Appalachian Dialect

Take and…

use of the word take in Appalachia

The most common definition for the word take is: lay hold of (something) with one’s hands; reach for and hold.

But in Appalachia we use the word take in a few other ways as well.

  • take a fit – “When she found out he’d bought that car without asking her she took one more fit! Why she carried on so I thought he’s going to try and go get his money back.”
  • take after (looks/acts like)  – “He takes after his daddy’s family everyone of them has that pretty black curly hair.”
  • take and (to start)  – “Take and wash the dirt off those taters so I can get them on for super.” or “He took to drinking right after his wife died.”
  • take a notion (decide) – “The other day I took a notion to head off down to Gainesville GA. Didn’t have no where to go particularly just felt like riding and looking.
  • take off (run or leave) – “Onct I seen that bear I took off running fast as my legs would carry me!”
  • take a shine (begin to like) – “I took a shine to The Deer Hunter the first time I laid eyes on him.”
  • take sick – “He took sick and left right after dinner.” or “I hope I ain’t about to take a sick headache but I feel like I am.”
  • take hold – “I told him, all he needed to do was to take hold of that mess and make it work. I knowed he’d come out on top if he did.
  • take the baby (perform a c-section) – “Her labor wasn’t doing nothing at all and they had to take the baby sometime after midnight.”
  • take in (another form of start)- “School always took in at 8:00 a.m. when I was going-now it’s closer to 8:30 a.m. before they get all their ducks in a row.”
  • take up (join) – “She’s took up with a little old boy from Andrews.”
  • take (succeed/establish) – “I tried starting some running cedar on the bank behind the house but it never did take.”
  • take (write) – “If you’ll call them out I’ll take them down.”
  • taken (deceived) – “She really got took by that scoundrel!”

I’m sure I left some uses of the word take out-hope you’ll leave me a comment and tell me any you think of.

Tipper

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36 Comments

  • Reply
    Keith Jones
    January 26, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    You know that some of them crooked politicians are on the take!

  • Reply
    quinn
    January 26, 2017 at 1:59 am

    Did anyone mention “Take a message”? Just meaning “write this down,” so dictation as others have mentioned, but it’s the one way I still hear it used regularly.
    Guess one of my favorite “takes” would be to take a hike. And not such a favorite, but getting fed up about someone being a bother, and saying, “Well, he can go take a hike!” 😉

  • Reply
    Rooney Floyd
    January 25, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    Reminds me of a sign I saw once:
    BARTON’S RADIATOR SHOP
    Best Place in Town to Take a Leak
    Also I like: Take a Hike!

  • Reply
    Alice Franks
    January 25, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    We use them all down here in the piedmont.
    another one is take on.. she really did take on over my new dress.
    or He’s taking on more than he can handle.
    or He’s pretty good at this game , but I think I can take him on.
    Alice

  • Reply
    Ken
    January 25, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    Tipper,
    When I was in the 9th grade in High School, I took Typing. After several weeks of learning the keyboard, the Teacher gave us a test. I sat right beside a pretty girl and after the test, we counted our words. I was so proud cause I got 60 words and only 2 mistakes. The teacher had bragged on me having the correct posture during this. But
    the girl beside me got 120 words and no mistakes. (Lordy, if the teacher could see me now.) Anyway, after beating me like a red-headed stepchild, I figured that Carol was just better at typing than me. …Ken

  • Reply
    SherriandBill Bennett
    January 25, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Please taken do this right!!!

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, PhD
    January 25, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    Tipper: I would say “These folks will ‘take a likin’ to just about any topic you share.” But someone else has probably already shared this!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    January 25, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    And then there’s “take to the woods” (also known as “hitting the woods”.) That’s when you are struck by a sudden urge that can’t wait ’til the next service station. It’s worse in the winter time when you have to get further back off the road ’cause the leaves are down. That leaves you with another problem. The leaves are easy enough to reach being as they are all on the ground but they are brittle and tend to shatter when you try to use them.
    I doubt this has happened to you but ask Matt. I’ll bet you a dollar to a doughnut he knows all about it.

  • Reply
    Wesley Bossman
    January 25, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    I did a double take when I saw this posting. I hope that counts….what’s your take on that? What was the take on that
    Charity raffle, by the way?

