Appalachia Appalachian Dialect Blog

Getting to Know the Dictionary of Southern Appalachian English

Book cover

I’ve had my copy of the new Dictionary of Southern Appalachian English for a couple of months. I was so excited to finally get the book in my hands.

In the last year of Michael Montgomery’s life we corresponded by email often. He knew I relied on his first edition of the dictionary (Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English) for almost all of my Appalachian language research.

Michael told me my blog would be used as a reference in the new dictionary, but once he passed away I didn’t know if that would still happen. Jennifer Heinmiller assisted Michael and I knew she would continue the work they both had invested in the project, but I also knew things change once books are sent through the editing process.

I’ve used the first edition of the dictionary since Miss Cindy gifted me with it way back in the early days of Blind Pig and The Acorn. I’ve written notes to myself and made notations throughout the book. I’ve used it so often that I know it like the back of my hand.

Once I received the new dictionary I thumbed through it looking to see if the Blind Pig was mentioned. I was excited and pleased to see it was used as a source, and I was humbled to be thanked by Jennifer in the Acknowledgments.

Seeing my name along with the Blind Pig and The Acorn in an Appalachian dictionary made me feel like I had climbed a long hard mountain that took 13 years, but was worth every step.

Even though I’ve had the dictionary for a good while now, I must admit my familiarity with the first edition keeps me pulling it from the bookshelf instead of the new one. I have used the latest edition a couple of times, but not enough to notice entries that actually reference Blind Pig and The Acorn.

A recent commenter pointed out the entry for account uses this citation:

2018 Blind Pig (Nov 15) One day the friend [from Maryland] was talking about eating lunch down the road. Chitter said to her “Was the food any count?” The friend said “What? I don’t understand what you’re asking me.”

I was so tickled to see the entry! Being included in the dictionary gives me an immense sense of validation for the work I’ve done since starting Blind Pig and The Acorn in 2008.

If you’d like to pick up a copy of the Dictionary of Southern Appalachian English you can go here or here.

Tipper

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27 Comments

  • Reply
    Ashe Co. Phil
    October 5, 2021 at 11:58 pm

    Being from Appalachia myself, NC born and raised, I love the idea of someone bringing our traditions, ideas, beliefs, and way of life into the “light” so that others may enjoy and maybe even learn. Miss Tipper, I recently found your YouTube channel and have subscribed. You have gained a new fan in this mountain boy. A lot of what you talk about on the channel is very relateable for me. I was raised way back in the Blueridge mountains near the Tennessee state line. The words, stories, foods, etc. that you mention on your YouTube channel remind me of growing up in the hills. I want to congratulate you on the success of your channel, your blog, and being mentioned in a published piece like this. I would also like to thank you for showing folks in these mountains that it’s perfectly fine to be Appalachian.

  • Reply
    Tammye R.
    October 5, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    Congrats on 100,000! I found you April of 2020, you were making cornbread and I had to go make some right then, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’m enjoying Mountain Path soooo much I hope you read something after this I really look forward to it every week. Keep up the good works you all are doing for all of us.

  • Reply
    Melanie
    October 5, 2021 at 9:50 pm

    Congratulations Tipper
    I just subscribed, I didn’t realize I could subscribed I guess I was too busy reading and enjoying! I’m so excited for you to be cited in the new Southern Appalachian Dictionary!! Thank you for all you have given us and continue to give us with your writing.

  • Reply
    Christine
    October 5, 2021 at 7:48 pm

    Congratulations Tipper! Well deserved!

  • Reply
    Cynthia
    October 5, 2021 at 11:53 am

    Congratulations! I knew what Chitter was saying, and I’m not from Appalachia. Maybe it’s also a Southern term. I am a retired teacher, and I’ve always been fascinated with language and dialects.

  • Reply
    Jeanne
    October 5, 2021 at 11:31 am

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! You have worked so hard and are part of keeping history alive. The future looks better for your efforts.

  • Reply
    Sherry Whitaker
    October 5, 2021 at 11:21 am

    Congratulations, Tipper! I get so amazed when you bring out words & sayings that are just so part of my daily language that it surprises me when people question my words! Thank you for pointing out the history & rhythms of the past that are surely woven in our present.

  • Reply
    Thea Read
    October 5, 2021 at 10:37 am

    How exciting for you! I just recently subscribed to your newsletter, so I thought I should make a short little comment to acknowledge the privilege of being here. Cheers!

