Appalachian Dialect

Sayings from Suzann

lady petting a stuffed boar

Here’s the most recent sayings my friend Suzann and her mother sent me:

  • plagued or plauging = worrying. “Something’s been plaguing me.”
  • My foot! = used when someone is lying or what they’re saying isn’t important. Me: “I can’t come see you today because I’ve got to clean the house.” Mom: “My foot!” You could come if you wanted to!”
  • I feel like crawling in a hole and pulling it in after me = feeling bad physically or mentally.
  • Mullygrubs = depressed or sad. “I don’t want to do anything. I’ve got the mullygrubs.”
  • Hoppy hide = hide and seek.

Interesting that Suzann sent me the word mullygrubs when we were just talking about it.

I used to say My foot! all the time. I’m thinking I still say it at least occasionally.


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  • Reply
    February 29, 2020 at 12:05 pm

    Gosh, I haven’t heard “My foot!” in donkey’s years, but my mother used to say it all the time. Also, “Like fun!” Both of them meant a sort of scoffing disbelief.
    Another one she used to say – and I’ve never heard another person say this, so it will be interesting to know if your readers have heard it – is “Ye Gods!” Which was about the same as “my gosh!” but a bit more emphatic!

  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    February 27, 2020 at 6:09 pm

    Tipper I used to say oh Foot and played Huppy I Hide did you ever play auntie over. One gets on one side of building and the other person on the opposite side throw a ball across the building and Holler auntie Over and see if the person can catch the ball ⚽️

  • Reply
    Kat Swanson
    February 26, 2020 at 5:42 pm

    I feel sorry for kids that never played hoopy hide….bet you did not play rolly bats either!

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    February 26, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    My brothers use to tell me: “If I got lost in these Mountains, and a Bear got after me, I’d find me a stick, break it in a half, and a half and a half makes a Whole. I’d Jump down that Hole and be safe.”

    I know that’s kinda Corney, but to a little boy, it made Sense. …Ken

  • Reply
    Vann Helms
    February 26, 2020 at 10:36 am

    My family used “My foot.” a lot. Best way to let someone know you doubted something they said. We also used the phrase, “…while I tap my foot.”, to mean, “You just keep on telling me that story, and I’m gonna let you know that I’m just not buying it”. That brings up another term that we used all the time. In my house, we weren’t allowed to use the words, “lie”, or “liar”. They were considered bad words. Instead, we used the word “story” to mean “lie”, and “story teller” to mean “liar”. “Tell me the truth. Don’t tell me a story.” Or. “Mama, Billy told a story”. That brings up the term, “tattletail” that we used when somebody told on somebody to a grown-up. Once somebody had that reputation, it would follow him or her forever. Guess it’s the same as a “snitch”.

  • Reply
    February 26, 2020 at 10:31 am

    I haven’t heard “My Foot” in a coon’s age. I used to use it but don’t think I have in probably over 60 years.

  • Reply
    The Apple Doll Lady
    February 26, 2020 at 9:49 am

    How you have refreshed my memories this morning! All except mullygrubs were common growing up but I seldom hear them now. My daddy always said hoopy (pronounced as embroidery “hoop”) hide for hide and seek. I love that picture of your friend with the hog! I’ll bet she is fun. I have to also say that it is interesting that your commenters are from everywhere. You are spreading our culture throughout the world. I have noticed there haven’t been comments lately from some of them. Hope they are okay.

  • Reply
    anita griffith
    February 26, 2020 at 9:03 am

    Tipper. I’m very pleased that you loved my poem.

  • Reply
    February 26, 2020 at 8:57 am

    In my family, plagued means embarrassed. Mom always added plum to death when she used the word. I had a male friend who spent most of his life in Boston and never heard some of my favorite sayings. It’s a good thing I was the driver the day I said ‘my foot’ instead of I don’t believe that for one minute.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    February 26, 2020 at 8:51 am

    I only use two of these and have heard crawling in a hole and foot. Plagued is a word I use and I think I got it from my Mom’s family. Instead of saying foot I say my big toe.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    February 26, 2020 at 8:33 am

    Mommy said “my foot” in the same way sometimes. Other times she’d just say psst. It’s just a little sound you make with your tongue on your upper teeth. Start with you lips together to build up a little pressure then release it between your tongue and teeth that’s the pss part. Then make an ordinary T sound.
    I sometimes want to crawl in a hole but I don’t have the energy to pull it in after me. Other times I just want to crawl off and die.
    I call the game “hoopy hide”

  • Reply
    February 26, 2020 at 8:29 am

    Never hoppy hide, but the rest I feel like l am sitting at a gathering with my maternal grandmother’s people. They were an outgoing family with many expressions handed down. Paternal side was much more careful with everything in general. I do not know if I have seen this on here, but a family favorite used to be, “for Pete’s sake.” I find myself saying , “Lordy Lordy” still.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    February 26, 2020 at 8:06 am

    3 of 5, no mullygrubs or hoppy hide. But plagued, my foot and crawling in a hole and pulling it in after me are each very familiar. I have some plaguing deer here that just will bot leave my azaleas alone. I have not used ‘my foot’ in a long while but was once in near-daily use. And watching much news on TV sure makes me want to crawl in a hole sometimes.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    February 26, 2020 at 7:48 am

    I use “my foot” and have all of my life. I also pull the hole in after me.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    February 26, 2020 at 7:34 am

    I haven’t heard these in years. My left foot was what my mother always said, as if that made it even worse. My grandmother always had things that plagued her

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 26, 2020 at 6:50 am

    I’ve never heard Hoppy hide but all the remainder are familiar. I think the one I used the most is, crawling in a hole and pulling it in after me. That one has been with me all my life.
    Thank you, Suzanne (and Tipper, of course) for the reminder!

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