  • Reply
    belva-jean mooner
    January 25, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Hi Tipper,I remember Mom saying when a vister left,take care now.And my brothers often said – go take a flying leap, when they were mad at ya.LOL! God Bless , Jean

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    January 25, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    Tipper,
    Just had “to take” and comment on the great comments from all….
    I hadn’t thought of “shorthand” in years. I “took” shorthand I, II and III in anticipation of a job after high school. This was ’56,’57 and ’58. I dreamed I would be so great at “taking” dictation, that a high paying secretarial job would just fall in my lap, so I could “take” and travel to pay my way through a New York Art School….
    Never happened…by the time I graduated, businesses were “taking to” the new fangled dictating machines!
    Thanks for the memories,
    Still have one of those old vintage shorthand learning books! How many gals my age can still write their name in shorthand?

  • Reply
    Lee Mears
    January 25, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    I don’t necessarily use them all but they all sound normal to me. Like home..
    Places I’ve lived I probably wouldn’t have used some of them, they thought I spoke slow and funny anyway..

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    January 25, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    Enjoyed this so much! Hadn’t thought about ‘taking names” for years. Remember learning shorthand so you could “take” dictation?

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    January 25, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    Did anybody mention take a leak/whizz/pee/talk to a man about a horse?

  • Reply
    Jackie
    January 25, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    I didn’t have time to read all the comments to see if someone already mentioned mine. When I was in school we ‘took up books at 8:00. When going to Charlotte I take 74 because my wife is afraid of the interstate drivers.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    January 25, 2017 at 11:47 am

    Tipper.
    That old stingy politickin’ man is the “taking’ist” feller I ever see’d! He’s a’never givin’ anythang out! Why I’d just love “to take” an hang up at leastwise one button in my collectin’ box!
    I just “took a shot” at the previous sentences. Talk about red misspell underlines, I “near had to take” and rewrite the whole thang! Only got me a red line in the previous one….”thang”, don’t you know?
    “Take that”, you old red line, misspell computer officer!
    Thanks Tipper
    Love this post as always, so much pondering and fun. I wonder sometimes, if I could “take and read” these posts to my long passed away, true Appalachian great grannies, what they would think of it all!

  • Reply
    Carolyn
    January 25, 2017 at 11:45 am

    My aunt would say ” I’m fixing to take and go”. It could have been to the store, to a neighbors, or just to the kitchen.

  • Reply
    Ken
    January 25, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Tipper,
    No wonder The Deer Hunter is so taken with you, cause you’re about the Applachianist thing I know. Like everybody else thinks, you share so many of the things about Appalachia. I even like you too, (just a little bit) ha …Ken

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    January 25, 2017 at 10:41 am

    Take up for – to defend
    Take up for – to accept donations (gofundme nowdays)
    Take a lesson – to learn from – Take a lesson, that’s what happens when you flip his ear one time too many.
    Take out – to knock out (or worse) I was only picking but he tried to take me out.
    Take stock in – to accept as correct – That mouth runs so much you can’t never take stock in a word he sez.
    I know a little old boy name of Ken Roper from over at Andrews ‘cept he ain’t little and he ain’t old. Even if it was she couldn’t do no better than him.

  • Reply
    Howland
    January 25, 2017 at 10:07 am

    “Take keer (care) how ye make the back-cut on that pine tree; if you do it wrong hit’ll fall on the house…”

  • Reply
    PinnacleCreek
    January 25, 2017 at 10:07 am

    These expressions are mostly so common that I hear one or more used daily. Every now and then they are not understood, as the time I advised a young man he “took after” his dad. I was met with a very puzzled look because he obviously did not understand my meaning. It is comical now because I guess he thought I meant he took after his dad by running after him.
    The only way I was ever taught in school about this was take/took/taken. Why oh why did our schools in Appalachia not teach us the beauty and uniqueness of our words and expressions? I already loved the world I grew up in, but your blog helps me to be very proud of it also.
    I just spoke to a cousin who grew up in the city. He shared with me that he had always envied his country born cousins from the mountains. When I see him at the reunion, I will just have to find out all the reasons why!

