Appalachia Appalachian Dialect Sayings from Appalachia

Courts Like a Stick of Wood

She said her boyfriend courts like a stick of wood

Courts like a stick of wood = a very boring date

When I was teenager folks were always asking me if I was courting yet. Every once in a while when I said no they’d ask me why did my last beau court like a stick of wood and laugh. I haven’t heard the old saying in years and since the term courting seems to have died away I don’t guess I ever will again.


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  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    February 13, 2018 at 8:19 pm

    Guess, everyone has forgotten the term and warning by weary parents to their teens back in the day…” We better not hear of you a’ sparkin’ out there by the swing!….I think “sparking” was a bit more ahead of the game than just a’courtin’! They way I remember it was too much kissing and hugging got you in trouble…sparks flew so to speak!
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    Lee Mears
    February 13, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    I never heard that.
    We didn’t say courting but I too knew what that meant. My grandsons say ‘going out with’ when they’ve never been on a date, just texting with them. Also ‘seeing someone’.
    I don’t think I ever had a boring date but would have said dull, most likely. (Two of them were actually stupid.)
    I think the whole world is bored or they wouldn’t be living on Facebook. ?
    Read and find a partner who reads and you’ll never be bored or boring.

    • Reply
      February 13, 2018 at 8:34 pm

      What is Facebook?

  • Reply
    February 13, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    When I was about 14, I couldn’t wait to get my chores done, so I could take my Columbia bike and go see this girl named Cathy. She was from Florida and always smelled so good, only trouble is my best friend liked her too. She wrote us both for a year or so, but finally quit. Guess she found somebody closer.

    Today, I called Donna Lynn to tell her I was glad she had gotten over the flu. And she told me someone else had called requesting a song by Chitter and Chatter. When she asked what I’d like to hear, I told her “The River of Jordan.” Then she asked me if I had seen (on the Blind Pig) the
    old timey Reel to Reels by Ray and Pap and I told her I listened to all three Reels just yesterday. She loves Chitter and Chatter too. …Ken

  • Reply
    Jane Bolden
    February 13, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    I don’t know what she sees in him. He sits there like a block of wood.

  • Reply
    a.w. griff
    February 13, 2018 at 11:55 am

    There is an old tune we sung in grade school. Does anybody remember , the froggie went a courtin?

    • Reply
      February 13, 2018 at 4:00 pm

      I clearly remember “Froggie went a courtin” all too well. My sister in law sings that song in a monotone and thinks she’s good. She breaks out in it every time anyone mentions frogs or courtin. We are lucky though! It is the only song she knows.

      • Reply
        February 13, 2018 at 6:29 pm

        I recon your sister-in-law sings with a bucket in one hand and a pitch pipe in the other. 🙂

        • Reply
          Ron Seals
          February 17, 2019 at 6:01 pm

          Susie Bogus sings that song on an album of folk songs. Great American Folk songs, I believe is the title.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    February 13, 2018 at 11:44 am

    Heard it all my life. My nephew didn’t know what “parking” meant! We still tease him about it.

  • Reply
    a.w. griff
    February 13, 2018 at 11:34 am

    Yes I used to hear that. In my high school you were more likely hear a girl say that boy had roman hands and Russian fingers.

  • Reply
    February 13, 2018 at 11:29 am

    I wudn’t “courting like a stick of stovewood” til she kissed me like a corpse. You can set me on fire but not without a match and a little kinlin!
    ♪Come on Baby Light My Fire♫

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    February 13, 2018 at 11:06 am

    I never heard that expression before!
    I had an uncle once that aggravated me to death asking if I was a’courtin’! After several visits over the years and as I grew into the later years of high school…here he come to the porch to see what I had been up to in the courtin’ business. “You got a boyfriend yet or courtin’?” he would ask. Finally, I told him in an angry tone that I just didn’t like some of the boys that were asking me out…so I guessed I was just a “wallflower”!
    Nope, he didn’t believe that either and kept on asking me through the years, if we saw him…until he finally found out I was getting married!
    Next question….”When are you ‘all going to have young n’s? I often wondered if he thought his mountain kinfolks might run out before he got old…LOL
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    February 13, 2018 at 10:58 am

    This brings to mind a very old song, “Courtin’ in the rain.” They never knew what courtin’ was ’til they courted “in the rain.” Sometimes courting could be more like the song “Detour.” I have also heard it called “spooning.

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    February 13, 2018 at 9:56 am

    lol yes ive heard of courting, but never like a stick of wood…but we said like a bump on a log.
    have a great day…hugs

  • Reply
    February 13, 2018 at 9:48 am

    An expression I heard for dating when I was young was “going out among the dry cows”. It may have had only local usage, and I thought it was somewhat demeaning.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    February 13, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Yep, us fun-impaired folks probably do court like a stick of wood. I’d have to ask my wife if I did but I am not sure I want to know. In our defense, we just pretty much can’t help it.

    I never heard that expression but did hear “like a knot on a log”, just not with reference to courtin’. My Dad had another one similar in meaning, “like a frog in a hailstorm”.

  • Reply
    February 13, 2018 at 8:56 am

    Years ago I would hear the Older folks use this word and I didn’t get it until later on, I’d think to myself, what the heck are they talking about.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    February 13, 2018 at 8:55 am

    I’m familiar with courting but not like a stick of wood, that’s funny! I heard and old guy say one time, “that boy right there ain’t got the IQ of a hoe handle!”

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 13, 2018 at 8:08 am

    Tip, I can remember being asked if I was courting yet. That was a very long time ago! It always seemed like an odd expression to me but I certainly knew what they were asking me. I’ve also heard the expression courting like a stick of wood, but sure don’t hear that any more.
    I could see one of the old timers around here ask that question of one of the girls, just for shock value!

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    February 13, 2018 at 7:57 am

    My Grandma used to say “courtin’.” My Dad used it to mean going out to look for a date. When I would go to a Jr High Dance with my guy friends, he would say “Look at y’all all dressed to go a courtin'”

    That’s a good memory. Thanks for the laugh and smile this morning.

  • Reply
    Leon Estes
    February 13, 2018 at 7:43 am

    So sorry about that courting. I had not heard that expression, but once explained, I understand it. There were times in my teen years that I felt I was a “stick of wood”, but I got over it!

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