Appalachian Dialect

Sayings from Suzann

lady petting a stuffed boar

I don’t have any sayings from Suzann and her mother today, but I do have a word.

The other night Suzann asked me if I knew the word pintly (sounds like pin-tlee) which means small and sickly or weak.

I looked in all my Appalachian books and couldn’t find it.

Suzann and her mother say the word and her husband who also grew up in Hayesville says the word too.

Have you ever heard anyone use pintly to mean small, weak, or sickly?

Thank you for all the prayers and good thoughts! Ken’s surgery went well!! Please continue to pray for him and his family.


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  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 6, 2020 at 7:57 pm

    Could the word be pently? Seems I have heard the word referring to the condition of someone who has been sickly and unable to get out of the house. I’ve know people like that. There skin was always white, taut and shiny. They have little muscle tone. Their eyes were weak (don’t know how to describe that look). Gaunt might be a another definition. Or emaciated. Someone who’s been in prison, an asylum or hospital for a long time or who has been starved. Pent means penned or confined. Maybe pently is how they look after they have been pent up for a long time.

  • Reply
    October 6, 2020 at 5:24 pm

    A few others to research: Don’t get your panties/bloomers in a wad, Who licked the red off your candy (refers to when peppermint sticks only had the red stripe on the surface.) and What got your dander up?

  • Reply
    Jo Ann Quinn
    October 6, 2020 at 1:59 pm

    Prayers going out for Ken and his family.
    The word our family used was peaked (peak-ed). They lived in the upper west corner of N.C., in the highest mountains. Their, and my, accents are like the Scots. When I lived out of the US for a number of years all my foreign friends guessed I was from Scotland. They said they could more easily understand what I said than they could understand other Americans.
    I could have said to them, “Welcome to the club! I have to use closed captions to watch movies set in NJ!”

  • Reply
    October 6, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    No, cant say I have.

  • Reply
    October 6, 2020 at 12:11 pm

    Glad to hear Ken Roper’s surgery went well. If you don’t mind my asking, what surgery did he undergo?
    BTW: never heard “pintly” but, like Anna Lee, I thought there might be a connection to “spindly”.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    October 6, 2020 at 10:44 am

    I believe I may have heard it as “pindley”.

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    October 6, 2020 at 10:25 am

    I’ve heard puny and peaked. Maybe it is another way of saying one of those words, or it could be just another word for the same condition.

  • Reply
    October 6, 2020 at 10:15 am

    Haven’t heard that one, but like others have heard and used peak-ed -peaked whichever is the correct spelling… we have also used the word puny ( not as less than normal size ,but as referring to weak.)

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    October 6, 2020 at 8:48 am

    Nope, never heard “pintly”, just ‘puny’. Have heard ‘pint’ for “point” as in “I was out on the pint of the ridge looking down into No Business.” Not close but I have heard “plime” as in “He looked me plime blank in the eye and told me a big lie.”

    Maybe “pintly” is a family word.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    October 6, 2020 at 7:48 am

    Tipper–That’s new to me. Poorly, puny, or punyish are the descriptions with which I’m familiar.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 6, 2020 at 7:41 am

    Glad the surgery went well! You dry garlic in the shuck and keep it like potatoes. That sounds like a combination of sickly and small.
    Joe, I’ve heard peaked all my life, right here in the mountains.

  • Reply
    Anna Lee
    October 6, 2020 at 6:51 am

    Do you think pintly might have morphed over time from spindly? Because that I have heard for that usage.

  • Reply
    Don Byers
    October 6, 2020 at 6:47 am

    He’s lookin’ peaked……peak-ed….

  • Reply
    Joe Chumlea
    October 6, 2020 at 6:20 am

    Can someone tell me how to store home grown garlic?

  • Reply
    Joe Chumlea
    October 6, 2020 at 6:18 am

    Dang spell check, should be pintly .

  • Reply
    Joe Chumlea
    October 6, 2020 at 6:16 am

    That’s a new word for me. I have heard “peakid” , but jointly is new to me. Maybe peaked is the East TN. version. Lol

    • Reply
      Sherry Dobbs
      October 6, 2020 at 3:14 pm

      Joe… thems fightin words now!. Being born and family still there in East TN, we’ve always said pekid or puny.

  • Reply
    October 6, 2020 at 5:47 am

    Good to hear the surgery went well. This is a new word for me, never heard it before, we use the word puunny, not sure how to spell it, just spell it like you say it. Man, for some reason I feel puunny today.

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