Radio Inspire

How To Learn Sign Language

Appalachian English


Talking about like that like we had some wood out
in the yard. Instead of saying “carry it in the house”
you’d say “tote it in the house” and like if you had something that you wanted to put
in a paper bag, you’d put in a paper “poke” you know instead of a paper bag. Well, the way people talk around here, I guess
it’d be what more like you’d call hillbilly style or something, I guess, I don’t know. It’s just Mountain Talk. Most of your local people have your Mountain
Talk. That’s the way you can tell the mountain people
from your outsiders, by their language they use. Say, “I’ll see ya over yonder.” That means I’ll see you like in Waynesville. It’s a Mountain Talk, kinda. Never nothing stops, it’s like a-singin’,
you know. We’re kinda like we’re singing. Lida said we’re singing, not talking. Ya, I like my moped. Everybody hears about Graham County, don’t they? How good the people is, how they’ll help you. I run into people I don’t know, never seen
them in my life, and I help them in any way I can. Somebody said, one day you’ll get knocked in the
head, I said, “well, if I do, I’m just knocked.” We’re just good-hearted. Everybody you meet, just 99% of them. If I didn’t live here, I’d move, wouldn’t
you? Where you gonna go on vacation? If I was gonna go on vacation I’d just stay
right around here. Wouldn’t mind this all the time anyhow. We are 20 years behind the whole country. But I wouldn’t swap places with nobody. I feel much more comfortable here being 20
years behind everybody than I would be a-settlin’ a lot of places and being so miserable. You don’t like your neighbor, you don’t speak
to your neighbor, you’re bitter with the world. Atlanta’s a good example. Or Raleigh. You drive down the street and everybody’s
wide open, blowing their horns and don’t know nobody and don’t want to know nobody and don’t
care about nobody. It’s quite a bit different up here. Well I Iived in Washington, D.C. about four
and a half years and I’d just as soon be in hell with my back broke than live there. People are so good to each other here. Many of the words and expressions in Mountain
Speech are unfamiliar to outsiders. Scots Irish settlers brought much of the vocabulary
from Europe, but many new words and expressions were invented here by their descendants. There’s just somebody coming up with a strange
word is what it means. I mean let’s say you’re trying to get something
done, you’re building something. And you’ll take a look at it, like the word
sigogglin. You’re looking at it and it’s all out of line
and you might just come up with a word “sigogglin”. I do that myself. Can’t think of anything right off, but I come
up with a lot of new words myself and so you get somebody standing around, they hear that
and okay it’s sigogglin. Say a carpenter’s done a real poor job and
then you say that’s all sigogglin. You know, he didn’t have his walls straight or They’d stand back and look with something
angled like, they’d say, “That thing’s sigogglin” They’d say, “I want you to look.” I’d say, “What is it?” If you’re building some kind of, so that’s
sigogglin right yonder. And so that old road going up there, say that
thing’s sigogglin. My grandmother, she’s always talking about
people being stout. Or gaint. She used words like “peckerwood”. If it’s somebody she didn’t like, she’d call
him a peckerwood. If it’s somebody she didn’t know but he’s
probably alright, she didn’t have any animosity for him, she’d say, “He is a jasper.” “There’s this jasper come by here this morning
and knocked on the door,” you know. But if it was a salesman, “There’s this peckerwood
out there on the porch.” It’s like people used to, you know, like you
go in a store, say “put it in the bag”? Old people says you put in a poke. That’s a bag. I used to go to the store, walk two miles,
the store, when I was a kid and carry a 25 pound poke of flour home. That’s “fler”, by the way, not “flour”. And me and my two sisters, one brother, we’d
be a-waiting on them at the house to get our candy. Saul, the older man I was talking about, had
a little poke of candy. He said, “Well I forgot to get anything!” But we’d scream! “Oh here it is!” “Plumb” was a common word when I was growing
up. Plumb this and plumb that and you’d get “plumb
over there.” “Well, he was just plumb wore out.” And that copper mine, that vein, they tunneled
under the ground plumb out through here to Snowbird. Like the wind was a-blowing. You know, a lot of air. They’d say it’s very airish outside. Airish? It means it’s a little bit chilly outside. It means, it’s airish, it means it’s chilly
today. It’s airish today right now as we speak. The air is blowing and breezy. A good one, you know a good one, you’d go
to the store and buy a coke? They’d call them dopes back then. I don’t know if you’d ever hear anybody say
that or not. That’s what we drank when I was a kid and
it was called, they had Nehi, they had Pepsi-Cola, Royal Crown Cola, a lot of them, that was dope. Oh, a dope! You’re talking about like a soda pop, soda
water, yeah. Yeah, soda water, yeah. Dope. That’s all they ever call them around here
as a kid. Now if you go up toward Ernestine’s place up there, Stop along there about where you turn up to
Tony’s there in them pine patch, right, along with that log house, you’ll probably see a boomer
right there. A lady came through and she said, “Oh,” I
said, “that’s a pretty boomer.” She said, “A boomer? What’s a boomer?” You know what a boomer is, don’t you? You ever see one? What’s a boomer? [laughter] They make a lot of chatting noises, they’re
about the size of a wharf rat. A wharf rat? Yeah, a wharf rat. Big old rat. A boomer is like a little squirrel. It’s not a squirrel. It’s a mix between a grey squirrel and a chipmunk. Except it’s red. Can you eat them? Yeah. She said, “That’s a red squirrel.” I said, “Well, to me that’s a boomer.” We always called it boomers. Say it’s an old scald. That mean that’s old dead land, won’t grow
nothing, you know? We call it scald. I don’t know if any of you ever heard that,
or I know you have. Call it a scald, poor land. That’s like the carburetor in my van, all
gaumed up with all that old dirty stuff. Gaum. It means like all cluttered up. Gaumed up. Yeah, that means it’s in a mess. That’s what I would’ve said. They didn’t know they were talking to such
educated folks, did they? Instead of saying yonder, you know, “over
yonder,” it’s “over yander.” Do you ever hear that word? Over yander? Yeah, well I say over yander. Yeah. My momma used to come up to use when we was
little and she’d say, “Goose? Or gander?” She’d pull each ear. If you say goose, she’d say pull it here, loose. And say gander, she’d pull it way over yander. They all know me. They’d say yander comes him a-riding
that Harley-Davidson. They think it’s a Harley.

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