On my last Appalachian Vocabulary Test Blind Pig Reader Ron Stephens asked if I might share the various sources I use as reference material for my writings.
The reference book I use most often for vocabulary tests and other dialect posts is the Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English. Michael Montgomery is the author of the dictionary. You can jump over to the book’s website and read Montgomery’s bonafides here. He’s a pretty impressive man when it comes to language and dialect.
The dictionary website also has transcripts, articles, words, and a complete bibliography of the sources used for compiling the reference book. The website is really a fascinating place to poke around. The actually dictionary is magical! Well at least it is to me.
Miss Cindy gifted me with the book back when I first started the Blind Pig and The Acorn and the book has become a vital part of the blog. Unfortunately the dictionary is expensive.
If the University of Tennessee Press ever offers another printing of the book, I’m sure the price will come down. A few years ago I heard rumors of the dictionary being re-printed but nothing ever came of those rumors. Several months ago I heard the rumors again, but I still haven’t heard any firm plans or dates for the re-print of the dictionary.
I’m also very fond of the Foxfire Books and magazine. Both are affordable, and the great folks at Foxfire are still publishing magazines and books.
A few other sources that I use for reference are:
- Appalachian Values by Loyal Jones
- John Parris – Roaming the Mountains, Mountain Bred, These Storied Mountains, My Mountain – My People, and Mountain Cooking
- Smoky Mountain Voices a Lexicon of Southern Appalachian Speech by Harold F. Farwell, Jr. and J. Karl Nicholas
- Folk Medicine in Southern Appalachia by Anthony Cavender
- Mountain Born by Jean Boone Benfield
- More than Moonshine Appalachian Recipes and Recollections by Sidney Saylor Farr
- It’s Not My Mountain Anymore by Barbara Taylor Woodall
- Southern Mountain Speech by Cratis D. Williams
- Frank C. Brown’s Collections of North Carolina Folklore
- Cherokee County Historical Society Books
- Dorie Woman of the Mountains written by Florence Cope Bush
- Pap, Granny, and a few other folks
- Comments from Blind Pig Readers (The comments you leave on this blog are not only pleasing and entertaining, they are full of wisdom and knowledge about Appalachia.)