DICTIONARY
OF
MOUNTAIN TALK

(To hear some Appalachia, turn on your sound)

Mountain talk is gradually disappearing. Its demise is largely the result of education and the influence of television and radio. This page was created so that the language would not be entirely lost. I hope you git a kick outta this here page.

A- B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I,J,K-L- M
N,O-P,Q-R-S-T-U,V,W-X,Y,Z



PHRASES

EXCLAMATIONS

ETIKETT

INSTEAD OF (blank) WE USED

SOUTHERN ENGLISH and THAT "R" THANG Teknakal stuff




A

a'fixin - I'm a'fixin to do it.
agin - again
a'hint - behind
aigs - eggs
aiming - planning (I was aiming to come over.)
ain't - isn't
air - there (Hits over air.)
airy - none (I ain't seen airy one.)
all - oil (Gotta change the all in my car.)
antigogglin - out of alignment. (That whole thang is sittin' antigogglin.)
arn - Iron
arre - arrow
arsh taters - Irish potatoes
aspel - a spell, a while (Sit down an rest aspel.)

B

bag - beg
bakerds - backward
bank - Prepare the far in the stove at night, sos ittle be ready next mornin
bait - portion of food, as in: "I ate my bait in turnip greens."
bananer (nanner) puddin - banana pudding
bar ditch - borrow ditch
bard - borrowed
benz - because, since (Benz you're going, I'll go with you.)
biled - boiled
blackguard - using foul language (He blackguarded in front of my wife.)
bloomers - ladies underwear
bobbed - cut hair
bob war - barbed wire
bout - near
brang - bring
breeches - pants/slacks
brekfurst - breakfast
bresh - brush/wood
brought up - raised (She was brought up right.)
brow - edge or clift of a mountain.
bub - light bulb

C

carried - took. I carried him to town.
Casners - Caster Knott
caty wompus - mountain term originally: a vicious beast; now: unlevel or crooked.
cematary - cemetery
chamber pot/slop jar - the inside facility
chap - child
cheer - chair
chimley- chimney
chillan - children
churn - A wooden or pottery receptacle for making butter.
Chusday - Tuesday
cityfied - raised in the city
clean - exactly (I clean forgot.)
clear tuh - She had to go clear tuh the spring fer her warsh water.
close pin - used fer hangen up yore clothes on the close line.
clum, clumedb - climbed
cole - cold
countryfied - raised in the country
coveren' - (You'll be sick fer not coveren' up.)
cussin' - cursing

D

davenport - couch, sofa
didgee?/didjew? - did you?
dingy - dirty
dipper - A ladel for drinking water out of a water bucket. (sometimes a goard)
dish rag - dish cloth/towel
disk har - harrow
dope - Coca Cola (initially contained a small amount of cocaine)
dreckly - directly (I'll be there dreckly.)
dreen - drain (Dreen the grease offen it.)
duddon/dutton - doesn't

E

edjukated - talken like a northner.
em - them (How many of em are left?)
errol - TV or radio antenna
et (1) - ate
et (2) - it

F

failing - feeling (I ain't failing so good.)
fanger - finger (How'd ja hurt cha fanger?)
far - fire
fard - fired
farn - foreign
farplace - fireplace
fer - for (What fer?)
fetch - bring
fixin' to - about to
fla'r - flower
foard - forwardBR> forners - foreigners, them folks from up North. See 'up North'.
fraidy holes - storm cellars
fretten - upset (The baby is fretten.)
furriners - foreigners
futher - farther

G

galluses - suspenders
giddup - get up
gitten - going
git shed of - get rid of (Wish I could get shed of this cold.)
gizzy-whiz - thing (The problem is, that gizzy-whiz is broke)
gonna - going to
gooden (un) - good day (Have a gooden.)
gorsh - gosh
grass widow - divorced woman
grine - groin
grow'd up - grown
gummit - government (she got one of them thar gummit jobs)

