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A-huntin' The Sources of Appalachian English
Backcountry Notes ^ | March 26, 2010 | Jay Henderson

Posted on 03/26/2010 7:00:19 AM PDT by jay1949

An order of the Virginia Colonial Council dated May 4, 1725, concerned an allegation that "divers Indians plundered the Quarters of Mr. John Taliaferro near the great mountains [i.e., the Blue Ridge] . . .[and carried off] some of the Guns belonging to and marked with the name of Spottsylvania County . . . ." The Council concluded: "It is ordered that it be referred to Colo. Harrison to make inquiry which of the Nottoway Indians or other Tributaries have been out ahunting about that time . . . ."

Now, the Colonial Council was an august body and its proceedings were formal, so we can be sure that "ahunting" was not common slang. It was, on the contrary, an accepted usage which is now obsolete except in Appalachia and the Ozarks, where folks still go "out a-huntin'."

(Excerpt) Read more at backcountrynotes.com ...


TOPICS: History; Society
KEYWORDS: appalachia; appalachian; dialects; english; englishlanguage; language; linguistics; rural; seedofalbion; virginia; virginiahistory
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1 posted on 03/26/2010 7:00:19 AM PDT by jay1949
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To: jay1949

for later


2 posted on 03/26/2010 7:03:13 AM PDT by muir_redwoods (Obama: Chauncey Gardiner without the homburg)
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To: jay1949

Scots-Irish migrated down the Appalachians from Pennsylvania during the colonial period and became isolated there, avoiding later homogenizing of the language. There are similarities today between Appalachian speech and dialects of English still spoken in the UK. For example, some pronouncing the past tense of “eat” as “et.”


3 posted on 03/26/2010 7:05:43 AM PDT by Genoa (Luke 12:2)
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To: Genoa

Interesting. thanks will bookmark


4 posted on 03/26/2010 7:09:41 AM PDT by mel
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To: RegulatorCountry

Ping!


5 posted on 03/26/2010 7:12:30 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Espiritu Santo, Espiritu Santo, renueva la faz de la tierra!)
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To: jay1949; don-o; Mrs. Don-o; RegulatorCountry; Salamander

Interestin’ thread ping.


6 posted on 03/26/2010 7:12:51 AM PDT by Semper Mark (Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms. - Aristotle)
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To: Genoa

You’ve got it. We of Scots-Irish descent know where the language came from.


7 posted on 03/26/2010 7:12:56 AM PDT by calex59
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To: Genoa

A mechanic I knew some years back liked to conclude his sentences with a verbal exclamation, “what I did.”

I would ask the status of one our mining machines and he would respond, “I just changed the oil in the D-9. What I did...”

I’ve always wondered where this came from.


8 posted on 03/26/2010 7:16:07 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Impeachment !)
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To: jay1949

We go a fishing too.


9 posted on 03/26/2010 7:18:39 AM PDT by IrishPennant (If you can accept losing, you can't win. ~ Vince Lombardi)
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To: Genoa

Other words are very old English...fetch, reckon, kivvers (covers)

Also, along with a-huntin’ we’ve said a-courtin’, a-fishin’...most words ending with “ing”


10 posted on 03/26/2010 7:19:42 AM PDT by Boonie
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To: Boonie

I’m a-fixing to mark this thread to keep up with it because I reckon it will be a good ‘un, if you’uns will keep it going


11 posted on 03/26/2010 7:23:23 AM PDT by don-o (My son, Ben - Marine Lance Corporal texted me at 0330 on 2/3/10: AMERICA!)
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To: Boonie

Yes, the “a” prefix can be seen many times in the King James Version.
Psalm 73:27, for example: “For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee.”


12 posted on 03/26/2010 7:24:16 AM PDT by Genoa (Luke 12:2)
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To: All

I’ve heard people accuse southern Appalachians as saying “crik” for creek...I’ve lived in the Tennessee mountains (not even 3 miles from the Smokey Mtns Nat’l Park)
for 63 years...I’ve NEVER heard a person born and raised here say “crik or crick”...It’s always creek...

We say a crik is what you get in your neck...a creek is where you go ‘a-fishin’....


13 posted on 03/26/2010 7:24:40 AM PDT by Boonie
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To: Boonie

Chattanooga and environs are some of my favorite places to visit.


14 posted on 03/26/2010 7:27:31 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Impeachment !)
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To: Boonie
I'm from around the same area and I never heard anyone use “crik” unless they were joking, and that includes the ol’ timey mountain folk.
15 posted on 03/26/2010 7:28:44 AM PDT by Semper Mark (Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms. - Aristotle)
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To: Boonie

“Crik” is a typical Northeastern U.S. pronunciation of “creek.” I suspect that large numbers of New England settlers came from parts of England where that was the usual pronunciation.


16 posted on 03/26/2010 7:28:53 AM PDT by Genoa (Luke 12:2)
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To: jay1949

One southernism that strikes my ear odd is instead of saying

I think da da da.

they will say

I feel like that da da da.


