Appalachian Dialect

Words and Phrases from Appalachia

tipper and chatter talking about language

Last weekend Chatter and I pulled out some of my favorite Appalachian language books and made a video.

I’ve had several folks ask me if I’m going to go “live” on my new YouTube channel. Going live means I film the video live and people can watch and comment in real time. I’m not sure I’m ready to do it yet, but I have been thinking about it.

Chatter and I tackled the video like what we imagined going live would be like by picking random words and talking off the top of our heads. Its still actually nothing like going live I’m sure, but hopefully it made for a video you can enjoy.

I hope you enjoyed the video! If any random words or phrases from Appalachia came to your mind while watching, please leave a comment and tell us about them.

Help me celebrate Appalachia by subscribing to my YouTube channel!

*UPDATE on Ken Roper: Ken is still in the hospital. His heart cath showed several blockages. Please continue to pray for his recovery. I’ve sent word that the whole Blind Pig and The Acorn family is thinking of him!


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  • Reply
    September 26, 2020 at 9:09 am

    Harder then woodpecker lips

  • Reply
    Joyce Newman
    September 24, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    I grew up in Wilkes County, and we used the term “blare your eyes” to mean to widen them, like when you’re surprised or when a bright light shines in them.

  • Reply
    September 20, 2020 at 11:26 pm

    Much love and prayers for Ken. I wish him a speedy recovery and hope he returns home soon.
    Thank you for the video. I always learn new things from you.

    The two words that come to my mind, and used during my childhood, are derived from other words. I assume the word “jaint” comes from jaunt. (Tipper, you may want to confirm that since I’m not sure about it) Let’s take a jaint up the hill, meant walk up the hill. Let’s go for a little jaint, meant get in the car and go for a ride. The other one is “hain’t”, coming from ain’t. Hain’t she a pretty thing. Of course the word Haint meant a ghost. Don’t go in that old house, you may see a Haint.

  • Reply
    Sherry Dobbs
    September 19, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    Loving your video! I’d go on ahead and put your toe in the water☺️☺️! My Aunt calls a tool she can’t remember the name of a demi- dogger…ever here that one! Born in LaFollette Tennessee these words make me feel at home.
    Prayers for Ken.❤️

  • Reply
    Glenda Beall
    September 18, 2020 at 8:53 pm

    It is great to see you two on this video. Many of the words you used here were used by my parents when I was growing up. I think they probably come here from the Scots and Irish who settled in the south. My mother used many of the old words you have here, but my family traveled down to South Georgia and North Florida in the early 1800s from North Carolina.
    You and Corie are great on video.

  • Reply
    September 18, 2020 at 3:26 pm

    So enjoyed spending the time with you ladies. I laughed out loud many times as I am familiar with many of these words and saying. I still use and hear many of them today living here “on the creek.” Just relieved the creek didn’t rise during this last spell of rain we had from hurricane Sally.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    September 18, 2020 at 3:24 pm

    Are Ken’s daughters there with him? If I was able I would go see him. It’s not that far but it is beyond my boundary.
    I think Ken spends a lot of time alone like I do. You and your blog are great company to us. The videos put a face and a voice to your written words. A live stream would allow us to interact with you, Matt and Girls or whatever guest you might choose. Thank you for your kindness and just for being there.

    • Reply
      September 18, 2020 at 6:08 pm

      Ed-one of Ken’s daughters is there with him. Thank you so much for your kind words!!

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    September 18, 2020 at 2:27 pm

    Granny was the only person I ever heard say “hippins”. Loved this!!

  • Reply
    Leonard “Rascal”Barnett
    September 18, 2020 at 11:53 am

    I just Love y’all so much, I love to hear y’all talk cause I along for the back home talkin of my youth and I remember a word now and then my Momma used like “ Branch ,a small stream my Momma called a branch and she called a Spring a Sprange,like go down to the Sprang and get a bucket of water.There is many other words and sayings that come to me, I sure do enjoy your post and I will continue to watch and enjoy.

  • Reply
    Johnson Ann
    September 18, 2020 at 10:34 am

    I was born and raised in Tenn and I have heard the expression, “blared her eyes”. As an example,It described how a teacher looked at a student. It was also used as a disrespect attitude toward someone.

  • Reply
    Gene Smith
    September 18, 2020 at 9:52 am

    My late Irish grandmother grew up in Oconee County, SC, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. She used a word I never came across in print until recently. The word is gaum, as in “You’re just making a mess and a gaum.” When I saw gaum in a collection of Irish short stories, I finally looked it up. It’s a sticky mess. I guess I was dripping honey out of my biscuit when she told me that.

    • Reply
      Joyce Newman
      September 24, 2020 at 6:50 pm

      I grew up in Wilkes County, and we used the word “gaum” to mean a mess. “Gaum it up” means “make a mess of it.”

    • Reply
      April 4, 2022 at 2:23 pm

      We are 6 generations in south Alabama, after about 6 generations in North Carolina and Scotland before that. My Momma would always tell us kids (said she heard it growing up), “Don’t Y’all come in this kitchen a sloppin’ and a gaummin’ after I just cleaned it”. All we knew was we better NOT be messing it up.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    September 18, 2020 at 9:11 am

    Most all these words I grew up with with a few exceptions. My daddy’s and momma’s family are from Scotland and more directly NC, my mother’s England and NC, their speech was amazingly similar despite coming from different areas of NC and countries.

  • Reply
    Margie Goldstein
    September 18, 2020 at 8:37 am

    Y’all are cracking this acorn cracker in WV plumb up this morning’! The hillbilly language is just as I suspected- book writing worthy and interesting to anybody with a little sense! Let Ken’s family know he’s in our prayers for healing completely! I won’t ever be on THEIR tube but I wish you the best. When certain view points were snuffed or blocked, I realized what THEIR tube is all about. (I say that matter of fact and not smart elecky. I am standing against technocrat censored bigotry!)

  • Reply
    Mary Anne Johnson
    September 18, 2020 at 7:49 am

    Am liking your video but gotta go and get ready to get going. Ever hear of fish scales relating to cloud formations? Always heard that it means fair weather. Enjoy your day, girls.

  • Reply
    carol harrison
    September 18, 2020 at 7:42 am

    I recognize and use a lot of the words on this video. My grandson kids me about the words I use and my speech pattern. I was born and raised in Western Pa. He was born here in Florida and has only lived here. I evidently have a Western Pa. accent. When I moved here in 1995 I was in a grocery store and the cashier asked me what part of Pa. I was from. I asked how she new I was from Pa. and she said, “by your accent.” Until that time I never knew I had an accent. LOL

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 18, 2020 at 7:20 am

    Good job Tipper and Chatter! I really enjoyed this video about our colorful language. That book is an excellent resource for our Appalachian words and word history.
    I love our language and I love the way we can make up words to express our meaning. I think we are a creative people in all areas of our lives.
    If we don’t have a word we make one up on the spot. If we don’t have a tool to do something we make one to fit our needs.

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