This article isn’t really about women of our region, but all people of our region. It is about the way we talk.
The Southern Appalachian dialect, words and phrases have long been misunderstood. The way we pronounce words and the phrases we use, have long been the butt of many hillbilly jokes. We have been made to feel inferior by people from outside our region. Hollywood has stereotyped us into uneducated, backwoods buffoons with no clue on how the English language is spoken. But truly, that is not the case.
Our mountain talk is very similar to the Southern accent, but has many varying ways of pronouncing words. We have phrases that we alone know. It is widely documented that we actually speak the Elizabethan or Shakespeare’s language. This mountain range was pretty much isolated for years. That being said, we have held on to the old language and to a Scots-Irish dialect. Speech patterns remained the same, or similar, here in our region over the years as English in other parts of America and in England evolved.
Please remember, our way of talking is a dialect, a certain language, not to be confused with being inferior or a lack of education. We are not backwoods or lazy. Some of us are still isolated in our mountain cocoon, and we like it that way.
With that being said, I have written a little story using some of the words and phrases that I remember and still use. Let me know if you understand and use these words too. And for some serious reading on the subject, go to– http://lrc.ohio.edu/lr…/Streaming/lingCALL/ling270/myth9.pdf
I woke up this morning with my head feeling a little quare. I didn’t really want to get up but I I fought the urge to lay there and got on up. I looked out the window and saw a skift of snow on the ground. I had awakened to a Dogwood winter. Across the branch that ran through the back yard, I saw a pole cat lying acorpse in the snow. I shuddered at the sight. The house felt a bit airish so I found my sweater and put it on. I plaited my hair, spread the countypin up over the bed and made my way into the kitchen.
I was really hungry and wanted a nice cathead and maybe some gravy. I didn’t feel like gauming up the kitchen, so I settled on a little jag of sweet milk. I took a sup, but still hankered for something else. I wished I had put on a mess of beans the night before. I looked around and saw I had a mushmellon in a poke so I decided to get it out and cut me off a piece. I made my way into the front room with my piece of mushmellon and sat down to eat it. Sitting there, I could have sworn I heard a painter cry outside. Believe me that didn’t help my head nary bit
I looked around at the house and knew I would have to shove shoes if I was going to get anything done today. It was a mess. Things were stroe’d all over the place. I got up and fixed a picture on the wall that was sigoggling. I needed to clean the house but decided to just give it a lick and a promise. Too bad I didn’t have somebody there to holp me. I just felt plumb sorry as all get out. My head was still hurting a right smart bit. I decided I would clean directly. Nobody’s going to cut a shine if I don’t do it right away. I figured the best thing for me was to go back to sleep. I took a run a go and landed smack dab in the center of the bed and laid there the rest of the morning.
I LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU IN THE COMMENTS BELOW ABOUT THESE AND OTHER WORDS THAT YOU HAVE HEARD OR OFTEN USE.