17 posted on 03/26/2010 7:29:24 AM PDT by DManA
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To: nanetteclaret; piroque; manc; GOP_Raider; TenthAmendmentChampion; snuffy smiff; slow5poh; ...
Dixie ping

We haven't had a good dialect thread in a while...post your southernisms

18 posted on 03/26/2010 7:31:59 AM PDT by stainlessbanner
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To: Genoa
“Crik” is a typical Northeastern U.S. pronunciation of “creek.” I suspect that large numbers of New England settlers came from parts of England where that was the usual pronunciation.

I say this because going back along my maternal line, they are rural New Englanders by descent. My mother and her mother said "crik." (For speech, I look to the women, who are the ones from whom children learn most of their language.)
19 posted on 03/26/2010 7:32:44 AM PDT by Genoa (Luke 12:2)
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To: jay1949

Scotch-Irish speech found in the Appalachians and the Ozarks is also called southern highland or southern midland speech.They say whar for where, thar for there, hard for hired,critter for creature,sartin for certain,a-goin for going, hit for it, far for fire,deef for deaf,pizen for poison,nekkid for naked, eetch for itch,boosh for bush.


20 posted on 03/26/2010 7:33:35 AM PDT by mjp (pro-{God, reality, reason, egoism, individualism, independence, limited government, capitalism})
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To: DManA

More southernese.....

“I’m a-fixin’ to do something...”
and
“I’m gettin’ ready to do something...”


21 posted on 03/26/2010 7:34:14 AM PDT by Boonie
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To: mjp

You got ‘em, thar!!!!*G*

Also, per J Foxworthy....”If you’re naked, it means you got no clothes on...If you’re nekkid, itmeans you got no clothes on and you’re up to somethin’...”


22 posted on 03/26/2010 7:37:03 AM PDT by Boonie
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To: stainlessbanner

He’s/she’s a mess! (mess — funny, nutty, etc.)

Goin’ to carry my folks to church. (carry — drive)

Greens and pot likker


23 posted on 03/26/2010 7:38:31 AM PDT by varina davis (Life is not a dress rehearsal)
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To: stainlessbanner

I’ll try to thing of something while I warsh my truck.


24 posted on 03/26/2010 7:38:31 AM PDT by Texas Mulerider (Rap music: hieroglyphics with a beat.)
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To: varina davis
Greens and pot likker

No cornbread?

25 posted on 03/26/2010 7:39:53 AM PDT by Texas Mulerider (Rap music: hieroglyphics with a beat.)
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To: Texas Mulerider

You betcha! Tomato gravy and grits, too


26 posted on 03/26/2010 7:40:47 AM PDT by varina davis (Life is not a dress rehearsal)
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To: jay1949
Mr. John Taliaferro

He has descendants in Surry County, NC. That surname is on a memorial at Guilford Battleground National Military Park.

27 posted on 03/26/2010 7:40:59 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: mjp
Scotch-Irish speech found in the Appalachians and the Ozarks is also called southern highland or southern midland speech.They say whar for where, thar for there, hard for hired,critter for creature,sartin for certain,a-goin for going, hit for it, far for fire,deef for deaf,pizen for poison,nekkid for naked, eetch for itch,boosh for bush.

That's pert'near common language from 'round this neck of the woods. ;-)

28 posted on 03/26/2010 7:42:01 AM PDT by OB1kNOb ( I WILL NOT COMPLY !)
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To: All

I’m gonna cook up a mess o’ greens....


29 posted on 03/26/2010 7:42:32 AM PDT by Boonie
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To: jay1949
According to Fischer, the foundation of American culture was formed from four mass emigrations from four different regions of Britain by four different socio-religious groups. New England's constitutional period occurred between 1629 and 1640 when Puritans, most from East Anglia, settled there. The next mass migration was of southern English cavaliers and their servants to the Chesapeake Bay region between 1640 and 1675. Then, between 1675 and 1725 thousands of Quakers, led by William Penn settled the Delaware Valley. Finally, English, Scots, and Irish from the borderlands settled in Appalachia between 1717 and 1775. Each of these migrations produced a distinct regional culture which can still be seen in America today.

Albion's Seed

30 posted on 03/26/2010 7:43:06 AM PDT by Madame Dufarge
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To: mjp
They say whar for where, thar for there

"Uppahr" for up there, "ovvahr" for over there.

31 posted on 03/26/2010 7:44:47 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: All

A few years back, I was at the warehouse selling my tobacco and a TV crew was there...They interviewed an old mountain farmer who said, “We call it backer (tobacco), but thu city folk call it terbacker...”

I got a kick out of that....*G*


32 posted on 03/26/2010 7:45:46 AM PDT by Boonie
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To: OB1kNOb
far for fire

A Tennessee holiday joke: Q. Why did the three wise men smell like smoke? A. They came from afar.

33 posted on 03/26/2010 7:46:22 AM PDT by Genoa (Luke 12:2)
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To: OB1kNOb

Pert’near but not plumb, depends on which hollar. Up one hollar, they talk this a way, up anothern they talk that a way.


34 posted on 03/26/2010 7:47:52 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: jay1949

I’m a fixin’ to bookmark this here thread.


