Appalachia Appalachian Dialect

Blowed To Kingdom Come

Franklin mountain nc

Last weekend Chatter and I made an emergency trip across the mountain to Franklin. Well it wasn’t really an emergency in the true sense, it was only an emergency to a teenage girl who was yet to find a dress for prom with the big dance only a week away.

It seemed like Chatter documented the entire trip with her cell phone. She was snapping pics of the dresses and the town of Franklin as we drove through.

Once we headed towards the mountains on our way home, I told her she ought to get a shot of the road in front of us since once we crossed those mountains we’d practically be home.

Explosion on franklin mountain

As we climbed higher up the mountain, I noticed billowing smoke in the sky to our left.

Blowed to kingdome come near standing indian

At first I thought the smoke might be from a forest fire, but once we were a little closer it became obvious it wasn’t a forest fire. I said “Oh my goodness look-something just got blowed to kingdom come!”

Chatter snapped photos while I kept driving. The smoke rapidly mushroomed higher and higher into the sky. To be honest it was a little spooky looking. Chatter and I both prayed no one was injured and that there was some purposeful explanation for the mighty flume of smoke.

We never did find out what caused the smoke but we both breathed a little easier once we headed down the other side of the mountain towards Shooting Creek and on to Hayesville.

Are you familiar with the phrase blowed to kingdom come?


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  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    March 27, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    I’m glad Chatter got her prom dress.
    Sometimes you have to go way off to
    find something different.
    That fire youn’ze saw could be part of the “controlled burning” in our area. It was so smoky the other day, you couldn’t hardly get your breath, when they exercised the Grassy Knob burning.
    One time I was hunting with my part
    collie dog and he put a pheasant up
    in a tree. the limb hadn’t quit shakin’ till I blowed that booger to
    Kingdom Come…Ken

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    March 27, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    I’m very familiar with the term. When I was a kid and you could still get real M-80 fire crackers we would blow many things to Kingdom come! Once when a bunch of us boys were trying to light a M-80 and it was windy. We huddled around in a circle to block the wind and lit it. It had a short quick fuse and as I saw how fast it was burning I dropped right in among us. It was so loud my ears rang for days!

  • Reply
    March 27, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    From the look and color of that smoke, the woods are alight; we see it a lot down here next to Ft. Benning, where they have controlled burns to get rid of the undergrowth and (believe it or not) prevent forest fires.
    It’s been a long time since I have heard of anything being blowed to kingdom come and it’s not a phrase that I use. I used to hear it from my elders; now I am one…

  • Reply
    Nancy Wigmore
    March 27, 2014 at 11:41 am

    I sure have…in fact many years back I blowed some pumpkin that was cooking in a pressure cooker to kingdom come…actually it ended up on the ceiling of the kitchen! Thanks for sharing! Have a wonderful day!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 27, 2014 at 11:32 am

    Tip, I’ve heard this one all my life…even helped it happen a few times. LOL!

  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    March 27, 2014 at 10:30 am

    we saw a camper burning in Asheville one day. It could have been a camper in Standing Indian,from the look of the picture the smoke was coming from one spot.
    Hope your daughter found that special dress.
    I could never truly understand the saying blown to Kingdom come.( out of space straight to God.)

  • Reply
    March 27, 2014 at 9:55 am

    With a military base in the area, a couple of rock quarries, and occasionally some pretty fierce winds even when a hurricane isn’t around, (not to mention the hot winds from filibustering legislators on both sides of the aisle!) lots of things are always getting “blown to kingdom come” in Central Texas.
    The phrase is still alive and healthy with all the tenses and variations of the verb “blow”!

  • Reply
    Ken Ryan
    March 27, 2014 at 9:52 am

    I’ve heard the expression all my life and still use it from time to time. A lot of those sort of expressions are used not only in Appalachia, but all over rural America, especially the South.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Oh, Yes! I have heard that phrase used, but not for quite some time. When I started to read, I thought maybe it had to do with Chatter’s dress, but it was something more serious once I saw the pictures. I hope that all was safe in that area. However, back to the dress. Did Chatter find one? I hope that you will share a picture of the girls in their ‘big dance’ dresses. I remember my prom days – fifty-one years ago. It was such a special night!

