Appalachia Overheard

Overheard

 

Overheard-in-Appalachia

“I stuck a bread stick in my pocketbook to bring you, but it when I got home it was flat as a flitter.”

Tipper

Overheard: snippets of conversation I overhear in Southern Appalachia

 

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25 Comments

  • Reply
    Charline
    February 11, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    I don’t know why my original comment didn’t post, but I have heard ‘flat as a flitter’ all my life, mostly from my Meemaw. Flitter was also used as a verb, as in messing around, or making a mess.

  • Reply
    Tamela
    February 11, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    “Flitter” was and is reference to movement – as by a butterfly, a fairy, or any winged creature rapidly beating its wings and darting about in a small pattern.
    Flat as a fritter – now that’s another thing. If it’s just thin and limp that “pancake” is a “crepe”; however, it’s is thin a crisp with just the right amount of browning, it’s a fritter. Of course, add some fruit to it and that thin dough just clings to the fruit enough to stick it together and still all clings together when it’s dropped in a vat of hot grease so that it sizzles and twirls and crisps up in the blink of an eye, add a little powdered sugar and you have a died and gone to heaven breakfast treat!
    As far as that “flivver” thing – – wasn’t that flitting about in the Disney Movies, Flubber and Bedknobs and Broomsticks?

  • Reply
    Brenda Schlosser
    February 11, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    My Granny always used, Flat as a Flitter and I’ve said it a few times myself. She also used, I’m all tuckered out.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    February 11, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    OK folks. I asked somebody this evening and they said ‘flitter’ was fried biscuit dough; what my Mom called a ‘lazy pone’. ‘Fritter’ is fried cornbread. Makes perfect sense to me.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    February 11, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    I’ve heard it all my life and say it too.
    “He hit his thumb with a hammer and mashed it flat as a flitter!” Great word!

  • Reply
    Charline
    February 11, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    Like some of the other commenters, I have heard the term all my life, mostly from my Meemaw. And she also used it as a verb- ‘messing around’, etc.

  • Reply
    Ken
    February 11, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Tipper,
    I had a big laugh when I read Ed’s comment. Whoever heard of anything so thin that it had no edges. ha When Chitter was showing me where she cut herself with a knife,
    at first I thought she was kidding, but after she told me about having to go and get it sewed up, I believed her. …Ken

  • Reply
    Perri
    February 11, 2017 at 11:46 am

    Hi Y’all! I’m fond of saying “Flattern’ a fritter,” after hearing my great-Aunt Nell say it when I was a child. Also “Fuller’n a tick” and “Lazy’er n’ a pig in mud” Haha! She was a character, indeed, from the mountains of Yancey County.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    February 11, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Tipper,
    I guess this is where I got the word mixed up with Flitter….after some bit of research!
    “Henry Ford also called the Ford Flivver a “Sky Flivver”, again building on the connection to the ground-breaking Model T, which was commonly called a “flivver.”
    As a youngster, I must have thought my kin was saying flitter in reference to my Uncles old beat up Model T, when all along they were saying and calling his old model T a “flivver” without the word ‘ground’ in front of it. HA
    The Ford Flivver by the way, was a plane made by Ford hence “Sky Flivver” as opposed to “Ground flivver” the car Model T.
    Ain’t words and the way we interpret them amazing, especially when hearing them as a child. No wonder some words and terms morph that way they do!
    Thanks Tipper, I just wanted to ‘splain!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    February 11, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Tipper,
    I always heard “flat as a Flitter” but knew what the saying meant “fritter” like my Moms appler fritters!
    However, I have always known a old broken down, black T-model Ford that is bumbling and rattling down the road as a “flitter”! Somewhere through the years I heard reference to my old passed Uncle’s T-model as a “flitter”! It could be just a family name. Guess I will have to research the word!
    Thanks Tipper,
    Have a great weekend. Looks like it just might be a good’n !

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    February 11, 2017 at 11:14 am

    I had never heard of anything flatter than a pancake until I got married and my wife’s family introduced me to flitters. A flitter is like a pancake only much thinner. It is so flat it has only one side. You don’t flip a flitter like a pancake because if you turn them you can’t see them in the pan. If you look for the edge you won’t find it because they are too thin to have edges. Flitters are so thin you can make 800 of them with one cup of flitter mix.
    Flitters are extremely low in calories. One 6″ flitter is one calorie unless you put butter and syrup on it. You can eat 18 flitters before you start to feel full.
    Flitters are fairly flexible so you can use them like a wrap but you have to be careful which way you roll them. Remember they have only one side. Roll ’em wrong and you won’t be able to find your food.

  • Reply
    Tom
    February 11, 2017 at 11:07 am

    Lol! My aunt Ida used to say this all the time.

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    February 11, 2017 at 10:30 am

    I’ve heard flitter all my life. Alaways took flitter to mean pancake and fritter to mean fried cornbread, but I’m not positive about the definition.

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    February 11, 2017 at 10:30 am

    I’ve heard flitter all my life. Alaways took flitter to mean pancake and fritter to mean fried cornbread, but I’m not positive about the definition.

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    February 11, 2017 at 10:30 am

    I’ve heard flitter all my life. Alaways took flitter to mean pancake and fritter to mean fried cornbread, but I’m not positive about the definition.

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    February 11, 2017 at 10:30 am

    I’ve heard flitter all my life. Alaways took flitter to mean pancake and fritter to mean fried cornbread, but I’m not positive about the definition.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    February 11, 2017 at 10:29 am

    My Oklahoma relatives and my Louisiana relatives and I have heard — and used — that expression all our lives! I never have known what a flitter might be, but I have always loved the beautiful sound of the words.

  • Reply
    Grady
    February 11, 2017 at 10:02 am

    “Flat as a fritter” is what I heard growing up, and it’s still used in my vocabulary today. My Dad was born & raised eastern North Carolina and my mother in south Georgia, so it seems the term must be used throughout the south.

  • Reply
    Jen
    February 11, 2017 at 10:01 am

    Love these sayings.

  • Reply
    TimMc
    February 11, 2017 at 9:17 am

    OOOhh, love me some bread sticks with garlic butter, don’t care if they’re Flat as a Flitter, I’ll eatem…

  • Reply
    Shirl
    February 11, 2017 at 9:06 am

    I have heard ‘flat as a flitter’ all my life. When mom fried bread, she dropped small amounts of her biscuit dough in grease, flattened them and called them flitters.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    February 11, 2017 at 8:24 am

    I remember “flat as a fritter” and” flat as a pancake” but don’t think I ever heard”” flitter”.

  • Reply
    Jack
    February 11, 2017 at 8:03 am

    I’ve heard the expression used quite a bit. I’m not convinced that a flitter is a confused usage of fritter. Corn fritters were not called flitters in my neighborhood. However, I don’t know what a flitter might be, but think the derivation must be something other than a fritter.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    February 11, 2017 at 7:56 am

    Heard that expression all my life but I’ve never known what a ‘flitter’ is. Cornbread ‘fritter’ is flat but I never heard them called a ‘flitter’. Is that word in the Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English?

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 11, 2017 at 7:46 am

    I love it, sounds like something Chitter would say!

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