35 posted on 03/26/2010 7:48:41 AM PDT by PAR35
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To: Genoa
"There are similarities today between Appalachian speech and dialects of English still spoken in the UK."

I've noticed that too. Heck, some of those English folks speak the language almost as good as we do in East Tennessee. ☺

I also hear a lot of similarities with the Scots and the Irish in the way that they round off their g's the way that we do, e.g. fishin', huntin' and cookin' etc.

36 posted on 03/26/2010 7:48:47 AM PDT by Semper Mark (Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms. - Aristotle)
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To: All

“That Suzie....She’s shore a rite purdy gurl....


37 posted on 03/26/2010 7:48:56 AM PDT by Boonie
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To: RegulatorCountry

There are Taliafferos (aka Tolliver) all over Virginia and NC, including s few up here in the mountains where I live. Pleased to know that a Taliaffero was at Guilford CH; four of my ancestors were there as well (one cavalry officer, two gunners, and one militiaman). Good company!


38 posted on 03/26/2010 7:50:48 AM PDT by jay1949 (Work is the curse of the blogging class)
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To: DManA
I feel like that da da da.

Yep...I've noticed that.

39 posted on 03/26/2010 7:51:03 AM PDT by TankerKC (I think P. T. Barnum had his time off by about 59 seconds.)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
“I just changed the oil in the D-9. What I did...I’ve always wondered where this came from.”

The structure and conjugation are suggestive of Cajun/French English. I bet if you dug into his background you'd find either some Louisiana or Quebec connections and influence.

40 posted on 03/26/2010 7:51:16 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Markos33

English folks speak the language almost as good as we do in East Tennessee.

Ain’t tat da gospul, Marc???


41 posted on 03/26/2010 7:51:50 AM PDT by Boonie
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To: Boonie
I’ve heard people accuse southern Appalachians as saying “crik” for creek...I’ve lived in the Tennessee mountains (not even 3 miles from the Smokey Mtns Nat’l Park) for 63 years...I’ve NEVER heard a person born and raised here say “crik or crick”...It’s always creek...

My husband is from Michigan and his whole family says "crick" for creek. In fact, there's a crick that runs along the western boundary line of their property.

42 posted on 03/26/2010 7:52:02 AM PDT by LatinaGOP
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To: RegulatorCountry

Yeah, but you gotta watch those uppity ones. They’re just a bunch of knot-headed peckerwoods.


43 posted on 03/26/2010 7:52:12 AM PDT by OB1kNOb ( I WILL NOT COMPLY !)
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To: Boonie; jay1949
My brother in law (mid 70's) grew up in smalltown Iowa and says "Crick" all the time - they lived for years in Walnut Creek, CA, so we were hearing it often.

He also pronounces his home state with a hard "a".....Ioway.

PS to Jay.....love your blog.

44 posted on 03/26/2010 7:53:08 AM PDT by ErnBatavia (It's not the Obama Administration....it's the "Obama Regime".)
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To: Joe 6-pack

Would that be “Acadian”, Joe????


45 posted on 03/26/2010 7:53:59 AM PDT by Boonie
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To: Boonie
"Ain’t tat da gospul, Marc???"

Sho' nuff.

46 posted on 03/26/2010 7:54:18 AM PDT by Semper Mark (Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms. - Aristotle)
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To: Boonie; mjp; OB1kNOb; Markos33; PAR35; RegulatorCountry; Genoa; Texas Mulerider; varina davis; ...

If you haven’t visited Blind Pig & The Acorn, I recommend you to go there for Tipper Pressley’s educational and entertaining series on speaking the language of Southern Appalachia. Start with Speak Like An Appalachian, http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com/blind_pig_the_acorn/2008/04/speak-like-an-a.html then go to Speak Like An Appalachian II, http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com/blind_pig_the_acorn/2008/08/speak-like-an-a.html and then work your way through the tests, starting with Appalachian Vocabulary Test http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com/blind_pig_the_acorn/2008/11/appalachian-vocabulary-test.html and running to the most recent post, Appalachian Vocabulary Test 17 http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com/blind_pig_the_acorn/2010/03/appalachian-vocabulary-test-17.html Music to my Backcountry-loving ears.

Also, I have two previous FR posts on this topic — http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2469507/posts and http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2470833/posts


47 posted on 03/26/2010 7:56:28 AM PDT by jay1949 (Work is the curse of the blogging class)
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To: TankerKC

Everyone seems to say I feel when they mean I think (and it bugs me) but I’ve only heard the extraneous “that” put in by people with southern accents.


48 posted on 03/26/2010 7:56:56 AM PDT by DManA
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To: Boonie

I up and read this whole thing!


49 posted on 03/26/2010 7:57:10 AM PDT by Kanzan
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To: Boonie
J Foxworthy....”If you’re naked, it means you got no clothes on...If you’re nekkid, itmeans you got no clothes on and you’re up to somethin’...”

If he said that, he robbed it from Lewis Grizzard

50 posted on 03/26/2010 7:57:25 AM PDT by don-o (My son, Ben - Marine Lance Corporal texted me at 0330 on 2/3/10: AMERICA!)
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