Skip to comments.Extrornificacious or Beatingest? More Appalachian English
Posted on 04/01/2010 6:10:15 AM PDT by jay1949
In 1869, writer E. A. Pollard toured the western provinces of Virginia gathering material for his book The Virginia Tourist (J. B. Lippincott & Co. 1871). Pollard noted and included in his book fragments of the English spoken by the mountaineers, including a pair of interesting words, "extrornificacious" and "beatingest." These and a few other Appalachian English words are presented in context in an excerpt from The Virginia Tourist. NOTE: These are not "dirty" words! [Sorry!]
(Excerpt) Read more at backcountrynotes.com ...
Sounds like the President and Pelosi.
Besides E. A. Pollard, a noteworthy native of Nelson County, Va., was Thomas Fortune Ryan.
It seems likely that hunky-dory could have originated in the Southern mountains and spread out from there — many phrases and usages did. The first recorded use (hunkey-dorey) is found in George Christy’s “Essence of Old Kentucky”, published in 1862. Christy purported to write in a Southern dialect and may well have picked up the phrase from someone from Kentucky, or by traveling to Kentucky himself. Hunky-dory and variants were slowly making it into print by 1866, but evidently Pollard was not familiar with it before his 1869 tour of the Virginia mountains. Pollard being a cosmopolitan city-dweller at this time, it seems more likely that the mountaineer had picked up the term locally since Pollard evidently did not know it.
Well, don’t we all tend to think that people who grew up elsewhere “talk funny” or have an accent? There are many Appalachian English words and phrases that have spread south and west. “Mend,” in the sense of “heal” or “get well,” comes to mind. “Redd up” is, or was the last I know, still used in Ohio and it is definitely a regional term.
You’ve hit the nail on the head — now you know why I like that word! “Our extrornificacious Vice President, Joe Biden.” Etc. Pass it on!
There are a few old-timers who actually translate various words: "Flu" is chimney. "Evening" means any time between noon and bedtime.
But every time I go to Appalachia, I marvel at the changes since I visited there with my parents as a boy. I can't even find some of the places we visited.
There are still many places where the old accents survive, although the younger generation is being heavily influenced by what they hear on teevee and I am afraid that the native speech will die out in a generation or two. Popular culture has swept away much of the local culture already — e.g., fast-food joints have replaced mom-and-pop family restaurants. I think of it as The Sameness. And curse its coming.
I live in a tourist town. 40+ years ago the tourists were mostly from Alabama and most of the locals had relatives in the Birmingham area. The accent of the “old-timers” was the best of the Birmingham Southern sound but more concentrated. Alabamans said they could always tell who was from here because a local woman’s voice would melt a man. Nowadays one does not hear that accent at all locally and not so much in Birmingham. It is a shame because in women’s voices it is/was the very sweetest sound in English.
We've been infiltrated by northern Yankees.
As in Jesse Jackson saying “...mend it don’t end it..”
F/X’s new tv series “Justified” may spread the dialect.
My favorite? The inexplicable, even to us raised to speak the dialect, “job of work”.
After hearing about this wonderful trip for years, my wife decided that we were going to find this place.
We went to North Carolina and searched for it. We couldn't find it. We found the Cowee Mountains but not the "Cowee Mountain". I searched out as many old-timers as I could find, but no one recognized what I was describing.
I'll never forget it. It's one of my most magical memories.
When I was a boy, my parents sent me to an Episcopal summer camp on St. Simons Island in Georgia. You could tell where many of the boys were from by their accents—especially the boys from Charleston, Savannah, Jacksonville, and Augusta—all different accents.
One wouldn’t know it from listening to “Hollywood Southern” in movies and teevee, but the local accents of the South are, or at least were, quite varied, especially in the port cities.
Nothing grates on the nerves like a bad fake-accent. There was a movie called somethingorother about somebody named Vance—with Jack Lemon. The accents were so bad and consequently so distracting that I couldn’t follow the story line and concluded that the entire movie was awful.
Amazing! Just goes to show you, kids are special. They take notice of things adults don’t pay any attention to.
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