adjective Reserved, shy, bashful.
1862 (in 1999 Davis Civil War Letters) 49 if that should be the result after a thorough acquaintance, I shall not be backward in making it known to you. 1969 GSMNP-38:95 they’d tell you right at once what they believed. They wasn’t a bit backward about talking. 1991 Beverley Old Mt Idiom 146 Eat all you want. Don’t be backward none. 1999 Montgomery File A lot of mountain people are kind of backward, but I don’t care to talk to nobody (40-year-old woman, Del Rio TN).
I’ve always been a bit backward especially when I was young. Many times folks would try to talk to me when I was a child and if Pap or Granny weren’t handy to hide behind I’d often just look at them and never say a word.
The other day Granny and I were talking about a family we were friends with over in Moccasin Creek. I told Granny a story about them I’d never told her before.
The oldest son became song leader at the small Baptist church they attended and he begged Granny to come see him lead the choir. I don’t remember why, but only Granny and I went to church one Sunday to see him.
The church was so small that the Sunday School classes were mostly just divided up among the pews. The children were sent to the far right corner in the front and although I would have rather stayed with Granny and the other women I was cajoled into going along with the younger son of the family.
The Sunday school teacher said we were going to pray and she wanted each of us to name something to pray about. All around the circle of kids different items were offered up for prayer. Everything from sick family members to people in financial need was mentioned. Until my turn came around.
The teacher encouraged me to say something, but I only looked at her. She kept trying to pry something out of me until finally the younger son of the family told her “Don’t worry none, she don’t talk to nobody.”