Appalachian Article Reviews and Discussions

Please feel free to email me with your ideas and opinions!

 Back to  Sandy's Appalachain Language Essay


Sandy...I also am from Murray City, but have now moved
to the big town of Glouster. However I have always
worked with the public and have come across many
people of different languages and nationalities. One
of my sisters moved from Murray City when she was
just 17, moving to Omaha, Nebraska. When I go there to
visit, her friends and family there always, always
want to know where Ahiya may be. Oh well we all cant
be perfect. I came from a large family, that alot of
people considered very poor. But I sit back a think of
all the fun we had chasing fireflys(lightening bugs)
to Appalachian people, and hiding from the town mayor
we referred to as FROG, and not once considered myself
poor. But as we all have become aware of since our
childhood days, all who live in the Appalachian area
are poor and misunderstood. I ran across this by
mistake, and it has been very rewarding to sit and
read. Now that i have grown a bit..the public
population that i so come in contact with always ask
when I moved to this area and how long did it take me
to learn the Appalachian dialect...God Bless...Barbara
Banik Orsborne
Thank you Barb for writing and sharing and for taking the time to read my article.  I am glad I grew up with you!


I enjoyed your article on the problems encountered by moving out of
Jobs-Pittsburg or Newtown or Salem Hollow to other areas affected by their
own ethnic mixes.

As a person who had moved quite often as a child and who now lives in
North Carolina I am aware of the many foreign languages we speak in this

I enjoyed my thirty years of teaching at Nelsonville-York H.S. and I
enjoyed having you in class. You seem to be doing quite well.

R. Bruce Rogers

You were my favorite teacher, I took every class you taught!  I just got back from a 5 week trip to Europe, traveling in the countries of France, England, Germany, Netherland, and Belgium, that class in foreign relations and all that hand mapping work you had us do in class, really helped me get around over there!  

Me and my favorite teacher!

Sandy with Mr. Rogers at her niece's graduation in 1997

This has been a truly wonderful day, reading your essay and the responses to your essay.  Spending 40 years of my life in the town of Murray City my language was definitely normal for me.  Moving just 100 miles north, to Marysville, Ohio, I am truly amazed at how I am made fun of for my language skills.  I don't think there is a day that goes by that some co-worker hasn't made fun of something I say.  I am never offended, I just laugh with them.  I usually have to ask them though why they are laughing, and when they explain I just laugh and tell them yes, I am a hill jack.  I am proud of where I am from and have no desire at my age to change my speaking.  I do believe the idea of the schools down home teaching the kids their heritage and why they speak the way they do is a wonderful idea, just because the job market in our little  chunk of the state is pretty slim, and most of them will have to head north for work like we have.  We're just not aware of the difference's until your faced with them.  I hope you succeed at getting that implicated, and I have enjoyed this website like you don't know, maybe just because I get so homesick at times.   Thank you for a wonderful day Sandy,  love you,  Laurie (Glad you enjoyed the essay!  Miss you sis!)

    I just read your wonderful essay and the delightful messages left by others.  Genealogy research has been my passion for several years and I never realized how much of the Appalachian dialect I still have lurking in my vocabulary.  Although I was raised in Columbus, my father's family were all from Buchtel (and, yes, I still say Booktel).   Green peppers were always called "mangos" when I was a child.  When our youngest daughter went off to Graduate School at American University in Washington, DC, it wasn't long until she informed me that it was pronounced "Wash-ington, DC" not Worsh-ington.  Now I live near Newark, Ohio and I make it a careful choice not to say Nerk, Ahia.  By the way, while our daughter attended Ohio University, it was always pleasant to drive through Nelsonville (where my Schenz ancestors lived) and then drive over to Buchtel (where my Robson family lived) and investigate the tombstones in the old Bessimer/Dew cemeteries.  I think the beauty of an Appalachian Spring was what finally convinced my daughter to pick Ohio University over the several other universities she was considering.
    I am now retired as a County Extension Agent, and although I live a good distance from my Athens County genealogical roots, I can still hear their voices echo when I say to departing guests "ya'll come back now".
Joan Robson Grube
Alexandria, OH

