Appalachian Dialect

Stubbed or Stumped?

toes

A commenter recently pointed out that I said stumped my toe instead of stubbed my toe. After reading the comment I knew they were right but could hardly believe I was using the wrong word.

“The Dictionary of Southern Appalachian English” has an entry for stumped.

stump
B verb
1 To stub (one’s toe or foot).
1956 McAtee Some Dial NC 44 = to strike the foot against an obstacle. 1965 West Time Was 7 He did not have to find everything out after a bloody nose or stumped toe.

As I was searching online for the stumped usage I found several threads about the word stove.

We use the word stove to describe sore or stiff joints as in: “The cold weather has got me all stove up.” The word stove is also used to describe an injury: “I fell off the sled coming down that big hill and stove my leg up.”

I’ll leave you with two painful questions 🙂 Do you stump or stub your toe? Have you ever been stove up?

Tipper

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42 Comments

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    September 29, 2021 at 8:58 am

    I stump my toe, and sometimes I get stove up, too

  • Reply
    Dennis M Morgan
    September 28, 2021 at 6:08 pm

    I have heard and have used both stubbed and stumped my toe. Either way it is not pleasant!

  • Reply
    Lisa I
    September 28, 2021 at 5:56 pm

    We’ve always said stubbed. And yes, both the hubby and I have been stove up after working on a big project or a major weather change. Language is so interesting.

    • Reply
      Barbie
      September 28, 2021 at 9:15 pm

      I have only ever heard stub a toe. Although sometimes after stubbing my toes, thy swell up like a stump though!

  • Reply
    Ron Bass
    September 28, 2021 at 5:37 pm

    I stumped my toes many times when I was young. Momma would wash it and tie a kerosene rag around it..

  • Reply
    Cynthia
    September 28, 2021 at 4:18 pm

    I’ve always heard and said stumped.

  • Reply
    Sanford McKinney
    September 28, 2021 at 3:52 pm

    I have heard both stumped and stubbed when referring to running one’s toe into something. Another way I have heard
    stumped used was in not being able to figure something out such as a math problem. That problem sure “stumped” the whole class.

  • Reply
    Charline
    September 28, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    I have experienced all of the above!

  • Reply
    Barb
    September 28, 2021 at 1:13 pm

    Well, I have always said “stubbed”; however, there was one time in my youth that “stumped” would have been, unfortunately, correct. As a young girl, I skipped rather than walked everywhere I went. And even though I had been repeatedly warned to not skip around barefoot outside; you can tell youth, but you can’t tell them much. Basically, I skipped right into a small ground-level pine stump and shard from that stump found its way under my big toenail! The nail raised straight up from the nail bed! Stumped my toe that day!

  • Reply
    Tina Huffman
    September 28, 2021 at 12:11 pm

    I stub my toe and I’m always stumped at how I manage to do it. I ain’t never been stoved up to my reckalection, but this morning I am plumb sore to the bone and rickety.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    September 28, 2021 at 11:46 am

    We all stubbed our toes. We once lived where there was a old brick sidewalk–just perfect for stubbing bare toes. My brother was around five or so. Our grandpa was coming to visit when my brother ran toward him and got a major stubbed toe. Grandpa didn’t know he was hurt and said his usual, “Come here & I’ll help you up.”My brother was mad at Grandpa for weeks.

    We also used “stob”–usually about stepping on one. At my time of life, I’m “stove up” pretty often!

  • Reply
    Gigi
    September 28, 2021 at 11:30 am

    Well growing up. We all said stumped. and yes I have stoved my self up plenty of times. Hadn’t heard these in awhile though.

  • Reply
    Lana
    September 28, 2021 at 10:21 am

    Oh, I’ve always said that I stumped my toe. I think everybody I know says that, too. Funny thing – when my husband and I were early married, I said something about being stove up. He look at me like I was an alien and said “you’re what?!?” I had to try to explain what in the world stove up meant to a fellow that grew up not 15 miles from where I did. 🙂

  • Reply
    Ellen Broening
    September 28, 2021 at 10:09 am

    My family comes from the last state below the Madon-Dixon Line ( Maryland) We also have family north of the line, so I have heard both stubbed and stoved up. I suppose if I stubbed my toe on a stump then I would have stumped my toe? The most likely thing someone would hit their toe against in the woods?

  • Reply
    Jane D. O'Dell
    September 28, 2021 at 10:09 am

    We use stubbed and stumped both. I’ve never thought much about it until now, however reaching back in my memories, we used stubbed for outside times and stumped for inside the house… When I was riding my bike and put my foot down to stop, I stubbed my toe on the concrete. Or, when I got up to go to the bathroom during the night, I stumped my toe on the bedpost! Yes, we use stove up, too, when my husband trie to play football with people 25 years younger than him, he was all stove the next day and could barely move!

  • Reply
    Joanne
    September 28, 2021 at 10:04 am

    I forgot to add that hubby is going to be real stove up tomorrow because he is planting our fall garden today mostly with a hoe and rake. His big toe is already sore from stumping it on the bed yesterday.

  • Reply
    Joanne
    September 28, 2021 at 9:56 am

    We’ve always said stumped our toe and jammed our finger.

  • Reply
    PinnacleCreek
    September 28, 2021 at 9:49 am

    We always were stumping our toe. Barefoot was the norm around the house, and I despised those legs on the mid century tables and chairs. They jutted out just enough to latch onto a small child’s little toe. Another use of stumped is if you are puzzled. In other words I am now stumped about whether to use stumped or stubbed. It happened a great deal in the barefoot days. I have to stay busy in the Winter or I get stoved up.

