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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States

    Appalachian Speech: By Craig Hadley

    Appalachian Speech

    Edited by Craig Hadley of the Cracker Company

    The speech of ordinary, down-home or uneducated folk of Appalachia, particularly that of the southern regions, as it evolved throughout the 1800s, with many terms or peculiar pronunciations still in use today.

    a body: person, man or woman.

    acrost: across.

    afeared: afraid.

    afore: before.

    agin: against.

    aim: intend.

    argie: argue.

    backards: backwards.

    bile: boil.

    brung: brought.

    call: reason.

    chur: chair.

    didje: did you.

    drank: drink.

    druther: I'd rather.

    exter: extra.

    ezactly: exactly.

    fitten: appropriate.

    fixen: intending.

    guvment: government.

    heerd: heard.

    hern: hers.

    hesh up: hush up.

    hisn: his.

    holler: valley.

    idee: idea.

    jist: just.

    keer: care.

    lasses: molasses.

    Law, Laws: euphemism for Lord. nary: never.

    nary: never.

    nigh: near.

    ourn: ours.

    pizen: poison.

    poke: bag.

    pone: corn bread.

    puny feelin': sick.

    richeer: right here. shortsweetenin': sugar.

    sich: such.

    spell: for a time.

    study on it: think about it.

    stump liquor: corn liquor. tolable: tolerable/mediocre. tother: the other.

    uppity: snobbish.

    vittles: food.

    whup: whip.

    widder: widow.

    yaller: yellow.

    yourn: yours.

    Edit: This listing was compiled by Craig Hadley prior to the 2000 Outpost event and was posted on the Authentic Campaigner with his permission. -PC
    Paul Calloway
    Proudest Member of the Tar Water Mess
    Proud Member of the GHTI
    Member, Civil War Preservation Trust
    Wayne #25, F&AM

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Worthington, Ohio

    Re: Appalachian Speech: By Craig Hadley

    As a long-time Appalachian resident (35 yrs in NE Kentucky), I encourage all to keep in mind that there's a big difference between a Southern accent and an Appalachian one. There's Southern "cayan't" and Appalachian "caint". So make sure which is appropriate for the unit y'all (Southern) or yu'uns (Appalachian) are reenacting...
    Bernard Biederman
    30th OVI
    Co. B
    Member of Ewing's Foot Cavalry
    Outpost III

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Lafayette IN

    Re: Appalachian Speech: By Craig Hadley


    I'm surprised the list left out the ever popular "haint" (have not). Use of this term seems to have been ubiquitous throughout both North and South. "Youns" or "you-uns" appears to have been used far more than the stereotypically Southern "y'all." I've only seen this term used once in all my readings of Southern diaries and letters.

    We have access here at Purdue to "JSTOR"--I did a quick survey of its on-line journal article holdings using the key words "Applachian AND dialect" and got over 200 hits alone. One article, in particular, discusses the historic use of Appalachian dialect terms in the West (i.e., Illinois).


    Mark Jaeger

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Midlothian, VA

    Re: Appalachian Speech: By Craig Hadley

    Actually, having gone to college in Wise, va. for awhile I can honestly say that almost all of these pronunciations are still in use there today. I did alot of Geneaology there and actually got back into some of the more rural settings during my interviews and was pretty surprised at the continued use of these pronunciations as late as 1986.
    Fenny I Hanes

    Richmond Depot, Inc.
    PO BOX 4849
    Midlothian, VA 23112

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Lafayette IN

    Re: Appalachian Speech: By Craig Hadley


    Yep, I still encounter this occasionally here in Indiana. Of course, that's not so surprising given that southern Indiana was initially populated by folks from Virginia, the Carolinas, and Tennessee.


    Mark Jaeger

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    New Madrid, Missouri

    Re: Appalachian Speech: By Craig Hadley

    I still use a lot of these myself. Always heard 'em growing up and use them without even thinking. Reckon a lot of folks do.

    It is true, as mentioned above, that there are many differences in usage and accent depending on where you hail from. We often hear about the different dialects in other languages - high German vs. low German for example - but the English language as used throughout the South will reveal many different dialects albeit some differences are very subtle.

    IMO, if you can't do all the nuances and subtleties in these accents it is best to dispense with them while doing a first person and just be yourself. That would apply to the vast majority of us I belive.
    Michael Comer
    one of the moderator guys

  7. #7
    LWhite64 is offline Staff Member at Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Villanow, GA

    Re: Appalachian Speech: By Craig Hadley

    Like Michael said, I still use a lot of those too, I grew up and still live in a rural Southern Appalachian community(as anyone that went to the Outposts know), and it has been a concious thing for me to use correct grammer. My Grandpa and Grandma used all of those and then some on a daily basis. A few that were left out were mayter-Tomato, tater-potato, jeat-did you eat, squarell-squirrel, sprang-spring, whupper Will-whipper will, Whup-whip(heard that one way too many times), and then there is of course a whole lot of sayings like my personal favorite, Shot to Doll Rags.

    Lee White
    Researcher and Historian
    "Delenda Est Carthago"
    "My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings, Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!"


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    AL, USA

    Re: Appalachian Speech: By Craig Hadley

    Mashed em plum to squarsh.

    Come out fum over thar.

    Deader than a doodle bug.

    That ain't no sich a way to be a doin.

    Those are some of my grandmother's great ones. I sure miss her.

    Grew up in the Piedmont region of Alabama. Our folks weren't able to get all the way outta the hills.
    Ben Thomas
    14th Alabama Volunteer Infantry, Co. G
    "The Hilliby True Blues"

    The Possum Skinners Mess

    "Non gratis anus opossum"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Tuskaloosa, Alabama

    Re: Appalachian Speech: By Craig Hadley


    Cain I hope you git yourah car outta the dytch wid mya truck?

    I've lived on this property nearabout 50 year.

    mommick=all messed up (but also a term of false modesty)
    I don't know what's wrong with me today, I made such a mommick of this cake, its not presentable for company.

    Well, I'll let you get back to your rat killin'====I've visited with you awhile, finished my business, and you've finished yours, we've both got other things that need doing and its time for me to go on to the house

    And, for a later time period than CW:

    dope=Coca Cola
    Honey, its so hot, come set up on the porch fer a spell-cain I git you a dope?
    (If you had manners, you opened up the little bottle and poured it in a glass on ice, if you didn't, you just handed them the bottle and the "church key" (bottle opener).

    And, even later,

    Coke=any carbonated soft drink-used in the same way that other say soda" or "pop"
    Y'all want a Coke? What kind of Coke do you want-I got some RC's, some Pomac, and one Delaware Punch.
    Terre Hood Biederman
    Yassir, I used to be Mrs. Lawson. I still run period dyepots, knit stuff, and cause trouble.

    Wearing Grossly Out of Fashion Clothing Since 1958.

    ADVENTURE CALLS. Can you hear it? Come ON.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Eubank KY

    Re: Appalachian Speech: By Craig Hadley

    Here is another, don't know how PC it is but it is used a lot in my area and I live in south central KY. The farther east you go the more I see it used.

    Law - police, as in I will call the law on you.
    ~Miche' Todd

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