Appalachia Appalachian Dialect

Making A Mess

On the recent vocabulary test, someone mentioned the word gom. I knew I had written about it before, but once I started looking I was surprised to see it was way back in June of 08. Time flies when you’re having fun uh? Hope you enjoy this blast from the past.

One evening last week I looked out the window to check on the girls. What did I see? A mud fight already in full swing. After I ran and locked all the doors, I went back to the window to see who was going to win.

Chatter and Chitter have always liked to gom (make a mess). If its dirty, slimy, dusty, wet, or slightly disgusting they are up for it.

I use to think as they grew older they would grow out of the urge, desire, and down right need to make a mess. The dream never happened.

Over the years, my perspective on the gomming has changed. I still don’t like to clean up the aftermath, but I have learned to treasure the absolute delight that occurs along with the mess.

My new outlook has been aided by the knowledge that they are now old enough to use a water hose.

So who do you think won?


Chatter or






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  • Reply
    March 14, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Well it looks like a tie, now that I look at it again.
    Sorry, to be the one to break this to you, Tipper, but I don’t think they’re gomming days are over quite yet. LOL

  • Reply
    March 14, 2011 at 6:40 am

    D-yep I’ve heard slick-haired and greased over my whole life: )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at

  • Reply
    March 13, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    now THAT is my definition of “slick-haired & greased over”.
    Have you ever heard that one??

  • Reply
    March 11, 2011 at 7:49 am

    Elithea-I’m sure it is!
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    March 10, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    What wonderful,wistful memories you bring back for me, Tipper! I can look back and laugh about the goms my tribe left behind and shudder thinking about the ones I never found out about-thanks for sharing your beautiful girls!

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    March 10, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    Looks like a tie to me. Do they ever get into the over-ripe tomatoes…

  • Reply
    March 10, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    I think Chatter won… but I don’t think it really matters – they both had a lot of fun! I LOVE that photo of them both laughing! SO sweet!

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    March 10, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    What a cute “mess”…all gommed up and no where to go.

  • Reply
    March 10, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    my florida mama used to say “garm”: it got all garmed up. wonder if it’s a variant?

  • Reply
    Mark Selby
    March 10, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Like the frog said,”Time’s fun when you’re having flies.”

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 10, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    That is quite a pair!! I think they take turns winning.
    You’ve made a wonderful family….thank you!

  • Reply
    March 10, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    That’s exactly how we use the word “gom” here in West Virginia. Thanks TIpper for re-posting this. I enjoyed it. THe girls look so happy and carefree.

  • Reply
    March 10, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    My Goodness! Looks like someone has thrown mud all over Chitter
    and Chatter, and just for being
    pretty little country girls. Ken

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    March 10, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    I’ve heard it used like gom it up, I always thought of it as a substitute for gum it up.

  • Reply
    Nancy @ A Rural Journal
    March 10, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Larnin’ somethin’ new every day from your site, Tipper. Gom will now be fixed in my vocabulary. 🙂

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    March 10, 2011 at 10:28 am

    You know, I was telling those girls how blessed they were to have a grandpa like Pap a few weeks back.
    Well, that is true, but doggoned if Pap, Granny, the Deerhunter and you aren’t blessed to have those girls, too.
    Thanks for sharing their joy for living with us.

  • Reply
    Pat in east TN
    March 10, 2011 at 9:53 am

    I would have to say Chatter also. What fun your girls have, and what a neat mother you are to take it all in stride!

  • Reply
    March 10, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Having already gommed the floor this morning dropping stuff…I can say I know the word well…
    I have a picture of my sons covered in vaseline,in their hair, on the bed and on the wall…Took about three coats of paint to finally cover it even after cleaning it off…How they got the large jar off the changing table, when the youngest one was a baby, I don’t know! But, they thought it was the greatest stuff to play with…
    I remember making mud pies and cakes in the Secret city when I was a girl with my friend..back then it was the muddy city…
    We would always end up looking like chitter and chatter…
    (My caps just locked up on my pc)..
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    March 10, 2011 at 9:25 am

    chitter appears to have more mud on her, but chatter has on brown pants so it is hard to tell. love those gom pictures from the past. you are truly blessed, double blessed to have these beautiful and joy filled girls.

  • Reply
    March 10, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Those girls know how to have a good time! I use the word gom all the time.

  • Reply
    March 10, 2011 at 8:47 am

    My Granny used to say gommin’ all the time.
    Just looking at the pictures of your girls – now and when they were little- It makes me think back to when my daughter was little. I know you remember Tim Mc Graw’s song “Butterfly Kisses”.
    I used to get those kisses all the time and I’ll just bet You and the Deer Hunter did too. If you didn’t …..GET AT IT NOW!

  • Reply
    March 10, 2011 at 7:52 am

    Looks like it was a draw to me. And the real winner was you – to realize how much these little incidents mean and to cherish every minute with them.
    We use the word “gom” almost daily around here. There just doesn’t seem to be another word in the dictionary that really conveys the meaning of “gom”. We are experts here at making goms.
    I was so glad to see the signs of spring in these pictures of the girls. Just hope this snow that’s predicted for tonight doesn’t hurt any of our beautiful spring sprouts. Hurry sunshine!

  • Reply
    Donna W
    March 10, 2011 at 7:38 am

    When Cliff uses the word “gom”, he’s usually talking about something food-related. Like when you mix peanut butter with jelly for a sandwich, you are “gomming”. Or “gomming around”.

  • Reply
    March 10, 2011 at 7:24 am

    I declare Chatter the winner : ) I had to laugh over the lotion picture, when my own son was little he used a whole bottle of lotion on his napping grandmother. What memories.

  • Reply
    March 10, 2011 at 7:17 am

    I know this one! I remember sometimes asking my grandmother what she was doing, and she would say, “Just gommin’ and messin’.” I assumed they meant about the same thing.

  • Reply
    March 10, 2011 at 7:16 am

    They both look pretty well spackled to me, I’d call it a tie!
    Bless their sweet hearts, I hope they never outgrow the simple joy of making a mess!

  • Reply
    March 10, 2011 at 7:16 am

    For a small word gom says it all. I use it often. Enjoyed seeing your pics of the girls and the pretty flowers.

  • Reply
    Mary Shipman
    March 10, 2011 at 7:10 am

    Here in Missouri we pronounce it ‘glom’. “He made a big glom out of that.” She glommed up that apple pie, but it sure tasted good.”

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