Bless it, y’all (or you’uns). Here in the foothills of the Appalachians, we have more ways to say the same thing than you could shake a stick at.
DYK: The Appalachian dialect varies dependingon where you are in the region because the language evolved from many different influences — think the British Isles, German + African dialects, and some Native American. Some words you might hear more in the mountains of Western NC won’t be uttered as frequently in the Scenic City, and vice versa.
One reason for that gorgeous diversity? Our region’s geography, which ranges, literally, from themountains to the sea. But while our linguistic diversity is unmatched, experts worry it’s also on the way out — as migration patterns bring new folks to the state, a process of leveling happens that reduces variety.
Other factors include urbanization, media, and the development of communication technologies. And while there’s often a sense of pride in using local terminology and vocabulary, it’s also been stigmatized by people who aren’t familiar with our rich linguistic traditions or who speak differently from us, making us locals less likely to use our unique voices.
Today, we want to hear the Southern Appalachian words + phrases that you or your family use, if you’re a longtime local, or that surprised you most when you arrived here. Editors Chloé and Trista love using the word “y’all,” (who around here doesn’t?) and sometimes we find ourselves teaching each other different words from our respective dialects since we’re from different areas in the region.
Here are a few of our favorites to get your brain tickin’.
Britches – pants; garment that covers the lower body Dagummit – A cussing workaround Fixin’ to – going to do something; about to Gom – a mess Holler – a small valley Hootenanny – a party, typically with folk music and dancing Might could – might be able to; maybe could Reckon – to suppose; to calculate Smack – to chew loudly on food Yonder – over there (can be used to show the direction of something that is anywhere other than here)
Now we’re a-turnin’ it over to you. What ya got, Chattanooga?
Share your Southern Appalachian dialect examples with us.
From vocab to syntax, plus the definitions if you have them.
Coronavirus ○ Today at 11:30 a.m., Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger is holding a news conference to discuss the county’s ongoing battle with COVID-19 + the COVID-19 vaccine. You can watch the press conference live via Youtubehere. 🗣️
ComingSoon ○ Downtown Chattanooga is getting a new bridal studio on Jan. 16 called Unveiled Bridal Studio. The Chattanooga-based boutique will carry exclusive “unique and eclectic” bridal gowns, bridesmaid dresses, and various bridal accessories. The shop will also provide niche bridal services like signature wedding day beauty products + gently worn consignment wedding gowns. 👰
Biz ○ The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce recently launched a new entrepreneurial wayfinding site called starting block Chattanooga. The website connects Chattanooga entrepreneurs + small business owners to local free or low-cost business resources and provides information on startup, growth, and funding of businesses. ○ Chattanooga-based International Maritime Security Associates, Inc. launched a suite of cyber security tools + services for the maritime industry – which consists of moving people and goods over the water. The new services include the capability to conduct basic shipboard network vulnerability assessments without sending personnel onboard, which is especially helpful during the current pandemic. This new tool also helps with 2021 cyber security compliance + providing protection of the passengers, crew, and critical cargo.
Health ○ New wellness business, McCallie Integrated Wellness Center, is now open + features several different wellness entities housed in the same office space. The center houses pelvic floor physical therapy, acupuncture, pre and postpartum depletion, and more. The center is also currently seeking another part-time, like-minded mental health professional. Learn more about the new business here.
DYK ○ Jan. 27 is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a day to acknowledge + condemn the actions of the Holocaust. In commemoration of the day, the Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga will provide a virtual screening of the film “Syndrome K,” which will be available from noon on Jan. 26 through noon on Jan. 28. You can purchase tickets for the virtual screening here.
TheBuy ○ Hey, meat lovers: Meet your new favorite delivery. With ButcherBox, you can spend less time searching for high-quality meat and more time cooking meals at home in the New Year. Bonus: Sign up and get up to 10 lbs of meatfor free. 🥩Ⓟ
Click the button below for local resources regarding the coronavirus.
Local musician Josh Green released his first single from an upcoming EP, Lumen, and we have it on repeat. The dreamy single, Nebula, was made in collaboration with another local artist, Joel Harris.
Listen to this song while you’re: ☀️ Waking up 🧘 Doing yoga 🍳 Cooking a warm meal 🚗 Driving through the Scenic City 🚶 Taking a walk through the neighborhood
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TryThis ○ New Moon Crystal Grid Workshop | Wed., Jan. 13 | 6-7 p.m. | Virtual | $15 | Create a beautiful, unique Crystal Grid to set your intentions + manifest goals for the coming moon cycle with local artist Mari Wright. 🌙
Active ○ Yoga for the Pelvic Floor | Wed., Jan. 13 | 7:15-8 p.m. | Toes Yoga, 3228 Brainerd Rd. | $50 | Attend this class for stretching + strengthening yoga poses, breathwork, and other techniques to improve your pelvic floor’s function and mobility. 🧘
PlanAhead ○ Personal Finances for Small Business Owners | Thurs., Jan. 14 | 12-1 p.m. | Virtual | Free, RSVP | Learn about the five financial challenges of an entrepreneur + how to optimize your personal finances in this class. 💰 ○ Beginner Hand Lettering | Thurs., Jan. 14 | 6-8:15 p.m. | Virtual | $45 | Learn how to fancify your lettering in this class, where you’ll learn the basics of “modern calligraphy.” ○ Here/Now Art Show | Fri., Jan. 15 | 7-11 p.m. | Barley Chattanooga, 235 E MLK Blvd. | Free | Check out this art pop-up with Kate Devore’s Here/Now work. Drinks will be available. 🖼️
Disclaimer: It is up to readers’ discretion to determine whether they feel comfortable participating in any mentioned events based on COVID-19 protocols and precautions. If you have questions, please contact the event’s organizers directly.
Trista here, and I’m not currently watching anything, so I’m going to forego that prompt and instead shout out reader Kristie, AKA @luckylooloogreen on Instagram, for being the first to correctly answer the small business we posted on our IG story last night. It was Unknown Caller, which btw, they have new quarter machines that dispense fun toys.
Y’all, Chloé here and I can’t recommend “We’re Here” on HBO enough. The premise is a little like “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” but — dare I say — maybe it’s better. If you don’t know anything about drag queens, watch and learn. If you dig drag queens, watch and love.
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