Appalachia Overheard




Lady at a computer:

“Let me mash one more button and I’ll print your receipt.”



Overheard: snippets of conversation I overhear in Southern Appalachia


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  • Reply
    July 2, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    I had an aunt from Lake City, Tn. and she always told her kids, “i’m gonna mash your mouths” if they smarted off to her anymore! She was a pretty lady and played the piano by ear…what a gift!

  • Reply
    anita griffith
    July 2, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    What Shirl said,”don’t mash so hard on the bottom,” sounds exactly right to me.As far as smashing bugs or mashing bugs,Ithink I usually say squash that bug.I don’t know if squash is appalachian or not.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 2, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    I don’t think I would have noticed!
    Mash is a fun word.
    In terms of potatoes there is no substitute. Maybe squished but that is reserved for insects.
    Mash is what we fed our chickens along with scratch and crushed oyster shells.
    Mash is what the neighbors over the mountain on Licklog had working in a barrel.
    Mash is what you do to your finger with a hammer.
    Mash is what your mother threatened to do to your mouth for saying bad words.
    Mash is a TV show now relegated to re-re-reruns.
    Mash is what you do to green beans before you feed the baby off the table.
    Mash is what Grandpa does if he can’t find his teeth.
    Mash is what Grandpa does if Grandma is using his teeth.
    Mash is what you do to the gas pedal to make the car GO OO OO oo oo .. .. .

  • Reply
    July 2, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    I can’t wait till the Aug. 5th showing at the Blairsville Courthouse, that’s where I got married back in ’68. But I got 2 girls and 6 granddaughters and 1 great granddaughter out of that, maybe that’s why The Pressley Girls mean so much to me.
    One time I remember Paul. with Pap’s harmony, singing “Until Then”, touching so many to a packed house. I imagine it’s that way at every event with the Girls…Ken

  • Reply
    July 2, 2016 at 11:41 am

    We mash just about everything around here! We do squish our bugs, but we mash our toes, mash down stuff in suitcase to make more room. I do believe we hear swat ’em when a fly or wasp buzzes, but once we just took our shoe and mashed ’em. It was an art, and we rarely ever missed.

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    July 2, 2016 at 9:23 am

    “Mash” is one buried deep in me that comes out only when I’m tired or frustrated. Funny, it happened just this morning. My daughter tried to turn on the TV, that requires 17 remotes and a degree from MIT to operate. Well, it got all jammed up. It followed as such:
    Kim: the TV won’t come on. Alex, what did you do?
    Alex: I just tried to turn on the DVD.
    Me (all this before coffee ): If you mash all the buttons at once, it gets confused.
    Kim: If you do what?
    Kim read the blog and now she gets it. Thanks for the back up, Tipper.

  • Reply
    July 2, 2016 at 9:00 am

    After working a double shift and showing thirteen miles on my pedometer, I was offered a welcoming foot massage. During the massage, I said, “Don’t mash so hard on the bottom.” He started laughing and said that must be a Pike County thing. I asked what he was talking about! Making fun of the way I talked made my nerves as tender as my feet!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    July 2, 2016 at 8:47 am

    Gee, that’a reminder. I recall we said’mash’ for ‘push’ or ‘press’ but I had not heard it used in that way for a long time. Can’t recall with confidence whether we ‘mashed’ bugs or ‘smashed’ them. Maybe both at various times.
    It has the feel to me of being a 20th century word and use and not an ancient one. Or, perhaps more likely, it got connected with a distinctly 20th century action.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    July 2, 2016 at 8:29 am

    Our Appalachian sayings may be quaint and not exactly in line with “Standard English,” but we usually make ourselves understood with each other. And, after all, isn’t that the major goal of communication? To understand and to be understood?

  • Reply
    Wesley Bossman
    July 2, 2016 at 8:15 am

    Hi, Tipper,
    We’ve had our oldest grand daughter out for a short vacation, so I’ve been away from my I-pad for a few days. I’m sending my address for the Granny Gatewood book I (think) I won. I’m just finishing the “Dorrie, Woman of the Mountains” book and have enjoyed it thoroughly. We live in the south western corner of rural NY state, garden, raise goats and chickens, and are having a wonderful summer, so far…a little on the dry side.
    I have 6 grandchildren, and we have a path over the creek and through the woods to the house where four of them live.
    As I’ve said before, I enjoy your blog daily, and we certainly share your family, Christian, and natural life values. I get great satisfaction reading the kind and thoughtful comments of your readers, and use that to balance the other news I see on the news sites, which is, to say the least, less than comforting.
    Thank you again for your blog, music and life sharing. Wes

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    July 2, 2016 at 8:05 am

    Ha….Mash, push, press, poke, turn on, squish …..guess most all of them words will get you a receipt, if everything in the computer gears line up….ha
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS….Surely with all those Pressley Girls performances, we could somehow, make one of them this summer…

  • Reply
    Richard Moore
    July 2, 2016 at 8:05 am

    I use “mash” this way and it always makes my daughters laugh. I think I must have picked it up from my mother so long ago. They use “mash that button” and my pronunciation of light bulb as “light bub” when they imitate my accent.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 2, 2016 at 7:59 am

    That’s funny, Tip. Computers and their use have certainly changed our lives and our language!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    July 2, 2016 at 7:54 am

    I mash buttons all the time

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