H

haint (1) - haven't (I haint seen him.)
haint (2) - ghost
hankerin - want (I'm hankerin' fer som ice cream.)
har - hair (I aint seen hide nor har of him.)
hard - hired
heared - (I ain't heared from him.)
heavy dew - request for action (Kin I haavy dew me a favor?)
helpen - serving (I'll take a helpen of them taters.)
hep - help
hern - hers
hidee - hello
hidrun - water faucet
hi-fluoot'n - Someone who is real important.
hillbilly - someone from the hills/backwoods
hipping - diaper
his'n - his
hit - it (Hits afixin' ta rain.)
Ho'ard - Howard
hockey - Something to avoid stepping in.
hoecake - originally, corn mix cooked on a hoe on the open fire
holler (1) - hollow, arable land between mountains (He lived up in the holler.)
holler (2) - yell
holpen - hope to
holt - he grabbed a holt of the fence
hongry - hungry
hope - help (I hope him plow the field.)
horspitle - hospital
hoverhalls - overalls
howsa - how about (Howsa 'bout going with me?)
hursh - hush
hurt'n - hurting (He was really hurtn'n.)

I,J,K

idear - idea
if'n - (I'll com if'n I can.)
ignert - ignorant
ittle - it will (Ittle be a col day tamarrow.

jaw - talk
Jawjuh - Georgia
jew here - Did jew-here about....?
jine - join (Mind if'n I jine ye.)
jest - just (Jest a minute.)
joshin' - joking (Anna was joshin' me.)
karn- rotting flesh
keer - care (I don't keer.)
ketch - catch
kilt - killed (Paw kilt a rabbit.)
kittle - kettle
kiver up - cover up

L

lak - alike
left off - dropped off (Eddie left me off at the station.)
lent - leaned (Alfred lent the hoe against the shed.)
liberry - library
liddey biddy - small (She's a liddey biddy thang.)
lidel - little (Lidel ol' me.)
light - window pane
likeness - photo
likken - a whuppen
likker - liquor
lite bread - sandwitch bread

M

mansion - mention Don't mansion it.
mansion house - home
mater - tomato
mere - mirror
mightly - very much
minners - minnows
mitenear - almost
Miz - Miss, Mizrus, Mrs.
munts - months

N,O

nable - navel
nar - narrow
naw - no
ner drownt- almost drowned
nigh - (It's ben nigh o'er a yar since we last heard of him.)
northner - Norterner
nuttin - nothing
nye way - short cut

offen - often
of'n - Git of'n that cheer.
ooshie - Ooshie it is cole.
outhouse - toilet
overhauls - overalls

P,Q

pallet - bed made on the floor
passel - a bunch
period - men. cycle
pert nigh - nearly
petticoat - ladies slip
pianner - piano
piles - hemorrhoids
piller - pillow
piller slip - pillow case
pitcher - picture (She's pretty as a pitcher.)
play purty - toy That kid needs a new play purty.
plum tard - very tired
poke - a paper bag, a traveling bag
pokesalet - poke salad (wild greens, par boil, cook down and add scrambled eggs. Some think pokesalet is poisonous if you don't boil and discard the water a couple of times. I've seen it coming up between the cracks in concrete in a large city).
polecat - skunk
pore - underweight, pitiful, no money
porehouse - poorhouse
Poseys - Flowers
pot likker - Liquor from cooking turnip greens.
privates - (censored)
puppet - pulpit
purtnear - pretty near, almost, close, soon
purty - pretty

quair - strange (She acted mighty quair.)
quarl lar - coal oil (Quarl lar is good fer bee stings.) Don says that coal oil is oil processed from coal, used in table lamps before electricity and sold at the grocery store. Kerosene, later used, was a petroleum product and sold at the 'fillin station'.
quarled up - coiled

R

ranch - wrench
rang- ring
raring - anxious (He's raring to go.)
rat - right Get in here rat now!
recollect - remember (I don't rightly recollect.)
reckon - believe
rench - rinse (Rench them dishes good.)
rernt - ruined (The milk was rernt.)
retard - retired
rightly - correctly

