How to Speak Hillbilly (Appalachian English Dialect)
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14-11-2012, 12:07 AM (This post was last modified: 14-11-2012 11:48 PM by Dark Light.)
Big Grin How to Speak Hillbilly (Appalachian English Dialect)
I generally type in a mixture of my dialect (Hillbilly), Standard American, and Standard British English. Most everyone know at least the basics for AE and BrE, but I am going to teach you'ns how to speak Hillbilly English, also called Appalachian English, and Mountain Speech. I will add more as I think of more but for now I will begin with vocabulary words that you may or may not know, after that I will get into sentence structure and speech patterns. I will try my damnedest to spell it like it sounds, but that is difficult. I may tackle some phrases later on too. A lot of these have limited use, but much of them are still very current in the remote parts TN, KY, and NC. If you have any questions I will answer to the best of my ability.
  • Airish = Chilly, windy
  • Dope/Soda Water/ Sodey Water = Coke, Soda, Pop
  • Jailhouse = Jail
  • Schoolhouse = School
  • Plum = Completely, all the way, entirely
  • Brickle = Brittle
  • Mushmellon = Cantaloupe
  • Jasper = An outsider, not from the mountains, a stranger
  • Britches = Pants, usually not dress pants
  • Poke = Bag, sack
  • Young'un (Young One) = A child, or sometimes a significantly younger adult
  • You'ns = You One's, plural of you, similar to y'all
  • Yonder/Yander = Some unspecified distance
  • Right = Properly, Very, Accurately (example he is right strong, or right smart)
  • Heared = Past tense of hear, heard
  • Seed = Past tense of see, saw
  • Hollow (pronounced Holler) = Valley surrounded by mountains
  • Bald = A clearing in the mountains
  • Scald = Land that will not support plants very well
  • Skift = A dusting of snow
  • Sigoggelin = Crooked, or leaning
  • Tote = To carry, or transport
  • Gaum/Gaumed = Messed up by being cluttered or filled with dirt/grime/grease etc.
  • Haint = Ghost/Spirit
  • Afeared = Afraid
  • Chaw = A portion of chewing tobacco
  • Betwixt = Between
  • Crawdad = Crayfish, Mudbug
  • Fixin' = Getting ready or prepared for something OR A helping of food, a serving
  • Nary = None
  • Piece = An unspecified distance
  • Chancy = Unlikely, risky, doubtful
  • Wadn't - Wasn't
  • Idn't = Isn't
  • Hound = Dog, any kind (like German, and Old English)
  • Casin' (Casing) = Tire
  • Agin' = Against
  • blowed = Past tense of blow, blew
  • borned = past tense of born
  • Drug = Past tense of drag
  • Et = Past tense of eat
  • Heared-Tell/Hear-Tell = To hear from word of mouth, by gossip
  • Slop = Leftover scraps of food, usually feed to animals
  • Passel = A large group of undetermined number
  • Whup = Past Tense of whip, as in beat
  • Sweet Milk = Equals regular milk, to distinguish from buttermilk
  • Fits = Shaking, as from withdrawal or seizures, or extreme anger.
  • Knowed = Past tense of know, Knew
  • Go-Devil = A type of Maul used for splitting wood
  • Reckon = To deduce, reason, calculate, or figure.
  • Aimin' (Aiming) = Planning (Example, I wadn't aimin' on comin' over, but I reckon I can.)
  • Bloomers = Underwear, especially panties.
  • Brought up or reared = Raised up (Example, I was reared up in that holler)
  • Caty Wompus = Crooked
  • Cussin' = Cursing
  • Directly (pronounced Direckly) = Shortly, as soon as possible, in a bit.
  • Duddint = Doesn't
  • His'n = His
  • Her'n = Hers
  • Holler = Yell, shout
  • Jaw - Talk, especially when the talk is of no importance.
  • Licken = Whuppon,
  • Might-Could = There is a possibility [I, they, you] could do the thing which is being discussed.
  • Polecat = Skunk
  • Recollect (emphasis on the middle of the word) = To remember, recall
  • Mess = A serving of a particular dish (example, a mess of greens)
  • Wasper = Wasp
  • Touched = Crazy, Insane
  • Hull = Outside part of a green bean, or the act of taking this part off of the bean
  • Buggy = Shopping Cart
  • Jarfly = Cicada
  • Lightening (Lightenin') Bug = Firefly
  • Fireboard = Fireplace Mantle
Now I will try to list some sayings, some are common to all of America, others are not...
  • I don't chew my cabbage twice =I don't repeat myself.
  • Mad as a hornet OR wet hen = Very Angry
  • Meaner than a striped snake = Very Mean
  • Hotter than blue blazes = Very hot or very angry
  • Don't mean diddley squat = Don't mean anything, meaningless
  • Beats the heck out of me = I have no idea.
  • I ain't seen you in a coons age = It has been a very long time since I've seen you
  • They Lah (They Lord, Can't type it like it sounds) = Goodness gracious
  • Havn't seen hide nor hair = Havn't seen him/her, heard from them, or any other hint of them
  • Drunker than Cootey Brown = Extremely Drunk *
  • Finer than a box/can of snuff = Very fine indeed
  • Bleeding like a stuck hog = Bleeding a lot.
  • Fit to be tied = Very angry or annoyed
  • Was you born in a barn? = Shut the door.
* Cootey Brown is said to have been a person to have brothers fighting for both the Union and the Confederacy. He didn't want to fight against either so he became a drunkard until the wars end.

