Fire Sayings

Old sayings about fire 

My post earlier this week about smoke following beauty reminded me of a few other old sayings about fire-things like:

  • If you play in the fire you'll pee the bed tonight. (Years ago Pap was burning off a small garden area. One of the littlest cousins kept playing in the fire-Pap told him "If you don't quit playing in that fire you'll wet the bed tonight." Never missing a beat the little boy said "I'll be swimming tonight!" We all got a big laugh out of that.)
  • Fight fire with fire. (I've heard this one my whole life-and I might have even said it once or twice-just maybe.)
  • I've got too many irons in the fire. (I've said this one in the last few weeks.)
  • Don't add fuel to the fire.
  • Don't burn your bridges.
  • Out of the frying pan and into the fire.
  • Where there's smoke there's fire.
  • Money burns a hole right through his pocket: (Yep that's The Deer Hunter.)
  • If you play with fire you're going to get burnt: (I think this one is perfect common sense.)
  • Burning your candle at both ends.
  • Burning the midnight oil.
  • That burns me up! (Makes me mad-well mad as fire!)
  • I'm all fired up. (If you say this one you could be mad or just really excited about something.)
  • I'll slap the fire right out of you.
  • Liar liar pants on fire.
  • Light a fire under someone. (This one is usually said like "She lit a fire under him and he finally got the work done.")

If you think of any other fire/burn sayings-hope you'll leave me a comment.

Tipper

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Appalachian Vocabulary Test 96

Blind Pig and The Acorn monthly Appalachian Vocabulary Test

It's time for this month's Appalachian Vocabulary Test. 

I'm sharing a few videos to let you hear some of the words. To start the videos, click on them and then to stop them click on them again. 

Take it and see how you do! 

 

A video posted by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on

 

1. Hell: a dense tangle of briers, laurel, etc. "I've always heard about laurel hells that hunters ventured into that were so thick that they didn't come out the other side for a good 2 weeks."

 

A video posted by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on

 

2. Het up: upset. "The Deer Hunter is always telling me not to get all het up about this or that."

 

A video posted by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on

 

3. High minded: haughty; arrogant. "He came in here all high minded like he knew more about my job than I did and tried to tell me what I ought to do different. Truth is he don't know his hind end from a hole in the ground!"

 

A video posted by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on

 

4. Hold to: to adhere; to accept; to conform to. "She said her grandpa was always one to hold to old Christmas and didn't go in much for the way we celebrate Christmas today."

5. Hope: wish. "I hope you well on your trip!" or "I hope you good luck with your job hunting."

All of this month's words and usages are common in my area of Appalachia except using hope for wish. Even though the hope usage in the example sentences isn't one I've heard, I like it! When you think about it hoping for someone or something is the same as wishing for them/it don't you think?

Please leave me a comment and let me know how you did on the test. 

Tipper

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Handwrite

By your handwrite

handwrite noun Handwriting, style of penmanship.
1973 GSMNP-83:26. They was sixty words wrote, and they was two handwrites. 1995 Montgomery Coll. He had a good handwrite [= cursive writing] (Cardwell).
[OED handwrite n Scot, Irel and U.S. 1483-; cf SND hand of write (at hand 8 (18)); CUD; DARE chiefly South, South Midland]

Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English

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The girls are continuing to work on their first real cd. Recently they've gave the old ballad My Dearest Dear, sometimes called The Blackest Crow, a try. What a song! If you've never had the good fortune of hearing it click here to see a video of The Pressley Girls singing it and you can read a story I wrote about the song as well. 

The words of the song are so beautiful...and heart wrenching. I guess that's how most ballads are. 

The last lines of the song:

And when you're on some distant shore think of your absent friend And when the wind blows high and clear a light to me pray send And when the wind blows high and clear pray send your love to me That I might know by your handwrite how time has gone with thee. 

The longing in that part of the song gets me every time.

The word handwrite to describe one's handwriting is no longer used in my area. Actually I've never heard it used in conversation-only in the song.

After listening to the rough cut of the girls' first recording of the song I got to thinking about handwrite. 

I could pick Granny and Pap's handwrite out anywhere. I'm pretty sure I could pick Paul's too and maybe even Steve's. Could I pick out the girls' handwrite? I don't think so. The Deer Hunter's probably. 

It's no secret handwriting has fallen by the wayside for lots of folks. Schools in my area don't even teach cursive writing anymore. If the girls have something written in cursive they typically ask me to translate for them. I think that's sad, but if you give me the option of typing or writing I'll choose typing every time so I certainly can't say I'm doing anything to foster the continued tradition of individual handwrites.

Tipper

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The Milk is Blinked!

