Appalachia Appalachian Dialect

In Appalachia We Like to Add ed to Words

Appalachian grammar usage adding ed to words

Sometimes we shorten words in Appalachia and sometimes we lengthen them. One way we make words longer is to add ed to them.

Ed is often added incorrectly to words to make the past tense and past participle of the words.

Here are a few examples:

  • I swear you’ve growed a foot since the last time I saw you!
  • The little rat has blowed on that whistle all day. I shoulda throwed it in the trash when he laid it down yesterday.
  • I had just started into Walmart when it fell a flood and I got drownded.

Would I use the words in the sentences above? You better believe it!

If I were writing, I’d likely use the correct tense of the words, but if I’m talking I’m going to say the sentences above exactly as they are written.


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  • Reply
    June Jolley
    December 3, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    I too try to keep my grammar correct when writing, but when I talk, it is the real deal.

  • Reply
    December 3, 2017 at 7:25 am

    Adding ed to the end of a word is like adding mustard to your ” sam-mich” adds a different taste to the sentence.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    December 2, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    Loved all the comments today….but especially enjoyed Ron Stephens comment.
    I find myself doing the same thing at times..
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    December 2, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    I just knowed you’d do a post about adding ed to words. Where I growed up it was and is still common to here these words. I about drownded once in a pond but my buddy saved me. Do any of you use the word strangled instead of getting choked? As in, “ I got strangled on that bite of cornbread!”

  • Reply
    December 2, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    Hi Tipper,A memory from 50 some years ago come to mind,my friend from SC said ‘you does that?’ and i’ved ? my memory over the year if I heard right. GOD Bless, Jean

  • Reply
    Michael Miller
    December 2, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    One of the few things I learned in college was to not never use no double negatives, not never! In that same vein, and I include myself in this, have you met people who couldn’t get a sentence out correctly when speaking but had remarkably honed skills when writing?
    I had a secretary once whose spoken language skills made my face red with embarrassment every time she answered the phone. She enrolled in a local college and had English 101 her first semester. I chuckled to myself, “This should be an eyeopener for her!” A few months later I asked how she liked college life. She said, “I know youn’s figgered I’d prolly get run out of English but hit weren’t never no problem fer me. I done got an A ’cause I don’t write like I talk.” Her husband was named Ted and when she spoke his name it had three distinct syllables.
    As a joke, I asked her if she could write down what she needed to say when the phone rang and read it exactly as written when taking calls.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    December 2, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    Gayle Lawson, yes of course you are bilingual. Actually, you are tri-lingual I suspect because I expect you can speak ‘standard’ American, Appalachian American and American Southern. And what’s more I’ll bet you are good enough to mix all three at once!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    About 40-some years go, a fella told me “Now that we got TeeVee back here in the hills, in about 20 years we’ll all be talkin’ like Dan Rather.”
    It ain’t happenin’…

  • Reply
    wanda Devers
    December 2, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Yes! I hate to see them fading out of use.

  • Reply
    December 2, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Way to go, girl! I laughed when I read the second sentence about a brat blowing a whistle. I’ve been there too. After all, I was born and raised in Cherokee County. My friend, Don Casada sent me an e-mail with a picture of Doc Weider a few years ago, who delivered me. I imagine he was a little nippy, cause he turned me in at the Courthouse in Bryson City. That’s
    Swain County. But that’s OK cause I’m still here. Love the Blind Pig! …Ken

  • Reply
    Bill Buntin
    December 2, 2017 at 11:48 am

    I have been away and fell behind reading your last few posts. Just got caught up and want to tell you that I think you are a beautiful credit to Appalachia and your heritage. Thanks to you and your entire family for the inspiration!!
    God Bless,

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    December 2, 2017 at 11:41 am

    We live in a land where the language has become like milk. It has been pasteurized and homogenized until there is hardly any life left in it. There are, in Appalachia, pockets of the language that our ancestors brought with them when they stepped foot on the shores of this goodly land. It is rapidly fading but there is still a seed left.
    If you want to hear Old English spoken, you don’t go to London, you come here.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    December 2, 2017 at 10:13 am

    Don’t hear the (ed) as much seems like! I tend to use (blowed up a storm) or (throwed it a mile) more than growed and drownded…I am thinkin’!
    Thanks Tipper,
    Have a great weekend….batten down the hatches….next week a very typical cold, snowy front is supposed to move in….

  • Reply
    December 2, 2017 at 9:43 am

    I had to laugh when I saw drownded, because I still say that as do many. Thanks, Tipper, for the reminder about what a unique way we Appalachians express ourselves.

  • Reply
    December 2, 2017 at 8:54 am

    We sure do add ed to our words around here. That’s makes more sense than leaving the ed off and creating a whole new word such as clim and fount.

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    December 2, 2017 at 8:54 am

    I’m guilty of “knowed” when I get worked up. “He’s such a snake in the grass that I just knowed he’d lie about that.”
    I’m like you. I try to keep my writing “fancy.” But, I just let my talking talk.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    December 2, 2017 at 8:48 am

    I was writing a story once and could not for the life of me decide whether “drown” or “drowned” was correct. I’m still not sure but I like “drowned”. But my favorite is ‘borned’.
    Sometimes I let my country show a bit more on purpose, depending on the situation. I do it sometimes to keep myself from ‘gittin above my raising’ and sometimes as a secret comeback on folks who maybe think a bit too much of themselves. One of the things I like about ‘mature years’ is outgrowing youthful insecurities.
    “For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace;” Heb. 3:9

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    December 2, 2017 at 8:14 am

    I had an English teacher that corrected every word we said and boy did I get in trouble when I went home and did the same to my parents. Having come to town fresh off the farm they spoke all of the vocabulary you mention.
    I can, to this day use proper wording when I have to and can fall back to their way when with my relatives.
    Does that make me bi-lingual??

  • Reply
    Julie Moreno
    December 2, 2017 at 8:02 am

    Same here. I still use them when speaking.

  • Reply
    Kay Dallas
    December 2, 2017 at 7:57 am

    Be one here at house is “lighted ” . Memaw I lighted the candles.

  • Reply
    December 2, 2017 at 5:57 am

    me to except for the last one

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