I really enjoyed your essay.  From 1798, my Morrison ancestors on my father's side, including my father, were born and raised in Ohio.  My Morrison side came to settle in Ohio in 1798 and my Skinner ancestors arrived around 1816.  I, however, was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in Texas.  I speak more Texan than anything, but the one thing I've always been aware of is the peculiar difficulty every member of my family (my parents, my siblings, my nieces, nephews, aunts, & uncles) has in completing a spoken thought quickly.  Speed is not something we are noted for.  Lord, how we labor from the beginning to the end!  And, believe me, this is not a Texan thing.  Texans actually speak very fast.  So, I've endured the teasing of many friends who have worked to listen to me.  
Now,  thanks to your "language" essay, I'm made aware of why this happens.  It's an Ohio Appalachian thing!!! J   I always thought I just had a lot of words or brain hiccups or something!!  I'm a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas with a degree in literature and one of my professors always let me off the hook for not bringing my essays within the limited word count.  There were always comments of "Lynn, you have a lot of words.  Or, let's work on that word count."    I've researched our family history and now I'm made aware of another factor in our genealogy.  The language we inherit adds more threads to the fabric of who we are.  J 
I live in Austin, Texas and as far as pronouncing words,  we have oddities here, too.  One example:  we have a street spelled Parmer  that Austinites pronounce Paul-mer.  When someone new to the area asks for directions, I try to remember to either say Parmer or say, "that's Paul-mer spelled Parmer!"  You also can tell Austinites from the newly relocated residents in the way they pronounce a little town up the road spelled Burnet, but pronounced by locals as Burn-it and not Bur-netThanks again for your delightful essay as well as the opportunity to read what others have had to say on the subject of language.
Lynn (Morrison) Jones
Austin, Texas
Also, did you realize President George Bush's ancestors were from
Franklin county, and Union County Ohio?  Sometimes that Appalachian-ness
appears in his speaking too.

I was born in Athens County, my parents being from Glouster), but have lived in Columubus all my life. I don't think I noticed the accent while growing up. The neighborhood I lived in contained families whose parents came from the areas where the 3 Rs were taught- reading, writing and Route 33 or 23 (aka Road to Columbus.) When we reached the totally obnoxious stage (aka Junior High, as it was called then) we spent much of our spare time  at school telling "Hillbilly" jokes so we could spring them on our parents who we were sure would not appreciate them.
 We did not realize we too were Appalachian.We spoke the language, ate the foods etc but believed we were ctiy kids. Maybe in a way that does show that we had internalized the culture that Appalachian was less desirable, akin to the studies done where little black girls thought the white dolls were prettier.
That was in Columbus. Our speech was made fun of by our cousins in Elyria and Michigan. They too were products of parents from Southeastern Ohio but they had picked up the totally different accent of the Great Lakes. If you have seen the PBS documentary, "Do You Speak American?" you would realize how small a group of people speak that dialect. Their dialect bears no resemblence to any other in the US.
I remember being upset when a cousin from Glouster went to OU and was made to take a speech class. There was nothing wrong with her speech. It was there were too many folks at OU that had never got out of Athens or spent any time with locals in the area. She did not speak with an East Coast or North Coast accent, that was all.
Some of my father's family remain in Athens County. We in Columbus probably speak close to the same dialect. I thought I had lost the dialect totally when someone pointed out to be years ago that when I am mad, the dialect comes out swinging. And when I get mad, I realize, he is right. My accent does change.
My mother's family left Athens and spread out. When the family gets together, if a recording was made of our conversations, it would be hard to believe our parents were raised in the same family. My cousins from Elyria and Michigan speak totally different than those of us from Columbus and the ones from Dayton are different from the rest of us.  I worked as a directory assistance operator for years and remember when we first began getting calls from Dayton. We could not understand them at all. The Dayton operators could not understand callers from central and southeastern Ohio. I made a comment once to someone that Collumbus and Dayton speak totally different launguages and that person responded with the perfect explanation. Some in Columubs do not like to hear it as I am sure those in Dayton don't either. In Columubs we speak West Virginian, in Dayton they speak Kentucky. And I could immediately see they were right.
I did not mean to add another essay to yours but I must add two things. My sister had a little trouble with the language as a child. She once asked me to help her "rape up" the dishes. She was too young to have a clue what she had said.
Some fellow Appalachians I worked with one day decided we could test folks for their heritage. We took in potato candy. If you knew what it was, we knew your heritage.
Kathy in Columbus who is on her way to find out if she had the powdered sugar. She has the potato and the peanut butter.

