Appalachian Dialect

Jaws in Appalachia

chubby babies

Chitter and Chatter

As you can see from the photo, the girls had some real jaws when they were babies. You know the kind of jaws you want to pinch or kiss or both! If you’ve ever attended one of the girls’ concerts and heard Chitter’s hilarious rendition of her birth, you can see she was telling the truth. Her head really did lean to one side.

Here’s a short video of my friend Suzann explaining the use of the word jaw in Appalachia.


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A post shared by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on

A few other ways the word jaw is used in Appalachia:

  • I found out a long time ago me and him don’t jaw. (meaning their personalities clash)
  • If he ever pulls that stuff on me I’ll jack his jaw! (meaning-I’ll whip him)


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  • Reply
    April 10, 2019 at 5:08 pm

    I’ve heard (and used) “jawing” for chatting, and also expressions like “quit flapping your jaw” which sounds so rude now that I’ve typed it I just have to hope I didn’t make it up myself!

  • Reply
    April 9, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    Not familiar with the term “jaws” being used to reference “cheeks”. It is cheeks in our neck of the words. Those are certainly two cute babe’s with four cute cheeks. Yes, you do want to give them a tender kiss. Those years flew by….and they still have four cute cheeks.

  • Reply
    Tom Deep
    April 9, 2019 at 2:52 pm

    What a cute photo of the little ones Tipper.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 9, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    PS: Those sure are some pretty little girls!

  • Reply
    April 9, 2019 at 11:57 am

    My dear wife has unusually large cheeks so I’ve heard the word before, but I always thought she was saying ‘jowls’,,,,

  • Reply
    Janis Sullivan
    April 9, 2019 at 9:22 am

    Jaw also means to talk to someone a long time. “Those two ladies sure like to jaw at church.”

  • Reply
    aw griff
    April 9, 2019 at 9:01 am

    I’ve never heard of personality clashes called jaw. I would say me and him don’t suit.
    I went to school with a boy that has huge jaws. Jaws is what everyone knows him by, even to this day.
    TMC made me think of my father-in -law. He always said that dog has a purty mouth.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    April 9, 2019 at 8:51 am

    And there is, “I don’t want no more of your jaw.” Or “We can’t stand here jawing all day. We got to get to work.” I’ll bet the Deer Hunter has either heard or said that, or both.

    Your girls sure were cute babies. (I know. They still are to you.) They remind me of something a fella said at our church a while back. “Where I work, you want to stop everything just bring in a baby.”

    Btw, our pastor and his wife were up to Oconnoluftee church this past weekend. She had found the Pressley girls video of their recording at the chutch. She was thrilled. He showed me a picture of her sitting in the church and there was a slanting bar of light over her head, descending from up near the eaves – where there was no opening for the light to come in.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    April 9, 2019 at 8:35 am

    Dad use to say, “that feller needs his jaws boxed fer acting any such of a way!”
    Meaning he needs a good open hand slap to the side of the face. I like to sit around and jaw with folks. I have heard the term slack jawed in regard to a not so bright looking person.
    My grandpa kept a chew of baccer in his jaw most of his waking hours.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    April 9, 2019 at 7:25 am

    I have hesrd the expression jack jis jaw before. As u said usually getting ready for a fight

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 9, 2019 at 7:24 am

    Tip, how about Jack your Jaw, meaning a threat to hit someone. I remember hearing that a lot.

  • Reply
    April 9, 2019 at 5:31 am

    A common saying among hunters would say ” Listen to what a jaw on that dog ” meaning it’s bark.

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