The milk is blinked or blinky

blinked, blinky
A adjective Usu of milk; soured.
1956 Hall Coll. Del Rio TN You cain't drink it. It's blinked. 1961 Seeman Arms of Mt 38 We are a long way from a cow; besides, without ice, the local milk turns "blinky" almost at once. 1973 Pederson et al. LAGS blinked (Cocke Co TN); blinky (Cocke Co TN). 1975 Chalmers Better 66 Souring milk is blinky. 1986 Pederson et al. LAGS 18 of 27 (66.7%) of LAGS speakers  using blinked were from E Tenn; 4 of 11 (36%) of LAGS speakers using blinky were from E Tenn. 1995 Weber Rugged Hills 37 When we first moved here, Ruby-Noah introduced us to an expression that took us a while to figure out. Eventually, however, I realized that when she said "blinked milk" she meant milk that had gone a little sour. "My father truly enjoyed blinked milk," Ruby-Noah told me. "He'd put it on a big piece of corn bread for supper."
B noun Soured milk. 
1917 Kephart Word-list 408 blinky = milk slightly soured. 

Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English

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I grew up in a family that used the word blinked for describing milk that had gone bad. Pap and Granny both used the word to describe milk that had spoiled or just had a funny taste to it. These days there's so many preservatives in milk I wonder if it would ever go bad!

I never gave any thought to how the term originated, but a few weeks back I found the following description in an old Foxfire Magazine:

 

"Blinky milk-that's sour milk. Turning milk creates eye-bubbles. When the bubbles start blinking at you it's read to churn."

Foxfire Fall 1988 - Mountain Horse Sense 165

 

Wonder if that really is the origination of blinked milk? Makes sense to me.

Tipper

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Bad to...

Bad to be silly

bad to adjective phrase Having an unfortunate, undesirable, or excessive habit, inclination, or weakness for (doing something). The term usu expresses a speaker's disapproval or derogation, but sometimes lends only emphasis to a statement (thus "She was awful bad to talk" = She had a tendency to or liked to, talk a great deal). 
1904-7 Kephart Notebooks 4:847 He used to be bad to drink, but he's kinder tapered off. 1956 Hall Coll. Roaring Fork TN People was purty bad to stay all night with each other and tell stories. (James Huskey) 1973 GSMNP - 57:68 He wasn't too bad to grumble. 1974 GSMNP - 50:1:13 Grandmother was awful bad to have sick headache. 1976 Lindsay Grassy Balds 208 Yeah, [bears] were bad to kill sheep, but not so bad to kill the hogs. 1991 Haynes Haywood Home 25 Shiloh [= a horse] was bad to shy and run away at the drop of a hat...ibid. 42 Blackgum trees were bad to go hollow if they got to be any size and they were most often used to make bee hives. 

Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English

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The girls are bad to take silly pictures with my camera without me knowing it and I'm awful bad to use them on the Blind Pig and The Acorn blog without them knowing it. 

The adjective phrase bad to is still extremely common in my area of Appalachia. 

Tipper

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Arrowy?

Saying arrowy for arrow
Way back in the day I took an Appalachian Studies class in college. I thoroughly enjoyed it! The teacher was outstanding and that's where I was first introduce to the Foxfire Books. I was familiar with most of the things we talked about in class and I took massive amounts of notes-I guess you could say that was my first writings on Appalachia. Who knew years later I'd be writing about it every day.

I still have all those notes and every once in a while I look over them. 

The teacher had a weekly vocabulary test-most of the time I didn't even need to study because I was already familiar with all the words. One word that grabbed my attention was arrowy. I had only heard it once in my life and to this day have still only heard it used that one time.

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Arrowy: arrow. "They've got a arrowy painted on the road showing you were to turn off now. I reckon they think people can't do nothing by their ownselves."

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Back in the day-before I ever laid eyes on The Deer Hunter, I went on a date with a boy from way down in the lower portion of Cherokee County. We went bowling. He was trying to explain the art of bowling to me and told me to watch for the arrowy. I said "Watch for what?", he said "The arrowy."

After a few times of that back and forth I finally figured out he was telling me to watch for the arrow. Once he saw I understood he sorta of blushed and said "All my family say arrowy for arrow." I told him not to worry my family talked funny too.

I shared the word in my own vocabulary test here on the Blind Pig several years back and not many of you had ever heard the usage either. Sandy, a Blind Pig reader, found this about the word: 

Ar´row`y a. 1. Consisting of arrows. How quick they wheeled, and flying, behind them shot Sharp sleet of arrowy showers.- Milton.  2. Formed or moving like, or in any respect resembling, an arrow; swift; darting; piercing. By the blue rushing of the arrowy Rhone. 