S

sa - so
salary - celery
sang - sing
sanger - Singer (sewing machine)
scrub - to wash hard, i.e., scrub your close, scrub the child's face
seed - seen (I seed him up at hisen house yesterde.)
set - sit
setch - such (Patty said that she'd never heared of setch a thang.)
shar - shower
shet - shut (Shet yore sassy mouth.)
shinny - climb
shoot - to express disappointment
shore'nuf - surely is; as a question: Ain't that right?
Shovel - Shelbyville, TN
shurf - sheriff
shut of (1) or shuta - should have
shut of (2) - shed of, rid of
shut off -turn off
skeered - scared (He's even skeered of his own shadow.)
slop jar - chamber pot/the inside facility
snort - a drag from the corn likker jar
sodt - soda
sparkin' - dating
spenders - suspenders
spit can - a tin can used for spitting tobacco juice
sprang - spring
sprednadder - Spredding adder
squarsh - squash
stob - piece of wood. He stomped his toe on that stob in the yard.
stoop - step (He sat on the front stoop of the house.)
stoppit - stop
strang - string
sum'en - something (Sum'en tells me this is wrong.)
summers - somewhere

T

taday - today
tamarrow - tomorrow
tar - tire
tard - tired
tater - potato
tetched - crazy
thang - thing (Don't brang that thang in the house.)
thank - think (I'm sa tard I can't thank.)
this here - (Git into this here house, right now.)
this'n - this (Not that'n, this'n.)
th'other/tother - the other (It was or the tother.)
thow - throw
tolerable - fairly good (I'm tolerable well.)
touch - have relationship with (Girl, did he touch you?)
tuckered out - very tired
tump over - turn over

U,V,W

up North - anyplace other than AL, AR, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA
ust - use to, once (He ust ta come mor offen.)

waller - mess up (Brittany, don't waller on that bed.)
war - wire
warhouse - warehouse
warsh - wash
warsh board - a wood framed board with grooved metel ust to scrub yore close.
warsh rag - wash cloth
warter - water
warter bucket - a bucket with a dipper to drink water.
wasper - wasp
whar - where
weuns - we
whilst - while (Hold that steer down whilst I brand'em.)
wheelborrow - wheelbarrow
whomperjawed - out of alignment
whup/whuppen - whip/wipping/likken (I'll whup you good!)
widder - widow
winder - window
winder light - window pane
winner - winter
woodna - wouldn't have
woods colt - ain't got no nown daddy
wrung out - git the water all out of the clothes
wuz - was

X,Y,Z

ya - hi-fluoot'n for ye (What are ya adoing?)
y'all - you all; all of you (Y'all come back, ya hear.)
ye - you
yeself - your self
years - ears
yep/yeah - yes
yers - yours (Is this yers?)
yeself - yourself
yesterde - yesterday
yonder - in another room (Brandons in yonder.)
yore - your (War is yore hat?)
youngen - young one
you'nses - all of y'all
Yurp - Europe