I just had to send to you my thank you for helping me understand more about my family.  My roots are from Marietta and Waterford in Washington County, OH (Doland/Dolan and Hagerman) and even though my line left there in the mid-1800's others are still there today. I was born and raised in the State of Washington and you might be interested to know some of the phrases your contributors wrote about are alive and well here in the middle of this state.
One of my neighbors hoovered her living room and another one used a sweeper.  Me, I vacuum.  They were from different parts of the country and we used to giggle about the different terms we used for a job we'd rather someone else was doing LOL.
My name is Karen but my father always called me "Kari".  I always thought he had just dreamed it up as a nick-name for me but now I think it may have been an extension of our family's Ohio roots. 
We also call our carbonated beverage "pop" not soda.  In fact, the term soda for the term pop sounds really strange to me and I find myself wondering what part of the country the individual came from.  Certainly not from middle Washington State as pop is the common term for a carbonated beverage in this state.  The use of the term "soda" designates a person from another part of the country.  Around her if you want a soda you have to go to the local fountain at the drugstore and order one.  If you order a pop they will ask if you want a Coke, 7-Up, Sprite, etc. 
For us the terms dinner and supper are interchangeable.  Same meal.  Lunch is always at noon.  So we seem to have rearranged things a bit.
Dad had some cute ways of saying things and sometimes I thought he was just being funny on purpose.  Having read the posts on your site I now believe he was extending our Ohio heritage into the current generation.  It worked!  I use them too!

No one seemed to notice my "accent" for a long while but it comes up more often now. I have a large number of students that ask where I am from. When I explain that I am from Columbus I Receive an odd look of disbelief. After reading your article I now think that They pick up on my "accent" because so many of my students and their parents moved to Columbus from out of the state.  My wife is from northern NJ and when we would go to her folks home everyone would ask if I was from Texas.
I will continue to warsh my car, stuff mangos "pepper" and drink pop.
Thanks for an enlightening article
Bob Grove

You are very welcome!

Dear Ms. Quinn:

I stumbled across your essay by accident this evening, and it has turned out to be a very enjoyable evening as a result. I grew up in Shawnee, and moved away after my teenage years. Because of my job, I traveled to many cities in this country, and very few people could recognize my Southeastern Ohio dialect, though many tried. Reading your essay brought many smiles and a few tears to my eyes, and I can only say, Ms. Quinn, thank you for your essay.
Robert Moody  (Thank you Robert! ~Sandy)