After I read Sandy's great comment I found this on the Merriam Webster site:

Definition of ARROWY
1
: resembling or suggesting an arrow <arrowy pines>; especially: swiftly moving <the sky was radiant with arrowy bolts  — Mark Twain>
2
: consisting of arrows <arrowy showers>

*1616-first known use of arrowy
*marrowy rhymes with arrowy
The boy that took me bowling used the word to describe an arrow I should be watching and he did indeed pronounce arrowy to rhyme with marrowy.
 
For whatever reason the word arrowy was passed down through the generations in the boy's family. Makes me wonder if he still says it? And if maybe his kids say it too-if he has kids?

Tipper

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Appalachian Vocabulary Test 95

Language usage in western NC

It's time for this month's Appalachian Vocabulary Test. 

I'm sharing a few videos to let you hear some of the words. To start the videos, click on them and then to stop them click on them again. 

Take it and see how you do! 

 

A video posted by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on

 

1. Gumption: initiative, resourcefulness, courage. "She's got more gumption in her little finger than most folks have in their whole body. She ain't afraid to jump right in the middle of something and pick up both reins."

 

A video posted by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on

 

2. Greedy-gut: stingy; a miser. "Now don't be a greedy-gut leave some for the other children."

3. Goozle: throat; Adam's apple. "They were going at it pretty good, both of them about even until ole Sam hit him in the goozle. That brought the other one to his knees and brought the fight to a stand still in a hurry."

 

A video posted by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on

 

4. Gee-haw: to get along. "We always did gee-haw. No matter what the bosses threw at us we'd buckle down and see that it was done." or "Those two never did gee-haw. I knew that wasn't going to work from the git go."

 

A video posted by Tipper (@blindpigandacorn) on

 

5. Go Devil: a heavy maul for splitting wood; usually has a hammer on one side of the head and a dull wedge on the other. "I can't find my go devil no where. I reckon I must of left it up on the mountain the last time we were cutting wood." (If you're wondering what's up with The Deer Hunter's shirt...its the result of a long hard day of work with part of that work being in the mud-you should have seen his pants!)

Gumption, gee-haw, and go devil are beyond common in my area of Appalachia. You certainly hear folks use the word greedy, but not greedy-gut, although I heard greedy-gut often when I was a child. Goozle is just one of those words that are fun to say-I hear it every once in a while.

Hope you'll leave me a comment and let me know how you did on the test. 

Tipper

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Appalachian Sayings - Light a Rag

Appalachian saying light a rag

Junaluska Community - Cherokee Co. NC - July 2016

She said a storm was coming so she better light a rag for home and down the hill she went as fast as her legs could carry her.

light a rag = to leave or go; also called light a shuck

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I've done no research, but I'd guess the old sayings light a rag or light a shuck originated in the days when folks did indeed light a torch made from rags or shucks to light their way.

I seldom hear either saying today, but heard light a rag often when I was a child. 

Tipper

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I'm Giving Away a Rooster!

MOMMYgooseANDfriends

This is my third post about Mike Norris and his book Mommy Goose Rhymes from the Mountains. I'm a fan of the book if you haven't figured that out by now. It is filled with 50 original rhymes written by Mike himself. The book uses the rich colorful Appalachian Language that I so love. 

It is wonderfully illustrated with photos of over a hundred hand carved and painted works by Minnie Adkins who has permanent collections in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Gallery of Art, and the Kentucky Folk Art Center.

Here are two poems from the book-the first of which is very appropriate for today's giveaway.

THE ROOSTER

The rooster started pecking at Granpaw’s legs,
Then tried to flog Granmaw as she gathered eggs.
Granmaw boiled water,
While I churned butter.
The next night we had fried chicken for supper.

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BENJAMIN GRIMES

Benjamin Grimes
Went down in the mines,
But only lasted three days.
The note from the clerk
Said, "Unwilling to work,"
But Ben said it wasn't that way.

"Had nary a trouble
With pick or shovel
Till something come up grey.
Not a loafer or shirker,
But one thing for certain,
I'd druther draw breath than pay."

I especially enjoyed the first poem because of a story my friend, Trevis, told me.

When Trevis was a little boy he stayed with his grandmother during the day while his momma worked. Every morning he'd walk to the barn with his Mamaw to feed the chickens and take care of the other chores after his grandfather had left for work. He said one morning his Papaw's favorite rooster attacked Mamaw. Before Trevis knew what happened Mamaw had reached down and taken care of Mr. Rooster-in other words he'd never attack anyone again. That night they had the chicken for supper and Papaw didn't know he was eating his favorite rooster till later! Trevis said his Papaw was mad, but his Mamaw said she was tired of that mean ole rooster bothering her.

In addition, you can purchase a cd of the book which contains a song Mike wrote about Mommy Goose. The song, along with the music, is in the back of the book so anyone interested can learn it themselves. The cd also contains a very nice narration of the book by Mike and a conversation between Mike and Minnie that will leave you smiling for the rest of the day. 