Git back up front


MOUNTAIN TALK PHRASES

A fine kittle of fish. What a mess.
Backed an envelope - addressed an envelope
Bleeding like a stuck hog - bleeding profusely
Caliption fit - very angry
Consarn hit - Something didn't work right
Dutton that tear you for a duster? - Doesn't that jest get you / blow your mind?
Fer git hit. Forget it.
Good Book - The Bible
Grinnin like a mule eating briars - big smile
Great day in the morning - surprised
He couldn't hit the side of a barn. - doesn't have good aim
He'd do it if it hair-lipped the Governor. do it irregardless
He's old as the hills. - very old
He was mad as a hornet. very upset
Heck far/ shoot far - disgusted
He really got his nose out of joint. - got his feelings hurt
He's rotten to the core. - completely bad
He's sum'un over 40 odd yars old. - approximate years
Hits hotteren blue blazes
Hit doesn't mean doodley squat. - nothing
Hit beats the heck out of me. - doesn't know why.
Hit was catty cornered. - diagonally across
Hits caty-wompus. - out of alignment, crooked
I ain't heard nor tell of him in yars. - haven't heard from him
I ain't seed hide nor hair of him - hasn't seen.
I'd better be gitten. better be going.
I don't keer. - care, yes: Would you like some potatoes? I don't keer.
I laughed so hard I liked to have died. - just too much
I picked a right smart of beans. A good many
I'll be durn. - surprised
I liked to have never figured it out. - difficult
If that don't take the cake. - kinda disgusted or surprised
I'm drunker than Cootie Brown. - dizzy
I'm much obliged to ye. - thank you
I'm fit as a fiddle. - fine
I'm so tard I can't see straight - very tired.
I'm as tard ad far 'n twice as hot - very tired
I'm jest plum tuckered out
I'm gonna clean your plow.- threat of bodily harm
I've ben fair to middling / tolerbly well. - answer to, how are you?
I've ben arning all day - ironing
Jest a cotten picken minute. - halting someone's remarks.
Kocsis Army - a lot of anything
Lay over to catch meddlers - Response to a nosey child asking "What is?/Why?
Like a bunch of hogs running around with sticks in their mouths. - gonna be a cold winner
Like as not, I'll be agoen. I'm pretty sure I'll go.
Meaner than a snake - very mean
Pearl was raised up pore. - reared
Scares the living daylights out of me - very scared
Scat,skit, skat Kitty-Kat Your tails on fire - answers to a sneeze.
Set down an be quite - antiquated command to children [grin]
She's got a face that would stop an eight day clock.
She looks like death eatin' a cracker. - pale
She was fit to be tied. - very irritated
She wudna missed a hog killing. - This woman had to be involved in everything.
Taken one day at a time. Answer to "How are ye?"
That's funnier than when granny caught her t** in the wringer - very funny.
They come from 'cross the waters. - overseas
They lived so far back in the woods they had to pipe sunshine into them.
Thing-a-ma-jig - for lack of a better word for something.
You ain't ah jest whistling Dixie - the truth of something.
Were you born in a barn? - left the door open
Well, I ain't never. - surprised
Well, I swan! - surprised
What'n the Sam Hill? - puzzled
Ye jist ain't whistlin Dixie
You'll ketch your death of cold. - not coveren' up
You're jest making a mountain out of a mole hill. - exaggerated

Git back up front


EXCLAMATIONS:

Bite yore tongue!
Consarn it!
Dad blame!
Dad bum it! (mild expletive for dad burn it)
Dad burn it!
Dag nab it!
Dog gone it!
Fiddle-sticks
Good gosh!
Gosh almighty!
I declare!
I'll be diddly dad burn!
I'll swear!
Land agoshen!
Land's sake!
Of all things!
Oh, my goodness gracious!
Shoot far!
Shulks!

Git back up front


ETIKETT

Fer youens cityfied folks who jest don't no no better, these are the right vittle times fer the day: Brekfurst is fer eating furst thang in the mornin'. When the sun is bout mid hi an the dinner bell rangs, than ye eat yer dinner. Rite 'bout dark, ye eat yer supper.

If'n someone asks you if you want something, and you do, say: "I don't mind if'n I do," or "I don't keer."
If'n yore in the woods, makes lotsa noise so the 'stillers will no you ain't the revenoors.
If'n you go to someones house, whistle or sum'en sos theys nose yore comin'. You ken holler, "Is anyone ta home?"

Git back up front


Your comments have been a hoot! Here is an example:

"Now, Judy Honey, I done read your little piece you got up on the net bout the way people talk, and I can't see fer the life o' me what all the commotion's about. You makin' some kind of a big "to do" bout plain ol' regular talkin'! Lord, Girl, I ain't never heard nobody talk any other way and I been two, three places. Down here in Northeast Texas where I growed up, they don't nobody try to talk all fancy unless they been livin' off in one o' them foreign states and then come back puttin' on airs. Or maybe some lil' ol' gal goes off to Dallas and gets her a typin' job an' a pair o' high heels and comes back struttin' around. But then folks just start pokin' fun at em till they go back to talkin' normal agin.

An' besides all that, I'm a little bit outta snuff with you cause you done got my good buddy, Don Kirk, so enthused with all that "dropped e" foolishness that he wont hardly even answer my e-mails anymore. I keep tellin' him it ain't no big thang but he's all in a tizzy about it. And him kin folks of mine, to boot. Well, you know how some folks are, jus' jumpin' around from one thang to another like a chicken on a June bug.

