commence, commence to transitive/intransitive verb To begin, start (followed by various forms, including infinitives, verbal nouns, and adverbs).
1867 Harris Sut Lovingood 39 So he cumenced tryin tu hire me tu help him tu town, fur a gill ove whiskey. 1939 Hall Coll. Cataloochee NC Then the bears, they commenced snapping at the dogs, and the dogs was just a-grabbing at them (Steve Woody) ibid. Deep Creek NC [The dogs] bayed and commenced barking the tree bark. I thought they was treed and so did Hunnicutt…I got up on the drift, got me a pole and got up on the drift and laid down my gun and commenced jobbing down through the drift, and pretty soon I got some open spaces. (Mark Cathey) ibid. Deep Creek NC Well, I guess [we] better commence back again. (Mary Wiggins) 1957 Parris My Mts 84 They had that silk before the war commenced. You couldn’t get much silk when I was married. 1969 GSMNP 27:10 He was a-climbing that hill just like one thing, he says when he commenced to cussing up a storm 1969 GSMNP-37:2:17 I wouldn’t commence to guess, but that house was a pretty good-sized house and hit was full. 1969 GSMNP-46:1 I commenced to train a yoke of cattle, steers. I always started them kind of gentle. 1974-75 McCracken Logging 12:30-31 The incline commenced right over there 1987 Oliver and Oliver Sketches 30 He commenced holding family prayers after I was a big boy.

—Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English

2021 Brasstown That rooster commenced to flogging Chitter as soon as she went in the door of the chicken coop.

Our rooster has turned against The Deer Hunter and Chitter. I believe its because we had a sick chicken that they had to treat. Of course they had to catch the hen to try to help her and Raxter the rooster apparently didn’t take kindly to them chasing and catching the hen. He’s still nice to me and pays me no never mind when I go in to feed. Let’s hope it stays that way 🙂


Subscribe for FREE and get a daily dose of Appalachia in your inbox

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    April 21, 2021 at 3:03 pm

    Tipper, I thought of a word I hadn’t heard in a long time and wondered if you had heard it. It’s the word “what ‘n all.” Some one might say, “I don’t know what ‘n all I did before I had a washer and dryer.” Like the word “commenced” it has fallen out of usage, but a long time ago it was common.

    • Reply
      April 21, 2021 at 3:35 pm

      Paula-the usage is still common around here! Thank you for mentioning it 🙂

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    April 21, 2021 at 2:00 pm

    My Aunt had a goose that would commence to flog anyone who opened the gate unless she was there to open it for them.
    I guess he knew if she opened the gate they were welcome.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    April 21, 2021 at 1:10 pm

    I may have told the story of thinking I had killed my neighbor’s rooster. He kept threatening me and I accidentally whacked him in the head with my walking stick. He fell over sideways and lay there. I was thinking about having to tell his owner that I had killed his rooster when the rooster suddenly jumped up and ran away!

    I love hearing the old language and especially Miss Cindy saying that The Deer Hunter would probably commence to chop Raxter’s head off.

  • Reply
    April 21, 2021 at 11:05 am

    Good to read that word as I have used it and heard it so often in my family. My dear Grandmother had chickens even when I was a little girl. She wasn’t afraid of anything, and if one had flogged her I think it would have been invited for supper.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    April 21, 2021 at 10:48 am

    I’ve heard and used commenced as in he commenced to beat him up or he commenced to preach.

  • Reply
    Doug Bishop
    April 21, 2021 at 10:18 am

    Yesterday, 20 April, it commenced snowing about dinner time and snowed most of the day !

  • Reply
    April 21, 2021 at 9:55 am

    We had a rooster that tried to flog me every time I went in the chicken house to feed and water. The very last time he came at me I caught him with a perfect kick right in his breast and punted him half the length of the chicken house. “Big deal” you might say. Well it was! Our chicken house wasn’t the ordinary backyard variety it was 100 feet long and 40 feet wide. that rooster flew through the air backward and crashed with a thud. He laid there long enough that I was sure I had killed him but finally got up and staggered off toward the far end of the building. He never came at me again after that. He always retreated as far as he could whenever I was feeding or gathering eggs. He still flogged my sisters but I was safe. At least from that one. We had lots of roosters because the eggs we produced had to be fertile as they were used for hatching. The roosters chicks were despurred when they were a day old so if we had one with spurs he had to be culled to keep him from harming the hens, other roosters or the people who fed and watered him. Culled usually meant he was with us at the dinner table the next day.

  • Reply
    April 21, 2021 at 8:50 am

    Poor Raxter. I remember an old turkey gobbler that viciously attacked son in laws with dark hair. We children could play all around him. He became a family feast right in the middle of Summer. Those hens may need protection sometime, and I do believe Raxter would be up to the job.

  • Reply
    April 21, 2021 at 8:44 am

    I want to thank everyone for the prayers and the words of sympathy on the mortuary’s page that were said or left for me and my family. I especially want to thank Tipper, I know her blog was not intended to be used like this. I ask everyone to continue to pray for us. I know from past experience that the deepest, darkest, hard days are ahead when you are by your self. Even though there will be times that it won’t feel like it, this is when you will understand that God does not forsake us.

    I also want everyone especially Tipper to know that Pap has sung at another funeral. My grandson knew how to play Sunday’s blog of him singing May God Be WithYou Till We Meet Again through his phone to close her service at the cemetery. We thought the words of the song were perfect for what she would say to everyone there if she could. She was the best wife, mother, grandmother any man could ever hope for. She would always put everyone else, especially her family in front of herself.

    Tipper, I should have ask you first before doing this but I didn’t make my mind up about this until a short time before her service started. I hope it was ok. Pap reminds me so much of seeing my father in law sitting in his den/kitchen singing and playing his Gibson guitar. Sometimes I think men of their character are in short supply in today’s world.

  • Reply
    Larry Eddings
    April 21, 2021 at 7:46 am

    Raxter is a right handsome rooster. I’m glad you and him get on alright.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 21, 2021 at 6:53 am

    I figure, much more of that and the Deer Hunter will commence to chop his head off! He don’t take kindly to anyone or anything messing with his girls!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    April 21, 2021 at 6:42 am

    I have heard commence used as “commence to begin” but it has been quite awhile since I have. I expect that ‘doubling down’ kind of expression is not just in Appalachia. We might be more prone to it though.

    Guess Raxter is defending his girls. Sounds a bit dangerous if he has spurs. I didn’t know roosters would take a dislike to some people though I knew dogs do if somebody has scared them or hurt them.

  • Reply
    Eldonna Ashley
    April 21, 2021 at 6:36 am

    I heard commence regularly growing up and occaisioally use it myself. My sister still uses it fairly often. She still lives in the general area where we grew up. That makes me think it is still in use there. I hope so.

  • Leave a Reply