Hello, My name is Todd Morrison and I just read your wonderful article on
Appalachian English. This is a subject I have been studying most of my life
and I may have some interesting insights for you. My mother is Sabra Dunlap
from Glouster and my father was Larry Morrison from Trimble. I was raised
in Pomeroy and spent the first 30 years of my life in Athens and Meigs
counties. I went to Ohio U and took all the Appalachian Studies courses
they offered. I left for Colorado in the late 1980s and soon found myself
telling people I was from West Virginia. This was easier than explaining
how I have never been to Cleveland and don't know much about anything north
of Columbus. I called a green pepper a 'mango' until I was 30 and, oddly,
have only met one person outside SE Ohio who ever has. They were from
Virginia and claimed their whole family did this. What I wanted to tell you
is this: I now live in Belfast, Northern Ireland where I am an
archaeologist. People here seem to have a far greater grasp of the
connections between Appalachia and Northern Ireland (Ulster Scots,
Scotch-Irish) than in the US. Live bluegrass is actually easier to find
here than in America. My theory is that we sped-up their music and slowed
down their language. The similarities can be unnerving. My wife is a
country girl from County Tyrone. She uses phrases I have not heard since my
grandparents were alive. "That thar", "this here", "I reckon", "I ain't fit
fer it today" to name a slight few. A "fur piece up the way" from her home
is (according to them) the world's largest Appalachian festival at the
Ulster-American Folk Park. And, by the way, the sequence of meals here is
breakfast, dinner, supper. We always had supper when I was a child, but the
rest of the US has dinner. What I think is that Appalachia was populated by
the Northern Irish (it was just Ireland then) in the late 18th century and
the dialect has been fossilized. I've studied Irish Gaelic a wee bit and
it's easy to see that some of the dialect comes from mixing Irish grammar
into the English language. Double negatives like 'ain't got no...' are
acceptable in Gaelic and my wife says this constantly. As does my sister in
Pomeroy. I am beginning to be fascinated by immigration from Northern
Ireland to the US and plan on doing more research. I'd also like to do some
more genealogy work from this end, but, unfortunately, on that end the
trail stops in Glouster and Trimble in the 30s. One more anecdote: I work
in South Russia every summer and I am told that my accent is the hardest
for them to understand. They think I sound Chinese. And the Russian English
speakers always confuse the Middle Americans by calling the mid-day meal
'dinner'. Never did figure out where they got that.
                                 Thanks for your time
                                 Todd Morrison

(Thank you so much Todd for writing me with your insights!  Being descended from protestant Irish ancestors in Trimble {Lee, McFoy, Whaley,  Richards, and Campbell surnames}and Catholic Irish ancestors in Buchtel {Collins, Leonard, Russell, and Davis surnames}, well, what you wrote  sure makes sense to me!  Thank you so much for sharing your experiences!)

