Sunday, January 15, 2012

Folk Speech

gallowses--another word for suspenders.   "If you can't keep your pants up, maybe you need a pair of gallowses."  My grandparents used this word quite a bit.

gaumed up--to make a mess.  "She obviously does not know how to sew.  I have never seen such a gaumed up dress in my life."

gettin' above yer raisin'--acting stuck up or like you are rich and famous when you are not. "Just look at Suzie with that fancy hairdo and all of that jewelry.  If you ask me that girl is gettin above her raisin'!"

plumb--completely or all out.  "I scared Grandma plumb to death when I jumped from behind the door!"

got a face that would stop an 8 day clock--very ugly.  "That girl's face could stop an 8 day clock!"

gum'd it--chew it.  "Granny had to gum that chicken since she ain't got no teeth!"

gussied--getting dressed up nicely.   "What are you gettin' all gussied up for?  Are you going to a party?"

foller yer own lights--do what you know is right.  "You better stop doing what all of your friends are doing and foller yer own lights!"

fit as a fiddle--fine.  "I think I will go climb that mountain today because I am feelin' just as fit as a fiddle!"

farn--foreign or unusual.  "That dragonfruit is farn to this country. I'm not sure where it comes from."


  1. I haven't checked back through all your posts but have you ever heard of being on something like a "duck on a Junebug?" This conjured up cartoonish images in my mind as a child, and I wonder what geography the idiom might ascribe to, or if it has any more significant meanings/background. My husband, from Alabama, had never heard of such a thing before he met me. For reference I grew up in Martinsville, VA.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Hi Joanna,
      I sure have heard and used "like a duck on a junebug"! For example: "He was on that plate of spaghetti like a duck on a junebug!"

      I grew up in Meadows of Dan and my mom's family is from Patrick Co and my dad's from Floyd Co.

      I don't know if it has any meaning other than ducks love to eat junebugs and they will really go after them.

  2. This is so cool! I grew up in Russell County, and I haven't heard some of these in years. It is a welcome thing to see :).

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it! :) I try to do a folk speech post at least once a month, so be sure and check back!


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