Do you speak Appalachian?
Like Dan’s family in Hainted, mine hails from the rolling Appalachian mountains of North Carolina. The people and the culture are a mix of Cherokee, Scotch and Irish, with a few Germans thrown in for good measure. All of these have made their unique impact of the local dialect. Here are a few examples:
Haint – This word can be a noun or a verb. A haint is a ghost; to be hainted is to be haunted.
Blackberry winter – Noun. A late spring snowfall.
Diddles – Noun. Baby chickens.
Fetched – Adj. To be annoying for the sake of irritating others.
Long sweetening – Noun. Molasses.
Y’all – Noun, plural only (seriously, Hollywood). All of you (people).
Want to learn more? Check out Mountain Talk: A Guide to Mountain Speech by Peggy Poe Stern. In the meantime, what odd words did you grow up with? I love learning new dialects, so tell me all about them in the comments!