But you did get a good do on your homepage, and I got to admit its just about the best un I've laid my eyes on. Gotta go now. That dang possom's back on the front porch agin', rattlin' around and tryin' to eat up the cat food. If that critter wasn't so pitiful lookin' I'd get out Daddy's 16 guage and blow his hairy hiney to kingdom come, but you can't hep feelin' sorry fer anythang that's as beady eyed and ugly as a skeered possom layin' there playin' like he's dead. You take care yeself, now, an' we see ye later, Sharon.



Dear Judy, I cant beleve yall dont have West Virginia listed on yer home page as bein frum th south. Im real put out by it. most new folks I meet wanna know whar I lerned ta talk . I hapened upon your page on this here internet and lo and behold fer the first time in ma life I can unnerstan everthang thats written on hit. Im a gonna come back to this page offen. But iI sure would like to see West Virginia included in this here page. I have been called a hillbilly all my life an I wont be one to deny it. These old West Virginia Mountains are a sure place to hear all that talk you were a handlin, None could be so proud as we are to see senilbe talk on the internet. I coulduv took a test on tha meanin of them words an made a hunderd. Thars an old legend in these hills that all hillbillys have one leg shorter than the other, because they never have walked on level ground and its true, if you are a hoein the garden on the hillside one foot is way down below the other. And nother good thang about being raised on a hillside if you plant yer taters up on the hill behind yer house when you dig em up in the fall you just roll em down the hill to your house an you dont have to carry em frum the garden, us hillbillies know how to keep frum havin to do too much a fetchin backerd and fort The purpose this here letter is to let you know that us in West Virginia is jest as Appalachian as they come . We hope to hear more on your page and well be a watchin fer it. So Have a goodin Lucy

Sorry Wes Virginny was left oft. We jest dont git out much heer. Thanks fer lettin me now yeer out thare.

Honey Chile....I'm from North Carolina and 'tis true that since 'returning' from the furrin state of Atlanta I have had to re-learn our Suthern tawk. Those folks in Atlanta made so much fun of me when I 'paged' the physician for whom I worked (Heck fire, they do teach us grammar down here!!) I would Page "Dr. X. "....Dr. "X, Y,Z, M, N,O. P" would ALL answer tha page!!! Took me 'bout two hours to figure what was happening!!!! Howsomeever, when I asked WHY ALL of them answered MY page...they said they wanted to hear the 'suthern drawl'...Well, friends, that got my ire up!!!! SUTHERN???? WE don't say "Wawther for water' nor "dollah for dollar"...WHAT is the problem with those dudes?????? Shoot...made me madder than a wet hen on a hot rock!!! NOT to worry, I got em. I started talking "Yankee" on the intercom!!! Now...we gotta remember that ATLANTA 'aint' too happy with the word Yankee...seems they have selective memory and it get them all in a twit. Anyways.. THAT ended the harassment about the "suthern' talk!!! YUP....we still say, "Dadburn it...some folks sitll say 'fetch me that brief case with my million dollar portfolio in it, please." (Southerners are polite, ya know.) SOME folks down further (actuall it's "UP" further than me, say "Ary and nary" for anything and nothing....and before anybody WAHOOS about that....it's 'ye olde Englishe'....so THAR!!!! Seems the Irish and Scottish who settled in this area still used a form of old English??? Actually I don't know if I'm spellin' 'ary' right..it might be 'arie'.....as in the poem "Wud some gift the giftie gie us...ta see ourselves as others see us"..or something to that effect!!! Y'all (HEY...gal you gotta spell that RIGHT!!) (LOL) ...take care now.....be seein' ya later. Have a 'good un'.!!
Elaine Redmon (whose English Professor has just had two grave episodes of apoplexy!!)


This page was created 24 November 1997 by Judy Henley Phillips and updated 15 December 2004. Copyright is for all pages. Enjoy, and, as that good ol' suthern boy, John, said at the end of Revelation (21): "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen."

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