After I drug my nasty carcass through the shower a bit earlier I went out with a fresh cup of coffee to have a smoke.
Normally I take my phone with me and scroll through the news headlines to try and stay on top of the heap of bullshit the media is spoon feeding everyone and to see if anything important catches my eye.
Alas, things were looking pretty barren at the time.
Of course there are always the constant little ads and other completely useless little blurbs that pop up in that news feed , because Google.
I was just getting ready to shut the thing off when I saw this little quiz wanting to know if you knew how to speak “Appalachian English”.
Just so you know, I was born in Oakland California and have lived the entirety of my existence here on the Left Coast.
However, my Mom, Her Mom and her Dad, were all from the South and that side of the family can trace their roots all the way back to the first Revolutionary War. They were scattered all over, from Both Virginia’s to South East Georgia and from Kentucky/Missouri/Mississippi/ Tennessee to Louisiana and some even wound up in Texas.
So while being “From The South” doesn’t automatically equate being from Appalachia by any stretch of the imagination, there were plenty of ancestors that were from there back in the day and that whole culture kind of got mixed in with what culminated in my Grandparents generation. I have actually been back across much of the South a couple of times when I was much younger and absolutely loved it.
One such trip to Arkansas* and those parts involved a nice long drive back up in the hills of the Ozarks to visit my Grandfather’s Aunt I do believe it was. This was in 1976 so things are a bit fuzzy. However, I vividly remember visiting this old woman who was kin and lived all by herself in a tiny little house with no running water and no bathroom. There was one bare light bulb hanging out of the ceiling in her front room that had a pull string on it and there were newspapers stacked up all over the place. The land she lived on though! I’d give my right nut to call that my own.
40 acres of beautiful land with a big barn. She was a widow lady and even then was probably in her 70’s.
A true Ozark Mountain Hillbilly if there ever was one, she managed to draw water out of a hand pump in a well not too far from the front door and had grown kids who kept an eye on her. She literally could have stepped right out of the pages of one of the original FoxFire books.
Anyways, this is just background. I was raised by Southern Folk with roots in Appalachia at some point and that shit is in my DNA.
100% correct answers because it wasn’t that difficult of a challenge for me.
Pick you a Snowflake from anywhere around here though and it might as well be Martian.
I wasn’t real surprised , it’s like riding a bicycle. Appalachian English is it’s own dialect but enough of it got mixed in with how my Grandparents talked that I could have a conversation with a true Appalachian native and get by easily enough.
I’m sure there would be a few things get by me but I would pick up on the meaning by the context of the conversation.
I have had people down in California ask me where I was from before and when I tell them, they tell me I’m lying to them. They think I’m from Missouri or Kentucky and if I get to talking to anybody from the South for more than a few minutes, that drawl starts creeping in and pretty quick I sound like I really was born in Missouri with a healthy dose of Tennessee mixed in. It’s kind of weird but it never fails.
If that person happens to be female I just melt inside the minute she utters her first words. I just love the way those Southern ladies talk and get to missing my Ma and Granny something fierce.
It’s funny but people that are born and raised in The South can tell if someone else is from a different part of The South by their accent and tell you where they are from even.
People from Georgia have a different accent than people from Missouri or Kentucky etc.
Virginians are the easiest for me to pick out for some reason.
They tend to talk without moving their upper lip much.
Almost anybody raised on the West Coast can’t tell that difference between any of them, they just lump them all together.
- I had originally written Tennessee instead of Arkansas because my memory of it is fuzzy but thankfully got called out on the fact that the Ozarks are nowhere near Tennessee by a comment below so I fixed it. We drove out of Pine Bluff Arkansas to go see her. I mistakenly remembered Pine Bluff being in Tennessee instead of Arkansas.