I will try to add more ;D Wish my great-grandpa was still alive, this is bringing back fond memories for me Smile

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14-11-2012, 12:16 AM
RE: How to Speak Hillbilly (Appalacian English Dialect)
Gah! I grew up listening to these!

How I managed to completely escape it; I'll never know.

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
Ridi, Pagliaccio, sul tuo amore infranto! Ridi del duol, che t'avvelena il cor!
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14-11-2012, 12:19 AM
RE: How to Speak Hillbilly (Appalacian English Dialect)
(14-11-2012 12:07 AM)Dark Light Wrote:  I generally type in a mixture of my dialect (Hillbilly), Standard American, and Standard British English. Most everyone know at least the basics for AE and BrE, but I am going to teach you'ns how to speak Hillbilly English, also called Appalachian English, and Mountain Speech. I will add more as I think of more but for now I will begin with vocabulary words that you may or may not know, after that I will get into sentence structure and speech patterns. I will try my damnedest to spell it like it sounds, but that is difficult. I may tackle some phrases later on too. A lot of these have limited use, but much of them are still very current in the remote parts TN, KY, and NC. If you have any questions I will answer to the best of my ability.
  • Airish = Chilly, windy
  • Dope/Soda Water/ Sodey Water = Coke, Soda, Pop
  • Jailhouse = Jail
  • Schoolhouse = School
  • Plum = Completely, all the way, entirely
  • Brickle = Brittle
  • Mushmellon = Cantaloupe
  • Jasper = An outsider, not from the mountains, a stranger
  • Britches = Pants, usually not dress pants
  • Poke = Bag, sack
  • Young'un (Young One) = A child, or sometimes a significantly younger adult
  • You'ns = You One's, plural of you, similar to y'all
  • Yonder/Yander = Some unspecified distance
  • Right = Properly, Very, Accurately (example he is right strong, or right smart)
  • Heared = Past tense of hear, heard
  • Seed = Past tense of see, saw
  • Hollow (pronounced Holler) = Valley surrounded by mountains
  • Bald = A clearing in the mountains
  • Scald = Land that will not support plants very well
  • Skift = A dusting of snow
  • Sigoggelin = Crooked, or leaning
  • Tote = To carry, or transport
  • Gaum/Gaumed = Messed up by being cluttered or filled with dirt/grime/grease etc.
  • Haint = Ghost/Spirit
  • Afeared = Afraid
  • Chaw = A portion of chewing tobacco
  • Betwixt = Between
  • Crawdad = Crayfish, Mudbug
  • Fixin' = Getting ready or prepared for something OR A helping of food, a serving
  • Nary = None
  • Piece = An unspecified distance
  • Chancy = Unlikely, risky, doubtful
  • Wadn't - Wasn't
  • Idn't = Isn't
  • Hound = Dog, any kind (like German, and Old English)
  • Casin' (Casing) = Tire
  • Agin' = Against
  • blowed = Past tense of blow, blew
  • borned = past tense of born
  • Drug = Past tense of drag
  • Et = Past tense of eat
  • Heared-Tell/Hear-Tell = To hear from word of mouth, by gossip
  • Slop = Leftover scraps of food, usually feed to animals
  • Passel = A large group of undetermined number
  • Whup = Past Tense of whip, as in beat
  • Sweet Milk = Equals regular milk, to distinguish from buttermilk
  • Fits = Shaking, as from withdrawal or seizures, or extreme anger.
  • Knowed = Past tense of know, Knew
  • Go-Devil = A type of Maul used for splitting wood
  • Reckon = To deduce, reason, calculate, or figure.
I'm probably forgetting plenty. I'll try and add some more stuff later.
A few of those sound Tasmanian, not counting crick/creak....rum'n /odd person, and a few others I can't recall.
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14-11-2012, 03:50 AM
RE: How to Speak Hillbilly (Appalacian English Dialect)
I'm from the moonshine capital of the world. I'm well versed in the dialect.

