Appalachia Overheard



“I feel like mortal hell that’s been warmed up in the Devil’s microwave.”


p.s. You can catch The Pressley Girls TODAY May 26, 2018 @ 1:45 p.m. at the Swain County Heritage Festival in Bryson City NC and TOMORROW May 27, 2018 @ 1:00 p.m.  at the Arts, Crafts, and Music Festival in Blairsville GA. If you make it to either, please come up and say hello!

Overheard: snippets of conversation I overhear in Southern Appalachia

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  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    May 26, 2018 at 11:58 pm

    Let’s see if this goes! I haven’t been able to send my comments since your last change in Blind Pig posting method, Tipper. And oh, how I miss commenting! I can read, but not send messages! May be trouble on my end of the line!

  • Reply
    May 26, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    Wow, and just when you think you’ve had a bad day.

  • Reply
    May 26, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    Hahaha! I love colorful expressions that really get the point across about how a body is feeling! The two I use the most are “I felt like nine miles of rough road” (which I think is a New England saying, but I may be wrong about that as I’ve been saying it for ages and don’t recall where I first heard it) and “I feel like (or look like) I’ve been drug through a knothole backwards,” which I picked up when visiting some folks who had been farming in Nebraska for a hundred years. Really! When I met them they had just received an award for having a farm in the same family for a century. And come to think of it, that was close to 40 years ago now. I am really starting to notice that I’m getting OLD! No wonder I feel like I’ve been drug through a knothole backwards 😉

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    May 26, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    This is for Beverly Ruth Nabors: Lonnie Dockery wrote me a long e-mail about my folks. I don’t know where it is but I think Daddy’s mom and her generation are from France. Can’t think of his
    first name, somebody the Emigrant came to this country in the middle of the 15th Century about 25 and worked in Va. (I think) as an endenturched servant (like a slave). He worked for a Plantation Owner who worked about 5,000 folks. After about 30 years, the land owner died, and
    the Emigrant bought the Plantation and kept all the employees. There is a Statue somewhere of
    this Emigrant on the corner of this Plantation. That is where Lonnie said my daddy’s family came from. …Ken

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    May 26, 2018 at 11:36 am

    I’ve heard some of these, some new to me too…the addition of the Devil’s microwave of course is newer! One of my favorites dealing with stress…”I’m wound as tight as a git’ string, so don’t push me, ’cause it’s startin’ to unravel!”
    Another one…”I feel like Hell warmed over!” “She looks like something that the dog drug in, the cat wouldn’t have!’ Meaning she looked very peaked and sick. “Down n’ out!” “Down in the dumps!” Oh and how could I forget one of my friends favorite…”Those kids have me down to my last nerve and I think its fixing to break!” However, she never did have a nervous breakdown…LOL
    Thanks Tipper

  • Reply
    Papaw Ammons
    May 26, 2018 at 11:18 am

    I’ve had the mortal hell scared out of me before but I hain’t never been het up in no mikerwave. Least not yet!

    Het is another word you don’t hear much any more. But it’s still fount in some dictionaries.

    Fount is sometimes used for found. My wife used to say it and my daughter still does.

    Ain’t it weird how uncommon words lead you to other uncommon words?

  • Reply
    Justin Olphart
    May 26, 2018 at 11:02 am

    I reckon that’s as bad as having to live in the basement of hell’s outhouse.

  • Reply
    Jan C.
    May 26, 2018 at 10:56 am

    My Mama always said she felt like “death warmed over”. Feeling like “10 miles of bad road” is another one.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    May 26, 2018 at 10:34 am

    Daddy use to say to us boys trying to fix something, ‘That won’t last long as Patty stayed in Hell.” He used other descriptions that I can’t say on here, but he got the point across. …Ken

    • Reply
      b. Ruth
      May 26, 2018 at 11:20 am

      Is your family of Irish heritage? I think I’ve heard your Daddy’s sayin’ when referring to St. Patrick n’ hell, etc..etc..not going or staying there…I just can’t remember it all…just wonderin’ !

  • Reply
    May 26, 2018 at 10:24 am

    That does sound like a terrible way to be in! And as Ron said, “sent for and couldn’t go” and “something the cat drug in” are very familiar to me. I still say those – and my PA neighbors always laugh.

  • Reply
    May 26, 2018 at 10:22 am

    I have heard “mortal hell”, but was long before the microwave, and it was certainly not in my household growing up. Your blog makes me struggle to remember when and where I last heard something. Another is he is “hell on wheels.” This meaning somebody is a “handful.”

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    May 26, 2018 at 9:55 am

    Wow, that is feeling some kind of bad. I heard that idea as, “I feel like something the cats drug in and the dogs wouldn’t have.” Or, “I feel like I was sent for and couldn’t come, then got there and wasn’t needed.” Strange, I had never until just now thought each of those could refer to emotional condition and not physical.

    Could your quote refer, I wonder, to ‘the day after’? Wouldn’t be for knowing myself about that.

    • Reply
      May 26, 2018 at 10:05 am

      Ron-love the one about being sent for! Knowing the person I overheard say they were feeling bad I don’t think it could be that day after feeling. But you’re right all of the sayings could be describing something physical or emotional.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    May 26, 2018 at 9:50 am

    I remember hearing the expression “old Billy hell”. Can’t remember exact context but it’s not good!!

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    May 26, 2018 at 9:36 am

    Oh, my! That is some description! I have heard “I feel like death warmed over” all my life, but this is more colorful!
    I also heard many years ago — and still remember — “I feel like the frazzled end of an ill-spent life.”

    • Reply
      May 26, 2018 at 9:46 am

      Ann-that is a good one too 🙂

  • Reply
    lois weagle
    May 26, 2018 at 9:14 am

    Hope you feel better soon. Have a great weekend.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    May 26, 2018 at 8:46 am

    I’ve heard people say they felt like mortal hell which is feeling really bad. But heated up in the Devil’s microwave takes it to a whole different level. That person must have been danged near dead.

  • Reply
    May 26, 2018 at 8:30 am

    That’s got to be the worst feeling in the whole world and I hope I never feel that bad!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 26, 2018 at 6:50 am

    Yep, I’ve had days like that! I forgot to ask yesterday, what is the contraption in the picture with yesterday’s post? Is it a smokestack on a tree?

    • Reply
      b. Ruth
      May 26, 2018 at 10:47 am

      I’d say that belongs to Deer Hunter…No one asked me but, I would be interested also…Thinking it is a devised contraption for watering garden, etc. Or it could be a oil delivery contraption for use when working on cars or tractors…Or it just could be something thrown together placed in the tree to keep folks like me asking questions…LOL

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