Hi Sandy I just read your article on "Our" Language.
I grew up in Buchtel and moved to Nelsonville.
I really believed that we all spoke the same language, until I moved from home, I moved to Kentucky which wasn't to bad until I joined the army in 1983.People would ask me where I was from and I would get the most puzzled look's ever, and they still couldn't figure where I was from and what language I was speaking. One of my Drill Sgt's was from N.J.
he had asked me to quit taking so long to finish a sentence, and to learn to speak more clearly so that everyone could understand me, I thought I was being very clear and had never had a problem before talking to people.
But one afternoon he had asked me if I was finished with my detail that was assigned to me  and I had  said of all things, Pertnear (almost). The man just stood there looking at me as if I had lost my mind. I still say things that make people just look at me as if I am from some weird different land. I now live in Virginia. I have been called a Ridge Runner a hillbilly a West Virginian who pretends to be from Ohio which by the way I still say Ahia (Ohio). My husband is from Ohio but hails from the North so I confuse him still with the Lingo.
So as my grandma (Agnes Fiddler) would say just between you an me an the fence post. I think it's the rest of the other places out yonder there that could use a lesson or two in Language LOL :)
Thank you for such a Great Article on OUR language.
                              Jackie (Call) Simmons
Thank you Jackie for sharing your story with me, I am right there with ya!
I told my son the other day that we just aren't on the same page in a lot of our conversations, LOL, he goes off on his own tangents of what he thinks I mean. LOL!
Ever get in high water for all the emotional expressions used when speaking too?  fine when teaching kindergartners, but not so okay when speaking to a group of adults. LOL!
I went to high school at Buchtel with a XXXXXXXX.  Any relation?
Another interesting story, I was in Canada the other day, in the French district Holiday Inn.  I didn't need the maid to clean the room, but thought I would ask for a trash (tra ish) bag.  She was French speaking and said, "I know no this word tra ish."  So I kept repeating myself, finally started laughing realizing she did not know what I meant so I went in my room and got some empty cola and water containers and showed her, she says, "Oh Garbaughe",  then she handed me a plastic laundry bag, lol, I still don't know if we really connected. LOL!  The next day my maid was Mandarin Chinese, I knew I was in trouble then! LOL!
Sandy Mitchell Quinn
 graduate of Nelsonville York High School
Hello again and thank you for your reply. XXXXXX is my 1st cousin. You also went to school with my older sister XXX and XXXXX. I was in Jr. High at the time. If you really want to get some really weird stares and confused looks, try going out west. Me and my husband were stationed in Omaha Nebraska, they would ask to talk for them. I worked at a Super Target and when I would speak they would just smile and act as if I was on some kind of work detail for the learning impaired until they would discover that's the way I speak. I went to school with Mitchell's. And I remember your Mom's column in the newspaper. My hubby get's a kick out of me when I predict the weather by certain signs or things that I see, you would think after 20 yrs. he would know now not to even question me. LOL. My grandpa taught me all of that while he would sit with the all the old timers. My kids like to go to Buchtel when I get home and they always want to go to the watering trough, they love it. And then when I show them the places where I learned to swim, their eyes used to get big and get a scared look in them, they are older now, but still love the watering trough, and as for swimming in strip-pits ,which baffled my husband until he saw what I was talking about, I scared them on that I told them if they ever swam in one that a giant white catfish would get em, and they would never get out. Of course by the time I did show them most of my places BAB's was filled in (Job's Holler).
Have a great day and talk with you again soon.
              Jackie Call Simmons

Well, pon my honor...thank ye for writin this most informative article.  

I have a question.   I learned to talk in the Cumberland Gap area of KY, moved to Dayton, Ohio at the age of 8 and carried with me the very same language you describe.   Has the language of the entire Appalchian area of all states been studied for similitaries?   I have met numerous people from many other Appalachian Mountain states who speak the same language as I did (and still do when I want to).  I currently live in MO and the people  from the Southeastern part of the state speak a dialect that I can easily understand.   It is the same dialect you described...the same one I learned to speak with.

As you can see I drag my sentences out.  I sometimes think that my use of words is more apparent in my written word than in my speech (such as writing letters).   I turned into a championship speller in spite of my language barrier.   My spelling is great; but my writing style when I get going makes it apparent that I am not a native northerner.

My Dad is 93 and I am about the only one left in the family who can understand everything he says.  I am 59.

We were a very private people with a motto of Seldom Ask - Never Tell.    To this day, I can't stand gossip. (I was taught this way too, but I sure wish my grandparents would have shared more about the family history.  I had to find it in court houses and genealogy libraries.)

I would appreciate it it you would let me know what you know about this same language covering such a huge area.
We pronounced Ohio as Hi-e - best I can remember.

Thank you,

Joan Miller
Dear Sandy,

Thank you for responding to  my question about the widespread use of Mountain Dialect.   Cumberland Gap was comprised of 14 counties and there was much coal mining in the area.   I can trace my family there back to 1750 - long before the coal mines took over.   I think, though, that you probably have a good point as my parents dialect was a little different than my Grandparents and it all probably evolved over the decades.   If you search - Mountain Dialect - there is an interesting dictionary.   It has several references to Ohio.

My Mother was a teacher.   She Graduated from Union College and taught in a one room school in Maple Creek, KY.   When we moved to Ohio, she found that her pronunciation was a problem in trying to teach.   She spelled properly but spoke much of the mountain dialect. (I sure understand that experience!)