  • Reply
    Tamela
    January 25, 2017 at 9:45 am

    Seems most conversations I’ve heard about vocabulary are in the line of “how many ways can you express/name/describe _______ (for instance, “say”, “snow”, etc). – – But listing the ways to use one word, now that’s something to chew on. I use all from your list except “take a fit” (but do use “take sick”; and we would say “threw a fit”) and “school took in”. I’ve used all of Ron Stephens examples except “took a running go” – – we say “took a running start”.

  • Reply
    Janis Sullivan (Jan)
    January 25, 2017 at 9:38 am

    I enjoyed this ever so much. I never would have thought I get so much use out of one word because I use every one of these and some more. Thanks again. I had my northern husband look at this, and he has only used three, but he sure said he has heard me use them all. Jan

  • Reply
    Patsy
    January 25, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Take a liken to…similar to take a shine to. I’ve heard most of these at one time or another. Y’all take and have a good day now! 🙂

  • Reply
    Shirl
    January 25, 2017 at 9:05 am

    You just about covered them all! The way you described the use of the word sounds so right to me. The only thing I grew up saying different is that school took up, not took in.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    January 25, 2017 at 9:04 am

    I sat down with my coffee and took to reading your post this morning and got the biggest smile on my face because I think I use take or took in just about every way you mentioned. I knew I would take a liking to your blog the first time I read it. Thanks for making me smile today Tipper! Now I have to take myself to the kitchen to make breakfast for the boys before they take to gnawing on the table legs!

  • Reply
    Cynthia
    January 25, 2017 at 9:02 am

    The only one I’m not familiar with is “take a fit”. I’ve heard and used all the others.

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    January 25, 2017 at 8:36 am

    Take a while. That job will take a while.
    Take a shine. He took a monkey shine.
    Take in. They took in a perfect stranger.

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    January 25, 2017 at 8:36 am

    Take a while. That job will take a while.
    Take a shine. He took a monkey shine.
    Take in. They took in a perfect stranger.

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    January 25, 2017 at 8:36 am

    Take a while. That job will take a while.
    Take a shine. He took a monkey shine.
    Take in. They took in a perfect stranger.

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    January 25, 2017 at 8:36 am

    Take a while. That job will take a while.
    Take a shine. He took a monkey shine.
    Take in. They took in a perfect stranger.

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    January 25, 2017 at 8:25 am

    Tipper, I’ve heard all of those ways of using the work “take.” I use many of them, but the one I heard most in school growing up (fifty plus years ago) was “take names.” When the teacher left the room for a few minutes, she would appoint some responsible, good student to “take names.” That meant if you were talking or misbehaving the “taker” would write your name down on a piece of paper and when the teacher returned she would look at the names and decide what to do. The “name-taker” always had a coveted position. Because of my tendency to talk I almost never got to take names, but boy I wanted to.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    January 25, 2017 at 8:18 am

    That’s a good list. I had never thought about it before. But I’m sure I’ve used and/or heard all of them but ‘take in’ for ‘start’. We said ‘take up’ as in ‘school took up late because of the snow.’
    Another I’ve heard is ‘take a running go’ for a quick and vigorous start. “He took a running go and jumped plumb over the creek.”
    We also used ‘take to’ for ‘learn to like’ or ‘discover a hidden talent’. “I tried poke sallet a time or two but I just never took to it.” “He really took to carving like he was born to it.”
    Then there is ‘take over’. “She just come in and took over the whole place like it belonged to her.”
    What about “take offense.” “I wasn’t talking about him but he took offense anyway.”
    Well, guess I’ve took up enough space.

  • Reply
    Sallie Swor
    January 25, 2017 at 8:10 am

    My grandmother would say, “take here” meaning get out of my way. She including motioning with her arm.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    January 25, 2017 at 7:30 am

    Do you mean we invented all these new uses for the word take. Tip, it’s cause we are very thrifty people. Why invent new words when we have a perfectly good word, like take, that can serve so many needs of expression.
    How about two more words….smart and resourceful!
    All these uses sound like every day to me.

  • Reply
    Eldonna Ashley
    January 25, 2017 at 6:54 am

    I grew up with every one of these, I still use most. My favorites are “take a shine to” and “take a notion.” Both of these are most often used when relating events that have already happened.
    My Grandma W. always used “took a notion.” I can see and hear her now. She was a wonderful woman and a very loving positive influence on me.

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