Appalachian Mountain Talk
Even though I go back to visit in Hendersonville every time I’m back east, I still researched the area my current project is set in. It’s easy to take for granted the things we say and do just because they’re familiar; because every one around us says and does it the same way.
I never really thought about the way I spoke until I joined the army, not that my accent was that thick. It was more how I used words, adding suffixes, changing their functions within sentences. Folks automatically assumed I was an ignorant hick. Needless to say my accent was the first thing to go “right quick.” (Why do we say what’s needless to say, after saying, “needless to say?”… It’s a wonderment.)
Below are just a few expressions that I was teased about:
“It’s a wonderment.”: It’s amazing or something that makes you think.
Sweet-tea: This is one you hear all over the south. Heavily sweetened Ice tea.
Brung/ Brang: Brought
Butt-ugly: Very ugly
Fetch: Get or bring
Good’n: Good day, good thing
“It liketa scare me to death.” Surprised, shocked, startled.
Reckon: “You reckon…?” Think, guess
Rightly or Right of it: “Did I hear rightly?” Correctly
Tote: “He tote it out.” Brought
Druther: “I druther have…” I’d rather
Ya’lls/ You’ns: For both singular and plural also as a contraction.
Fix’n: “I’m fix’n to…” I’m about to, I’m going to, I’m getting ready to…
Chancy: Risky, questionable or uncertain
Drug: Past tense of drag… This one still creeps into my writing if I’m not careful. It’s okay for “Dead Dwight,” but “The Science of Loving” takes place in San Diego, and is written in mostly Standard American English—I say mostly because I probably didn’t catch the mistakes that just sounded right to me.
‘s: Making an “is” contraction with everything.
I could go on (but I won’t.)