My "Southern Appalachian Mountain Sayings" blog post ( January 15, 2012) has proven to be one of my most popular ones, so I decided to tackle the subject again, but to go beyond just the sayings, to also include some mountain customs, etc.
"She gets up with the chickens." (She gets up early.)
"I haven't seen you in a coon's age." (In a long time.)
"I ought to give you a button." (For doing something that deserves a reward.)
"She'll get that done in no time flat." (Quickly.)
He's "tighter than Dick's hatband." He's "tighter than bark on a log." (He doesn't spend much money.)
"It's tight as banjer strings." (It's on tightly.)
"It's as slick as glass."
"You gotta take the bull by the horns." (You have to just get in there, take charge, and do it.)
"It's raining cats and dogs." (It's raining a lot.)
Mountain talk (speech, dialect):
Peonies in the mountains are sometimes referred to as "peony roses" (as we recently found out while we were visiting relatives) or "piney."
We still call our evening meal "supper." That word apparently comes from England, as I have heard the characters on my favorite show, Keeping Up Appearances, say "supper."
I have a crick (stiffness) in my neck.
He "can't see the forest for the trees." (He can't see the big picture.)
Appalachian Mountain and standard American English meanings:
Dialog Greg overheard while he was in grade school (spelled phonetically):
"Have you got ery pencil?"
"No, I ain't got nary'n."
Greg and I still catch ourselves calling wash cloths, "worsh rags," a carry-over from childhood.
Appalachian Mountain superstitions:
If you spill salt, you need to throw part of the spilled salt over your shoulder or you'll have bad luck.
Breaking a mirror brings the person who broke it seven years of bad luck.
(You can take the above superstitions "with a grain of salt!")
An important Southern custom that you must adhere to: You wear white only between Memorial Day and Labor Day!
If you are really interested in Southern Appalachian Mountain traditions and dialect, wonderful resources are The Trail of the Lonesome Pine book by John Fox, Jr. and The Trail of the Lonesome Pine outdoor drama in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. (Please see my July 31, 2011 blog post.)
Positive thought: Bye y'all! Have a great week!
Thanks for visiting! Until next Sunday, Becky