"I reckon I ain't got no reason to kill nobody" - Karl, Slingblade

Here's a good one I here constantly:
Naw = no.
"You goin' up ere". "Hell naw!"
Adding cha at the end of words also: won'tcha help granny, oughtcha get home, gotcha britches cleaned, whatcha doing right ere?
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14-11-2012, 09:13 AM
RE: How to Speak Hillbilly (Appalacian English Dialect)
lol.

My family came from SC generations ago.

However, my family has been in LA for hundreds of years, but my grandparents still use these words. It seems they were continually passed down; regardless of the region.

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14-11-2012, 09:47 AM
RE: How to Speak Hillbilly (Appalacian English Dialect)
I love listening to hillbilly slang. I find it homey and soothing, kinda like a Jamaican accent (by how it "feels" not by how it sounds.)

Just visiting.

-SR
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14-11-2012, 02:57 PM
RE: How to Speak Hillbilly (Appalacian English Dialect)



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14-11-2012, 06:36 PM
RE: How to Speak Hillbilly (Appalacian English Dialect)
DL,

Is yours a "double modal" dialect?

That is, in your dialect are you able to say things like "I might could go," where SAE only allows "I might be able to go"?

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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14-11-2012, 06:43 PM
RE: How to Speak Hillbilly (Appalacian English Dialect)
(14-11-2012 06:36 PM)cufflink Wrote:  DL,

Is yours a "double modal" dialect?

That is, in your dialect are you able to say things like "I might could go," where SAE only allows "I might be able to go"?
Yes, we use modal stacking. "Might Could" is probably the most common, and one I use as well. I even put it up in the vocabulary words.

Quote:Might-Could = There is a possibility [I, they, you] could do the thing which is being discussed.

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14-11-2012, 06:54 PM
RE: How to Speak Hillbilly (Appalacian English Dialect)
(14-11-2012 03:50 AM)HereticHick Wrote:  Adding cha at the end of words also: won'tcha help granny, oughtcha get home, gotcha britches cleaned, whatcha doing right ere?

"Cha" in these words is actually a reduced form of "you" (or sometimes "your"). The derivation goes like this:

won't you > won't ya > won'tcha

In other words, the final vowel of "you" is reduced to the "a" in "sofa" (technically, a schwa); then the tya combination gets pronounced as cha. That's actually a very common sound change. In fact, some languages spell the "ch" sound as the equivalent of "ty."

Just layin' a little linguistic analysis on ya. Wink

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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