Skip to comments.Scotch-Irish Appalachian Vocabulary Quiz No. 2
Posted on 04/05/2010 8:33:37 AM PDT by jay1949
Here's the challenge: certain words and phrases characteristic of Appalachian English in eastern Tennessee and elsewhere can be traced back to Scottish English. Some of these are disappearing; others have spread throughout the South; a few seem to be making it into widespread usage. How many do you know? 1. backset; 2. let on; 3. bonny-clabber; 4. palings; 5. redd up; 6. creel; 7. kindling; 8. hull; 9. nicker; 10. whenever. (I knew 5 of the 10, so that makes me 'bout half smart . . .)
(Excerpt) Read more at backcountrynotes.com ...
2. let on
In Pittsburgh we say “redd up.” Kindling is also not unknown here. The others? Never heard of them. Thanks for the thread.
I don’t see how half of them are Appalachian English. Words and phrases like “to let on,” “kindling,” “hull,” are just basic English, many of them older than the settlement of the Appalachian.
I got 8 out of 10. :)
That's when you finish the newspaper.
Words I learned in Scranton that are NOT standard English:
“Up the ein-in” (North)
“Haynuh” (”Ain’t it?”)
“buddy me” (accompany)
“Corpse House” (funeral house)
“Fire Barn” (fire house)
“Haynuh left, Haynuh posta” (prohibited)
“upposta” (required to)
“artics” (winter boots, from “arctic”)
“Aunt Sally” (toilet, from “Salle du bain”, French for ‘bathroom’?)
“ate up” (satiated hunger)
“hook me up” (get some for me)
“wrecked into” (crashed into)
“ver-shtay” (Understand, probably from Pennsylvania Dutch (German))
Yins’ll redd up the hahs before company comes, then go down to the Sahside fer a chipped ham sammitch.
I thought it would have been shucked, e.g., we shucked some peas to cook for dinner.
Here’s another, “hippins”.
“I dont see how half of them are Appalachian English. Words and phrases like to let on, kindling, hull, are just basic English, many of them older than the settlement of the Appalachian.”
I think that is precisely the point. The idiomatic language of the Scots Irish originated in Britain and was brought to America with the settlement of the Irish Protestants in the Appalachian area of the US. The words themselves are old English or as in the case of a word like “kindling” are of Nordic etymology. The isolation of mountain people allowed them to hang onto the original language much longer than the rest of the USA.
My point is: since when did the rest of the USA lose words like “hull,” “kindling,” etc.?
Another interesting word of Scottish origin that I encounter from time to time is “chimbley” for “chimney”.
Several colloquialisms for rural southerners come from the Scots well:
Hillbilly - from the casual term for a follower of King William III of Orange in the 17th century. This is the William of “William and Mary” who fought the return of Catholic rule to England.
Redneck - supporters of the National Covenant of 1638 declared that Scotland embraced democratic church governance and rejected the Church of England. Some signed in blood and wore a red kerchief around their necks.
Cracker - from crac, crack, craic, kracken; a word that goes way back at least as far as Old High German, passed to Anglo-Saxon, to Old English, to Gaelic. Across the ocean crack has come to mean “good times” including friends, merriment, music, food and drink. As a pejorative the meaning of cracker leans toward someone who is a boastful, frivolous, liar.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.