    • Reply
      Tipper
      October 5, 2021 at 3:29 pm

      Thea-thank you so much 🙂 We are happy to have you here!

  • Reply
    Lana
    October 5, 2021 at 10:11 am

    A big congratulations on being included in the new edition, Tipper! Almost all our American regional dialects are fading away and our speech is becoming much the same no matter where you go. Thank you so much for keeping yours alive!

  • Reply
    Kat Swanson
    October 5, 2021 at 10:09 am

    Well done. TIPPER.
    By the way, we never had lunch . We had breakfast. …Dinner…then supper. …like Thomas Jefferson did…. I think I remember seeing JFK on television eating something they called lunch with some other presidents. I asked my mommy what was lunch and she said them folks just did not know the right word for DINNER.

    • Reply
      Tipper
      October 5, 2021 at 3:30 pm

      Kat-I love that story 🙂

  • Reply
    Sharon Cole
    October 5, 2021 at 9:59 am

    Congratulation! I am from Central NC and have learned many new words from you.

  • Reply
    Don Byers
    October 5, 2021 at 9:54 am

    Congratulations!!!You work hard to preserve our heritage…and thank you for the hard work!!
    Don

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    October 5, 2021 at 9:27 am

    Dear Angel of Brasstown, you have this all backwards in terms of validation.

    The fact that you are mentioned serves to validate the Dictionary.

    • Reply
      Miss Cindy
      October 5, 2021 at 7:54 pm

      Thank you, Don, you’ve always been a big supporter of Tipper and you are absolutely correct, she validates the Dictionary!

  • Reply
    dee
    October 5, 2021 at 9:20 am

    I would have know exactly what Chitter was saying when she asked, “Was the food any count?” In fact, I would have been stumped for a minute if someone had said they didn’t understand. Congratulations on keeping the history and old words and sayings alive.

  • Reply
    Ray Presley
    October 5, 2021 at 9:13 am

    Congratulations, Tipper. You “arrived” a long time ago, but some just didn’t know…and now they do!!

  • Reply
    Jane D. O'Dell
    October 5, 2021 at 9:06 am

    I’m tickled with this post, too! Love your work and am grateful for this word from you. Acknowledgement is a powerful thing.

  • Reply
    Linda
    October 5, 2021 at 8:44 am

    Good on you, Tipper! I’ve been reading BPA since 2012. Searching for a pickle recipe brought me to you.

  • Reply
    Margie G
    October 5, 2021 at 8:42 am

    I want to congratulate you on being acknowledged by the book’s author. That’s a very high honor in my opinion and you should be proud. Tipper, your blog is a wonderful representation of Appalachian life from food to dialect and music. It’s educated and shown Appalachian folk in our true light (not like Deliverance the movie etc. which was crap.) Have a beautiful day and I hope it’s special for you in some way!

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    October 5, 2021 at 8:23 am

    Yes!!!!! Hooray for you, Tipper!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    October 5, 2021 at 8:09 am

    Congratulations and well done! Even the title of your blog is an Appalachianism so for it to be cited is a double ‘thank you ma’am’ or old-fashioned hat tip.

    I had to smile at the “any count”. Gee, it has been awhile but that is so familiar. Now you have me wondering though whether I pronounce the “a”. I think the answer is “sometimes but not always”.

    I also think what JimK posted is a hoot. So funny and so true. If you see this Mr. Jim, if I ever get up that way I won’t need the dictionary.

  • Reply
    Brad Byers
    October 5, 2021 at 7:42 am

    That’s quite an honor, Miss Tipper! I’m proud to be a fan.

    • Reply
      Don Byers
      October 5, 2021 at 9:52 am

      Hey, Brad! Don Byers here…..Would like to hear from you…I am 78 y/o and live at Blairsville GA….am descended from Samuel Byers and Margaret Handley.. …my grt-gndpa was Phidelia Cebrum Byers….email is [email protected]. Thanks!!Don

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 5, 2021 at 6:54 am

    Tipper, I’m so glad the book was finally completed and I am thrilled that you are listed as one of there sources. I think you have arrived! You have worked so hard and diligently to preserve the traditions and history of Appalachia and every woed has been a labor of love!
    CONGRATULATIONS!

  • Reply
    Jimk
    October 5, 2021 at 6:40 am

    Tipper,
    Congratulations on your. validation in the book. You surely have put forth a valiant effort.
    I always introduce outsiders to East TN to your blog when they mention not understanding the natives, to which all have benifited.

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