Appalachia Overheard



“I like this, but it’s too tejus for me to go fast at it.”

“Don’t you mean tedious?”

“No I mean tejus.”



Overheard: snippets of conversation I overhear in Southern Appalachia

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  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    November 26, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    Sounds like one of the “Dadisms” our Dad use to say. I wish I’d written them down at the time, but I didn’t, and even if I had, some of them would have been devilishly hard to spell the way he said ’em. LOL
    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, PhD
    November 26, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    Well Tipper: That thar Pinnacle Creek post up yondar kinda reminded me of how we tawked back in the Matheson Cove. But when we spok, we spok the truth or we paid the price! Our parents wuz kinda like FBI Agents! And you shor didnt want to go under investigations and be caught tellen a non-truth!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    November 26, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    For years my grandma and mom made “scons.” It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized that “scons” were suspiciously similar to the high faultin’ European “scones” I see in big city coffee shops.

  • Reply
    November 26, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    I thought tejus and tedious were the same thing, just country talk.
    My oldest daughter took her girls to the mall on Black Friday. After they got back, the oldest one, Ellie said “thanks mama for showing me Bad Friday, I don’t want to do that again.” …Ken

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    November 26, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Are you tryin’ to tell me there is another word for “tejus”? Why I never heard setch! When I’m a’doin one of my very tejus tee-ninny paintin’s and someone bumps the floor and jostles my hand, you ain’t never heard the sound of “tetchy” till then. All “hellobill” breaks loose! Startin’ over on one of those things is downright impossible! Mostly it has to be trashed! It’s most certainly “tejus” and I shore get a bit “tetchy” when there is noise and stompin’ goin’ on!
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    Jack Yates
    November 26, 2016 at 10:38 am

    ’48? That far back? ‘Twas sung by Carson Robinson, wannit?

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    November 26, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Tejus and tedious are not the same word. Not even close! Almost opposites!
    Tedious is long, boring and tiring.
    Tejus is delicate, extricate and complicated.
    Tedious is digging a ditch.
    Tejus is tatting lace or tying dry flies.
    Tedious is hoeing a long corn row.
    Tejus is fixing a watch.

  • Reply
    Nancy Schmidt
    November 26, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Who remembers the 1948 ? Song, “Life Gets Tejus Don’t It?”

  • Reply
    November 26, 2016 at 9:27 am

    Tipper, you have made some of us think which is usually a great thing. Throughout a week many words and sayings come to me. Some of them are obviously of Appalachian origin, and some of them I am just not sure. My favorite has to be the real gems that can be found in very specific areas. As Ron Stephens says, “even families have their own words.”
    I Love the old expressions we don’t hear anymore such as “sasserin’ your coffee.” I am proud to say I had actually witnessed this process many years ago. The mighty mug changed all that, however. It is just as well because if I tried sasserin’ and typing it would not be pretty.
    The latest that came to mind are expressions that just have to be regional, so I will use in sentences. I thought to my soul I was never going to finish that tejus doilie. Amazon has regional dictionaries, but they are “steep.” So, for the time being I will just enjoy The Blind Pig with my morning coffee.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    November 26, 2016 at 9:11 am

    Now that’s one I haven’t heard in a while but I’m very familiar with it. Just yesterday I was working on our washing machine and it was sho nuff tejus.
    Things aren’t made well anymore. Everything is plastic and cheap electronics.
    Another good word Tipper!!

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    November 26, 2016 at 8:58 am

    This is similar to one of my favorite expressions, when someone asks how I’m doing I respond with “tollibull” instead of tolerable. Many of the Old Folks had their own ideas of how to pronounce certain words and they will contrary you if you correct them on it.

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    November 26, 2016 at 8:43 am

    Tejus is the first one that has stumped me. I haven’t heard this one before. But tetchy sounds familiar. Is that the same as being tetched?
    I’m putting both in my word hord.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    November 26, 2016 at 8:29 am

    People give me funny looks every time I say it.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    November 26, 2016 at 8:06 am

    Tipper–From my experience, anyone Miss Cindy found tejus had to sho’ ’nuff be a trial, because she’s a tolerant soul who’s anything but tetchy.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    November 26, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Reminds me of Will Rogers saying he had ‘et’ and someone said, “You mean eaten.”
    “No,” he said. “I know lots of folks that’s eaten that ain’t et.”
    I reckon we can have our own words if we want to. No law against it yet. Even families have their own words, or different special meanings for common words.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 26, 2016 at 6:17 am

    Oh Tip, that should be on one of our word lists. I love that word. I’ve known some tejus folks in my time!

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