Appalachian Dialect

Do You Ever Get A Running Go?

girl running

running go (also run-agorun and gorun ’n gorunny gorun to gonoun A running start, leap, or attack on, an energetic charge toward or against.

1915 Dingus Word-list VA 189 run-an’-go = a run before leaping. 1939 Hall Coll (Hartford TN) [The bear] wheeled back on the dogs. [The bear hunter] took a run-ago an’ run his arm into that hole he cut into it, an’ run it right up about his heart. 1955 Ritchie Singing Family 21 I snatched up an old broom handle lying in the yard and took a runago at the homemade screen door and rammed that stick plum through.  1956 Hall Coll (Del Rio TN) I took a run-ago at it and just frailed it. Ibid. (Newport TN) She took a runnin’-go at him. 1973 GSMNP-79:17 You could play out in the hallway where they’d waxed it, you know. We’d make that for a slide. Take a run and go and just slide all the way down to the hall and then up again.  1976 Thompson Touching Home 17 take runny go = to get a running start. 1978 Bird Traps 74 Let’s take this umbrella, take a run to go, and jump out that lower door [of the barn]. 1991 Haynes Haywood Home 55 When it was really cold, ice skating on the branches and creeks was fun if we could get away with it. Of course we didn’t have ice skates, so we’d take a running go and slide on our shoe soles. 1998 Dante OHP-51 The train had to go up and go way up here and get a run and go and come back. 2005 Williams Gratitude 519 run ’n go = to back up to get a good start and gain momentum as you run. For instance, if somebody was to try to jump over a fence or high bar, he’d back up and take a run ’n go at it. [DARE running go n southern Appalachians]

Sample Citation from the upcoming Dictionary of Southern Appalachian and Smoky Mountain English


2019 Blind Pig and The Acorn January 24 Post To make it easier to carry into the house they’d rigged up a ramp out of old planks so that if they got a good run and go, along with a little help, they could push the wood all the way to the door of the house.


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  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    October 2, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    And Ed,
    Most women don’t know measurements, so I used that as an expression. Everyone has seen a Casket that has been where a body is put in at Church or Funeral Home. (unless you’re just Funnin’) …Ken

    PS. Call me sometime, I don’t have your number.

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    October 2, 2019 at 1:19 pm

    I had forgotten that saying until today. As children we often used the phrase, “get a running go” but it has been many years since I have said it.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    October 2, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    That Katie sure is a Talker. Today I listened to Chitter and Chatter on WKRK at Murphy. Donna Lynn didn’t know what to do with the Pressley Girls, I can only imagine what it’s like at home. They talked about JCCF and the Fall Festival and did a real good job.

    Aud Brown was late getting there with the tape for his Preaching Broadcast, but that didn’t matter to the Pressley Girls, they just got More Airtime. …Ken

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    October 2, 2019 at 11:35 am

    One day Daddy came in from work and he had pieces of Plywood in the car. Some were long as a Casket, so me and Harold needed a bunch of wood to build a Lizard Box and put it in the Creek in front of the house. (So Mama could watch us from the kitchen.) Well, Harold was a good talker, so he asked for the wood from Daddy, kinda like Chitter is.

    Daddy agreed, so we went to work. We moved everything to the side of the yard, so we wouldn’t be in the way. Remember Daddy had 6 boys, and something was always in the way.

    After we got the Lizard Box made, we’d get a Running Go, get behind the box and start pushing. We finally made it to the creek and put one end Parallel with the creek. The next day we got plenty of Moss from up at the Twin Falls and put rocks inside with the Moss. It looked just like a place where lizards lived.

    Harold was a couple years older than me and he had more nerves too. A watersnake got into our Lizard box and had himself a feast. That ole snake was Fat as a Pig, so Harold got a hoe, lifted him out and called the Fiests. They knew how to take care of snakes and they shook the stuffings out of him. We both knew Watersnakes wasn’t that dangerous anyway, so the next time there was a Snake, Harold didn’t fool with the hoe, he just grabbed that thing under the head and called the dogs. …Ken

    • Reply
      Ed Ammons
      October 2, 2019 at 5:46 pm

      How long is a casket? I’ll be needin one before you know it.

      • Reply
        Ed Ammons
        October 2, 2019 at 7:07 pm

        Come to think of it you’ll probably never know it when I need it. Maybe someday you’ll wonder what happened to me.

  • Reply
    October 2, 2019 at 11:09 am

    Well I ustacould run’n go, kinda sorta long take off on a short run way now.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    October 2, 2019 at 11:02 am

    Yes. Always called it a run’n go. I don’t have many run’n goes any more but almost took one on this computer. It didn’t have a virus it had the FLU for a few days. I couldn’t write on it but could listen to the fiddle tune, Hop of the Rabbit, which I enjoyed very much.

  • Reply
    Leslie Haynie
    October 2, 2019 at 10:49 am

    When I dream about flying, I always have to take a runny go.

  • Reply
    October 2, 2019 at 9:54 am

    Made me smile! How do you find all these forgotten Appalachian sayings? I know how, and it is ’cause you’re “on top a thangs.” I used to be the “run n go” girl with enthusiasm when I ran for anything. Lately I am in the run n hide category, because I realize my limitations 🙂

  • Reply
    October 2, 2019 at 9:06 am

    This Tomboy used to take a running go and and jump clear across the creek, but that was many years ago. Thanks for making me smile when I read your post about a saying I have not heard in a coon’s age.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    October 2, 2019 at 8:59 am

    Took many run and goes as a kid such as to jump the branch to avoid getting wet. Also took them to slide on the paved road when it snowed.

    Reminds me of how we would run down a hill and to keep from falling had to run faster and faster and run it out. Could get scary sometimes if you got too fast too soon.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    October 2, 2019 at 7:43 am

    Haven’t heard it in many years. Love these old sayings–thanks for the renewed memories!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 2, 2019 at 7:38 am

    Yes, running go, running start, or jump start all impetus to get things going quicker. I remember them well. I do find that the older I get the less I am interested in running, going, and least of all jumping!

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