  • Reply
    Jeanette Minix
    March 27, 2014 at 9:27 am

    Yep, heard that a lot. Here’s one my husband and I was talking about this morning and wondering what the root of it is. “She (or he) waits on him (or her) hand and foot. Reckon where that originates. Jeanette

  • Reply
    March 27, 2014 at 9:20 am

    I have heard the phrase all my life and still say it myself. Can’t wait to see the dress!

  • Reply
    March 27, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Ed-YES we found a dress : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    March 27, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Yes, I’ve heard the phrase! I am and was very protective of any wildlife on our few wooded acres!
    I found out my dear brother-in-law shot a grouse in our woods. They had been deer hunting and was coming back to the house via the tree lined long driveway when he spotted it. He yelled for whoever was drivin’ to stop, aimed and fired before my husband could say, “b. Ruth will have a “ninny fit” and “blow your head to kingdom come!” He told me he was sorry, which didn’t help my sick feelin’s! I told him he better take it home, cook and eat every last bite of it, too! I had flushed grouse in the bushy woods before; scares you to death when they fly up in front of you! I was so tickled they were in our open woodland, along with the sweet little quail. A grouse is much bigger. I never see them anymore, but I can’t walk in the woods like before either. The cayotes are’nt helping. I started hearing the Bob White quail more last year and seeing the turkeys appear but no grouse!
    Did Chatter find a dress? You need to post their prom pictures of the “smoky dress” that you went to “kingdom come” to find!
    I wonder what was burning? At least the smoke wasn’t black usually indicating a house or building fire…
    Tipper, when something is blown to Kingdom come, how far is it?
    I feel like it ain’t that far
    away anymore, do you! I betcha’ Pap will tell you Kingdom come is closer than folks realize!
    Thanks Tipper, interesting post!

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    March 27, 2014 at 8:30 am

    I heard “blowed from here to kingdom come” and “blown from here to kingdom come” when I was a kid. I haven’t heard it in a long time, though.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2014 at 8:19 am

    two things struck me as i read your post this morning. one “blowed to kingdom come”. had not heard that in a while but i do say it all the time around here. second was that you prayed that everyone was safe. something we also do around here. don’t know how many people have prayed that for me?

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    March 27, 2014 at 8:09 am

    I grew up hearing “blowed to kingdom come!” We used it to mean something that baffled our minds, or something we couldn’t explain, as well as–well, and unexplained billow of smoke, as you saw! I’m sure when “outside” visitors (meaning those from ‘below the mountains’) came along our road in Choestoe topped a hill and saw the billowing foam coming from my father’s long syrup-boiler over a furnace filled with glowing logs, they might have been “blowed to kingdom come,” too, not knowing our ways of syrup-making for about six weeks in the fall of the year.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2014 at 8:09 am

    I had not heard that for years. I suspect this area is losing the uniqueness of the Appalachian sayings and dialect. My Dad had the most interesting way of conversing, as his speech was full of all these wonderful Applachian expressions. Fortunately, he is quoted often by children and grandchildren. Thank you so much, Tipper, for bringing out the beauty of our language.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    March 27, 2014 at 7:52 am

    Yep, being from Florida we hear it all the time during hurricane season

  • Reply
    March 27, 2014 at 7:39 am

    My Mother would sometimes threaten to knock me to Kingdom Come or into the middle of next week.
    Another of her favorites was to kill me some night when there was no moon and just tell God next day, “I don’t know what happened. When I woke up he was dead.”
    I believed for years God couldn’t see in the dark.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    March 27, 2014 at 7:31 am

    I always heard it “blowed from here to kingdom come.” I never made sense of the phrase but it seems appropriate in many situations.
    Did you find the prom dress?

  • Reply
    March 27, 2014 at 6:39 am

    O yea,, very familiar and used phrase..

  • Reply
    Stephen Ammons
    March 27, 2014 at 5:22 am

    Tipper. I have heard this expression many time and it brought back memories of when someone I knew very well made their on rocket and decided to test fly it. It took off perfect and something went wrong. A few seconds after take off it blowed to kingdom come and came back down in burning pieces. Was surprised it didn’t set the woods on fire.
    PS The smoke you and Chatter saw may have been a forest fire in the Nantahala National Forest in the Tusquitee Ranger District which started this past weekend. The forest service have it contained but not completely out at this point.

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