I asked Mike where the best place to purchase the book and the cd was and this is what he said:

The Mommy Goose: Rhymes from the Mountains CD is now available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Music, and a bunch more places online. Check it out on iTunes and listen to samples of the tracks here: 
http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1160037010?ls=1&app=itunes

If you have the book without the CD, it's really not complete, as the song, narration, and 40-plus minute conversation with Minnie are a key part of the project. (And physical CDs can be ordered from Amazon.)

Bookstore versions of the book may be ordered many places online, but Amazon and The University Press of Ky [it's the university press of the whole state, not just UK] are two good sources.

Minnie Adkins - Blue Rooster

If there is a child in your life or a rhyme loving adult like me, I suggest you buy Mike's outstanding book and cd for them. Both items would make dandy Christmas presents. Preserving our language is a cause that is near and dear to my heart and I commend Mike for trying to keep our rich colorful Appalachian Language alive. 

Minnie generously donated one of her Blue Roosters for me to giveaway as part of my Thankful November Series. Minnie Adkins is a featured artist in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Gallery of Art, and the Kentucky Folk Art Center.

Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win the Rooster. *Giveaway ends Saturday December 3, 2016.

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Chitter has extended her Holiday Sale over in her Stamey Creek Creations Shop: Use coupon code: HOLIDAYS4 for 25% off on ANYTHING in the shop, including items in my free shipping sale section--!!

In addition Items that say BLACK FRIDAY SALE have been discounted and are also eligible for my 25% off coupon!

Tipper

p.s. Today is the last day to enter the giveaway for Pap and Paul's Songs of Christmas CD-go here to enter.

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Mommy Fell and a Giveaway

Mommy Goose Rhymes from the Mountains by Mike Norris

Back in September I told you about Mike Norris and his book Mommy Goose Rhymes from the Mountains. It is filled with 50 original rhymes written by Mike himself. The book uses the rich colorful Appalachian Language that I so love. 

It is wonderfully illustrated with photos of over a hundred hand carved and painted works by Minnie Adkins who has permanent collections in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Gallery of Art, and the Kentucky Folk Art Center.

Two months later I'm still enjoying the rhymes in the book. Granny and I had a great time reading it together the other day. Here's one of my favorites from the book-Granny liked it too. 

Mommy Fell

When Mommy fell out of the apple tree,
She got right up and went on a spree.
She danced a jig on the featherbed,
Then baked two bushels of gingerbread.
She used our tablecloth for a cape,
And made a necklace with measuring tape.
She tried to crochet with her feet,
Way up in the night before she fell asleep.


She stomped in the kitchen next morning and said,


"Who tracked mud all over my bed?
Why, look at the floor, covered with crumbs.
And where did all this gingerbread come from?
I don't know who I have to thank
For being so pyert as to pull such a prank,
But I'll find out before the day's through,
And they'll be in big trouble when I do!"

Granny said the rhyme reminded her of her mother Gazzie. She said "Momma worked so hard from daylight to dark every day that she couldn't even remember all the things she did in a day. Now if I could crotchet with my hands and my feet there's no telling what I'd make!"

There's a cd of the book which contains a song Mike wrote about Mommy Goose. The song, along with the music, is in the back of the book so anyone interested can learn it themselves. The cd also contains a very nice narration of the book by Mike and a conversation between Mike and Minnie that will leave you smiling for the rest of the day. Me missing Pap is no secret to any of you. Hearing Minnie's sweet voice use so many of the words, sayings, and phrases Pap used has been a true balm for my soul.

I asked Mike where the best place to purchase the book and the cd was and this is what he said:

The Mommy Goose: Rhymes from the Mountains CD is now available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Music, and a bunch more places online. Check it out on iTunes and listen to samples of the tracks here: 
http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1160037010?ls=1&app=itunes

If you have the book without the CD, it's really not complete, as the song, narration, and 40-plus minute conversation with Minnie are a key part of the project. (And physical CDs can be ordered from Amazon.)

Bookstore versions of the book may be ordered many places online, but Amazon and The University Press of Ky [it's the university press of the whole state, not just UK] are two good sources.

 

If there is a child in your life or a rhyme loving adult like me, I suggest you buy Mike's outstanding book and cd for them. Both items would make dandy Christmas presents. 

Preserving our language is a cause that is near and dear to my heart and I commend Mike for trying to keep our rich colorful Appalachian Language alive. 

Mike generously donated a copy of the cd for me to giveaway as part of my Thankful November Series. Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win the cd. *Giveaway ends Saturday November 26.

Be on the lookout for one more giveaway related to the book-it's a good one!

Tipper

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