Appalachian Dialect


Everwhen used as a conjunction

Everwhen you can, get this guitar so I can get my fiddle out.


everwhen conjunction When, whenever, at the time or moment that. Same as evern. Cf whenever.
1929 (in 1952 Mathes Tall Tales 105) Everwhen ye git to dostin’ up on them pizin pills this here young whippersnapper of a sawmill doctor gives, ye’re like as not to wake up a-layin’ in yer coffin! 1939 Hall Coll. Cataloochee NC They run [the bear] off I guess for a half a mile before they got up with it and treed it. Everwhen we got there, Jack reached for his gun. (Steve Woody) 1942 Chase Jack Tales 14 “Well, daddy,” says Jack, “just as soon as I can find a place to ketch a hold, I’m a-goin’ to take the creek back up there closer to the house where your old woman can get her water everwhen she wants it.” 1976 Dumas Smoky Mt Speech 26 I’ll name it everwhen you say.

Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English


All the Blind Pig Family uses everwhen do you?



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  • Reply
    Eldonna Ashley
    July 5, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    Yep. Ever when and everwhat. My personal favorite is overneath, obviously the opposite of underneath.

  • Reply
    July 5, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Have heard it used and remember seeing it in print also.

  • Reply
    Rev. Rose Marie "RB" Redmond
    September 30, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    Never used it. I do have a friend that does. I always teased her about it cause she has a way of twisting a couple of words together wrong (like she says she gets so “flustrated” instead of either “flustered” or “frustrated), and I never knew this was a real word. I’ll have to tell her.
    She’s going to be so pleased cause she finally got a wrong word right. LOL
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    September 30, 2015 at 1:07 am

    Ken, I wouldn’t want to be the one to argue but ain’t that Chitter in the picture holding Chatters guitar and wishin she would take it from her so that she could break out her own fiddle.
    If it was me I might be tempted to lean the guitar up against that brick wall but I am not a twin.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    September 29, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    We have covered who, when, where, and which. That leaves what and why.
    I’ve heard everwhat, ie “Everwhat you’re doin to make that noise, you better stop it right now!”
    That leaves only everwhy that I’ve never heard.
    I think Bill Burnett’s family must have moved away frum Needmore before he learnt to speak the language good.

  • Reply
    Rooney Floyd
    September 29, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Have heard it frequently. Other reversed words I hear include hoppergrass and peckerwoods. I agree with Ron’s comment that it is a charming term. In that vein, my 11th grade English teacher told us “cellar door” was said to be the most charming term in the English language.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    September 29, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    Remembered where I had read ‘or ever’
    SONG 6.12. Or ever I was aware, my soul made me like the chariots of Amminadib.

  • Reply
    September 29, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    Everwhen is new to me(although it seems to be ringing some bells in my foggy memory); but I’m quite familiar with everwho, ‘everwhur’, and everwhichaway (notice the added ‘a’). For example, “That chicken ran everwhichaway after Grandpa cut off it’s head.”

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    September 29, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Well, you’ve finally come up with one I’ve never used or heard used in or around Needmore or Bryson City.

  • Reply
    September 29, 2015 at 11:15 am

    The picture above is a nice one of
    Chatter, the other gorgeous sister.
    Can’t wait till Sunday…Ken

  • Reply
    September 29, 2015 at 11:08 am

    While I have not heard this word used since I’ve bee inNC, I will try to trust it to memory in case I do. Interesting!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    September 29, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Tipper, I’ve read it more than once, including in some of the sources you cite, but I’ve never heard this used in spoken language. I strongly suspect it has passed almost completely out of common usage. The fact that B. Ruth isn’t familiar with it adds credence to that conclusion.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    September 29, 2015 at 10:15 am

    That is a charming word. It sounds like the name of a mountain homeplace (Everwhen Farm) or the title of a book. I like the sound so much better than the often rude and overused ‘whenever’.
    Can’t recall ever using it or hearing it used. We used phrases like ‘when you can’ or ‘when you get a chance’ or ‘when it comes handy’ for indefinite times. I seem to recall having read “or ever” used in the same way as ‘everwhen’. Some unknown amount of these unusual words may well have originated as a fun mixup just for greater effect, kinda like families have their own little sayings arising out of their experience that do not mean anything to anyone else not ‘in the know’.
    On another subject, Stephanie tells me this morning that Jaemor Farm Market at Lula, GA has candy roasters. They also have a market on US 441 at Commerce, Ga if any of your readers are down that way.

  • Reply
    September 29, 2015 at 9:39 am

    I can’t say I’ve ever heard this one!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    September 29, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Everwhen, everwhur and everwhichway.

  • Reply
    September 29, 2015 at 8:58 am

    And everwho!!! We use that one too! “Everwho borry’ed my hair brush, bring it back!”

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    September 29, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Most of the colloquialisms you give here, we used in my growing-up days. But somehow “everwhen” was not one of them. It didn’t make it “over the mountains” into Cheostoe Valley, GA, as I “heerd.”
    Best wishes at the Folk School Festival on Sunday! Wish I could be there to hear you!

  • Reply
    September 29, 2015 at 8:47 am

    All I can say is everwho doesn’t use the word the way we do has a limited vocabulary!

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, PhD
    September 29, 2015 at 8:17 am

    Well Tipper: I wish I could say everwhen I will be at the FOLK SCHOOL listening to those beautiful Sisters. We have the HHS Multi-Class Reunion and was planning to come over EARLY Saturday morning. Guess I will just have to recall that wonderful performance they did ‘ON THE SQUARE’ earlier this summer. HOPE THE WEATHER IS PERFECT WITH LOTS OF FOLKS IN ATTENDANCE!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    September 29, 2015 at 7:32 am

    I actually read this word in a book I read. Don’t remember which one. It gets the point across just as well as our common whenever.

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