Appalachian Dialect Sayings from Appalachia

Sayings from Suzann

lady petting a stuffed boar

My friend Suzann is always sending me colorful sayings. Suzann and I went to elementary school together and as adults we worked together for many years. We both have a great love of all things Appalachian especially the rich colorful language.

If Suzann hears her mother or anyone else say something funny, odd, or different she texts it to me. I’ve used a couple of her mother’s sayings here on the Blind Pig and The Acorn. This post contains a few of the sayings.

Last week Suzann texted me three sayings she’d recently heard from her mom and her friend’s Papaw. I thanked her for sending them and told her I ought to have a regular series titled “Sayings from Suzann.” I was only joking with her, but the more I thought about it the more I liked the idea.

Here’s the sayings Suzann sent me:

  • New wrinkle in my horn (heard something new)
  • Fly up (go to bed like chickens)
  • And the next day it just poured the rain (a reply to someone who’s told a dramatic story that has no point)

Tipper

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    Danielle (Moore) Miller
    September 15, 2019 at 12:46 am

    At bedtime Pappaw would always say, “Well boys, it’s time to fly-up!” Loved all his sayings! Lots of funny stories and wonderful memories. Granny had some interesting sayings, too. Thankful for people like you, Tipper, who care enough to collect, record, and share all these treasures from our past. They are slipping away from us quickly….. going with the wind.

  • Reply
    Danielle (Moore) Miller
    September 15, 2019 at 12:24 am

    At bedtime Pappaw would always say, “Well boys, it’s time to fly-up!” Loved all his sayings! Lots of funny stories and wonderful memories. Granny had some interesting sayjngs, too. Thankful for people like you, Tipper, who care enough to collect, record, and save all these treasures from our past. They are slipping away from us quickly….. gone with the wind.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    September 12, 2019 at 10:41 pm

    Tipper,
    Since both sets of my Grandparents had upstairs, I guess “fly up” would of course be common when telling the young’ns to go bed…I remember one time my granny said, ” Fore we talk about much more, them children need to “fly up to nest!”….It was a long time before I totally knew what she was talking about. I was always nosing’ around and listening to their stories, gossip and tall tales! Sometimes, I sort of curled myself up and under near a couch or settee and or rocking chair…Sometimes I was lucky enough to get one of Grannies big pillows off the couch to lay my head on. Yep, I went to sleep listening many a time…I sure do wish I could hear all those soothing voices talking and laughing and saying “I swan!” or “never herd it” or “can’t believe nothin’ he ever told!” once again..lol
    Thanks Tipper, for the memories..

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    September 12, 2019 at 1:48 pm

    Tipper,
    Conway Twitty ( Harold Lloyd Jenkins) and Loretta Lynn was at the hospital at the same time. Loretta was there caring for her husband when the Dr. came into the room and told Loretta that if she wanted to see Conway alive, to come quickly. She went into Conway’s room and told him “don’t you die on me.” Moments later Conway was gone. …Ken

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    September 12, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    I’ve heard and use “a new wrinkle in my horn” so that makes it an old wrinkle in my horn
    I’ve never heard “fly up” referring to going to bed but I have heard “going to bed with the chickens.”
    “poured the rain”? Most people would just say poured rain. Wonder why we put “the” in the phrase. I do it too.

  • Reply
    carol roy
    September 12, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    Hi….love the sayings …..never have heard any of them before….no matter keep ’em coming!!

  • Reply
    PinnacleCreek
    September 12, 2019 at 10:38 am

    Love these. I am always thinking of them, but never learned to jot down. My sis even tells me some she hears. I am amazed at how many, and we got used to them. It is a whole “nother language. Use this one still, “Wish I had a nickel for ever jar I worshed, I’d be a rich woman.” What about our swearing secrecy by, “Cross my heart, and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye.” Ouch! Some I never cared for was, “He would turn over in his grave if he knew what was goin’ on.” Another, is when they swear something on their loved one’s life. We Appalachians can be colorful and wonderful, but sometimes those old expressions can get scary.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    September 12, 2019 at 9:55 am

    Tipper,
    I always wondered who that nice-looking young woman was, I could be wrong, but I thought she was Steve’s wife. I’ve been wrong before. I’ve seen Steve’s wife at Paul’s School, working her butt off in the Kitchen fixin’ stuff.

    Sometimes I have trouble remembering things, like Paul’s School where he is the Principal….Martin’s Creek. I have to take it real easy going and coming to keep from getting Sick. They say Car-sick is a type of your imagination, but I’m living proof. …Ken

  • Reply
    Mary Johnson
    September 12, 2019 at 9:50 am

    He would also refer to having the backdoor trots.

  • Reply
    Mary Johnson
    September 12, 2019 at 9:47 am

    My dad used to sayhe had the green apple quickstep when he was going to the bathroom several times a day.

    • Reply
      Ed Ammons
      September 12, 2019 at 12:20 pm

      I heard it as the green apple getalongs!

    • Reply
      Frank
      September 12, 2019 at 8:53 pm

      Up here Pennsylvania way….some call it the “Hershey squirts”…

      • Reply
        Quinn
        September 14, 2019 at 9:50 am

        Frank, when I was buying young pigs in Colorado, the farmer talked about one litter of piglets having had a bout of that malady – the image stayed with me, as that was about 40 years ago!

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    September 12, 2019 at 9:13 am

    Thanks Suzann–I always enjoy hearing the old sayings.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    September 12, 2019 at 8:06 am

    Yep, grew up hearing ‘fly straight up’ at bedtime. I suspect that saying arose from the behavior of turkeys and chickens that go to roost at dusk by getting up off the ground. Have not heard the horn wrinkle one but have often heard ‘pouring rain’. Wonder what the whole series of descriptors for rain intensity is; mizzle, drizzle, ….. pouring, frog strangler, bull hurrican ?

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 12, 2019 at 7:59 am

    I know all of these and I love them. They are what set us apart from the rest, in any crowd. I once had a friend from New York tell my my country was showing, in reference to my language. I told him that was ok, LOL!
    I know Suzanne and I love to hear her talk, and I love our language.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    September 12, 2019 at 7:53 am

    Love these.. Keep them coming.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    September 12, 2019 at 7:33 am

    I used to have a neighbor that said a new wrinkle on my horn and I think B Ruth had that on one of her post. Sorry B Ruth if I got that wrong. The other two I haven’t heard but heard and use one for someone telling a big windy tale. My wife says yeah when pigs fly and I say yeah when cows fly.
    That picture threw me for a loop but I finally seen a hand holding the mount.

    • Reply
      b. Ruth
      September 12, 2019 at 10:31 pm

      AW Griff….
      Yes, I’ve said, “That’s a new wrinkle on my horn!” for years….and pretty sure I used the sayin’ on one of my posts here!
      Thanks for remembering…

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    September 12, 2019 at 6:05 am

    I love these, so visual and they leave no doubt to meaning. Thanks Suzann.

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