, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Arrowy got me. The rest, I’m real comfortable with.

  • Reply
    Lonnie Dockery
    October 9, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    All of them but “arrowy. You can run into all kinds of strange things in the lower end of the county! I’m glad you didn’t hang around down there too long.

  • Reply
    October 9, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    OK now I am really peed off. I just googled acrost and it is actually a word but some say it is not. They might want to refer to my second husband who said he fell in love with me because I spoke the Kings English. He by the way was English.

  • Reply
    Bob Aufdemberge
    October 9, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Have sometimes heard “acrost” shortened to “‘crost”, as in, “The old cow’s ‘crost the crick”.

  • Reply
    October 9, 2012 at 11:22 am

    I have never heard arrowy used here in the northern foothills, but my self-proclaimed Pennsylvania Hillbilly grandmother used to say area as “arie” and my neighbor lady and I (we address each other as, “You ignernt old hillbilly you!”) do ‘borry’ (borrow) things back and forth.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    October 9, 2012 at 11:16 am

    I have heard all but # 5.

  • Reply
    B. ruth
    October 9, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Arrowy..not so much…but Sandys reference by Milton, “Sharp sleet of arrowy showers”, flat explains the term and where our ancestors come by it…Just sounds like the right place for the word “arrowy”..
    I know. like a lot of the rest of the commentors arrow as R…a’liken to bow and R..
    Albeit, I don’t hunt with a bow and R…mainly field glasses…speaking of which…
    I got my first glimpse of a Rose breasted Grossbeak on the our bird feeder. He stayed around a while chowing down on Sunflower seeds…I know I was tickled rose, uhhh, pink!..
    Thanks Tipper wonderful post as always, I learnt somethin’ new!

  • Reply
    October 9, 2012 at 9:16 am

    I knew of all of them, didn’t know that 2 & 3 were anything out of the norm though.

  • Reply
    October 9, 2012 at 9:16 am

    I’ve never heard arrowy. I bet Mom would have pronounced it that way as she loved to add ie and y on the end of words. We made our own bow and r o when we played cowboys and Indians.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    October 9, 2012 at 9:07 am

    I too have heard and used all but #5, must be a Culberson thang. I was amused when I read your comment that the use of alkyhol would stop when Granny & Pap’s generation are gone. It kind of startled me until I realized you were referring to the word and not the Corn Squeezings.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Jones
    October 9, 2012 at 9:04 am

    I think in Appalachia we have our own way of pronouncing words, probably from our Anglo-Saxon English roots. So far as “arrowy” is concerned, we used it to mean somewhat flighty and undependable, as “Her actions were plumb arrowy; you just can’t depend on what she’s going to do!”
    So far as hearing “arrowy” to indicate “arrows”–I did not hear that in the section of N. Ga. where I grew up.

  • Reply
    barbara Gantt
    October 9, 2012 at 8:49 am

    WE use all of them but 5. Never heard that one. Barbara Gantt

  • Reply
    dolores barton
    October 9, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Being a city girl, I don’t remember hearing those words pronounced as such, but I was able to figure them out as I looked at them. Again, sometimes words just are where you live and grow up. This was good learning! Thanks!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 9, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Tipper, I’ve heard all those words but number 5. I don’t ever recall hearing Arrowy. If these words I use abide the most.
    I can’t help but notice we are back at the beginning with the A’s. It feels like another milestone for the Blind Pig! It feels really good.

  • Reply
    October 9, 2012 at 8:34 am

    never heard number five in my world —- have a great day.

  • Reply
    October 9, 2012 at 7:50 am

    Have heard of all of them but only use 1 & 4.

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    October 9, 2012 at 7:39 am

    All of them were very familiar except for arrowy.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 9, 2012 at 7:34 am

    I am familiar with the first 4. Like Sandy, #5 we used to call it a bow n R. As a little kid I pronounced it as one word. bownar. I still pronounce it “Aira.” It takes too long to say the it accepted way.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    October 9, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Tipper–I’m intimately familiar with all the usages except arrowy. I never heard it, read it, or encountered it until this quiz. Reckon that makes me linguistically ignorant?
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    October 9, 2012 at 7:22 am

    I have heard of all except arrowy. That is a new term. I am having trouble with your site on my tablet and on my daughter’s I-pad. At the bottom of the screen a gray line comes up and will not move.

  • Reply
    Tom Jones
    October 9, 2012 at 7:21 am

    I’ve heard them all too except arrowy,,, and still hear them when I go back honme to Arkansas.
    Keep ’em coming Tipper! 🙂

  • Reply
    October 9, 2012 at 7:16 am

    a. 1. Consisting of arrows.
    How quick they wheeled, and flying, behind them shot
    Sharp sleet of arrowy showers.
    – Milton.
    2. Formed or moving like, or in any respect resembling, an arrow; swift; darting; piercing.
    By the blue rushing of the arrowy Rhone.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    October 9, 2012 at 6:48 am

    I use 1-3 a lot, 4 is easy to figure out, but 5 was a stumper.

  • Reply
    October 9, 2012 at 4:48 am

    I have heard and as a kid used most all these words except arrowie. Not sure how to pronounce it. But when we were kids we often fashioned weapons from sticks and twine. We called it a bow n R.

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