  • Reply
    Celia Miles
    September 28, 2021 at 9:39 am

    I definitely and often stumped my toe and am now occasionally stove up. Interesting, my sister, ten years younger who grew up in town, says stubbed but also stove. Happy “wording!”

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    September 28, 2021 at 9:06 am

    Stumped: nope, stove up: for sure.

  • Reply
    Margie G
    September 28, 2021 at 9:02 am

    I say stumped my toe. Btw I hope your toe is fine. I have been stove up more than I’d care to admit… since I’m watching my sugar and processed foods, my autoimmune problems have improved.

  • Reply
    dee
    September 28, 2021 at 9:00 am

    I always used stumped my toe or heard it used that way. I was stove up about 45 years ago when my sled hit a hidden rock and I was thrown over onto another rock.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    September 28, 2021 at 8:55 am

    Stumped, of course! Stubbed means you refused to proceed. Same as bucked up. Or sulled up! Stubbed also means to cut short.
    Being stove up is a chronic condition with me.

  • Reply
    Shirl
    September 28, 2021 at 8:51 am

    I used to say stubbed because that’s what my parents said and now I say stumped. I have never used stove in the way you described. When I say someone is stubbed up, that means they are pouting or mad.

  • Reply
    Larry Paul Eddings
    September 28, 2021 at 8:36 am

    Yes, I’ve stumped a toe quite a few times and been stove up more times than I care to remember. Thanks for the memories!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    September 28, 2021 at 8:30 am

    Best I recall, we always “stubbed” our toes running barefoot. Did that at least once, usually more, each summer. Always was a mystery how it happened and could happen so quick. One second just running along, then feeling a pressure on your toes and knowing just what that meant. Just a matter of how bad it was. Then there is the continuing mystery to this day why we didn’t get terrible infections. But we never did.

    We saved “stumped” for “He stumped me with that riddle.” I can’t remember any other way we used ” stumped”.

    • Reply
      Wanda Devers
      September 28, 2021 at 11:48 am

      It is odd that we didn’t get infections often in those days. My parents would tie or tape a wet “salts pack” onto any wound that looked red. It was epson salts and was kept damp to draw out the poison.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    September 28, 2021 at 8:27 am

    Stove up, yes. Re stumped, my family always said stubbed, but I had friends who said stumped.

  • Reply
    AWGRIFF
    September 28, 2021 at 8:23 am

    I say stumped my toe which I did just the other day. I have also stoved my body. When I jab my finger into something and hurt it I say I stove my finger. Stumped my toe but stove my finger, don’t know how that came to be.

    • Reply
      Tipper
      September 28, 2021 at 8:35 am

      AW-I was thinking the same thing about stumped my toe but stove my finger 🙂

  • Reply
    Steve Wortham
    September 28, 2021 at 8:08 am

    Growing up in N. Georgia “stumped” a toe was common terminology as well as “stove up” to describe injury or just exhaustion. As I get older it is humorous to see the southern and Appalachian terms examined that we use daily.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    September 28, 2021 at 7:52 am

    Tipper–I have stubbed my toe many a time and I reckon it’s fair to say I stay somewhat stove up on purt nigh a permanent basis. I just ain’t as catty as I used to be.

    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    GoodGriefLouise Bill
    September 28, 2021 at 7:36 am

    Well I’m pretty sure I’ve stumped my toe and stubbed it at the same time. As I write this my left knee is stove up and I gotta get back to Texas so my old saw bones Dr can fix it.

  • Reply
    LouiseD
    September 28, 2021 at 7:05 am

    I’ve been stoved up many times but, I’ve always stubbed my toe.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 28, 2021 at 7:05 am

    I would probably say stumped my toe but I’ve heard it both ways and would not consider one better than the other. I have also heard and experienced all stove up and I can tell you, it’s no fun.
    There is one other word that goes along with these and it’s stob. Like “She stobbed him with a stick!” I’ve heard that on as much as the other two.

    • Reply
      Ed Ammons
      September 28, 2021 at 8:45 am

      She also jobbed him with stob!

  • Reply
    Ava
    September 28, 2021 at 6:53 am

    I stub. I have never heard stump used that way. I frequently use stove up because I am in that condition.

  • Reply
    Fay Nell Pitts
    September 28, 2021 at 6:48 am

    Tipper, every year when I was growing up and started going barefoot, I stumped my toe. It was usually the toe nest to the big toe and sometimes I lost a toe nail. My parents used the word stove up. My Daddy used it when he first started plowing every spring and for two or three days he would complain of being stove up. In the winter Mama and Daddy both used that word too for stiff muscles. I may have used it a time or two myself. I love your post and that is the first thing I read when I get up every morning. Keep up the good work. I love your families music too.

    • Reply
      Tipper
      September 28, 2021 at 8:35 am

      Fay-so glad you’re enjoying the Blind Pig 🙂

  • Reply
    Lisa Rossman
    September 28, 2021 at 6:43 am

    I have only stubbed my toe, but I am regularly stove up! I use that term as well. It came from my dad who was from western KY.

  • Reply
    Chandra (Huscusson) Brewer
    September 28, 2021 at 6:42 am

    I stump my toe all too often . I grew up down the road a piece in Franklin. I haven’t heard the usage of stove but I like it!! Have a wonderful day.

  • Reply
    Pastor Lon Howle
    September 28, 2021 at 6:22 am

    Yes mam I have been Stove up many times after a hard days work or having a fall of some sort.

    And around here it’s always been Stumped my toe on that rock while out walking in the yard.

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