Best wishes in your project, Sandy.   I hope you can preserve your story of a wonderful historical town.  I know it must be very difficult to encourage change in a long standing people who cannot see the future.

Take Good Care (Thank your for reading the article and for sharing your thoughts! ~Sandy

Joan Miller

My brother forwarded your article about Appalachian English as spoken in Southeastern Ohio, and I immediately expressed my gratitude.  I know exactly what you are talking about.  I was born and raised in Washington County in Southeastern Ohio.  I never knew I had a "speech problem" until I shared a dormitory at Ohio University with people from the northern part of the state who migrated south for college.  They made it a practice to correct my speech at every opportunity.  I worked hard to change my speech patterns, but even after an odyssey that found me living in 15 states and Saudi Arabia while following my husband's career, Appalachian English remained my native tongue.  I was in graduate school in Nebraska ten years after graduating from Ohio University when I realized there was no reason to be ashamed of the way I talked.  Whew!!  That was a relief.

My husband and I finally retired in East Tennessee where Appalachian English also is spoken, albeit in mountain rather than Ohio River dialect.  I eat supper here, and the natives know what I am talking about.

Roberta Barndt  (Thank you so much for sharing your story with us!~ Sandy)

I've already sent you one email today, but, here I go "agin"
I have been followed by the hillbilly tag from Ohio to Indiana and now in Florida.  Feesh, Deesh, Rid Up, and Sweeper were part of my everyday language. The Southeastern Ohio dialect has a certain tone that anyone born and bred in this part of God's country can identify anywhere.

I worked as office manager, for about twenty years, here in Florida, for Orthopaedic Surgeons and had patients from all over the USA. More times than I can count, people would come into the office for their appointments, get their papers to fill and we would engage in conversation. After a while I'd ask, "What part of Southeastern Ohio are you from?" They would ask how I knew where they were from, my answer would always be, " You sound like home."

I had people from Athens, Neerk (Newark), New Lex and on and on.

When I found a new physician when I moved to Florida, I was referred to an internist that everyone thought highly of and made an appointment.  I filled out my papers, was ushered into the exam room and the Doctor entered the room. He sounded like me, his name was James Brickles Tobias and he was born and raised in Nelsonville and the family lived on Fort Street.  We all gotta stick together.   Jo Brown Parsons   

Oh my... I'm so glad I ran across this site!  I too was raised in Nelsonville, Ohio, graduated in 1989, my husband in 1988, both sets of parents live in Nelsonville.  My husband is in the military and we travel a lot.  We've been to Japan, Maine, and now Alaska.  (It sure is a challenge when we move, eh?)

I too had been made fun of for the Dinner - Supper thing, several times, and I asked to borrow a sweeper from a neighbor 'til my household goods came... she said "A what?"  I said "Sweeper"... she brought me a broom.  I said, "Do you have a sweeper?"  She said "Are you talking about a vacuum?"  I said "Yes, a sweeper."  She said, "I've never heard it called that!"  (I totally forgot about that, and the exact thing happened to me.  (What seems so funny to me it that even when they correct us we still continue to use our own words for description as if they had it wrong the whole time.  This happened to me too, and I got to tell you the memory of it just had me rolling on the floor laughing!  Thanks for the reminder!)

Also, I think we are the only ones that call Pop....Pop.  Everyone else calls it Soda.  (Same again! LOL!)

My husband sounds way worse than I do when he talks.  He just makes the best of it and people like to hang out with him because he seems funny (even when he doesn't realize he is~).

Anyway I loved your page.  Made me feel like I am not alone in this out-side world, the world our-side of Nelsonville.

Thanks, Heather Bishop

Anchorage, Alaska  (Feel free to write any old time, the internet makes the world a whole lot smaller!  ~Sandy)

Hi Sandy,
Can you tell me if there was ever a fort in the town and if so where was it located?
We recently visited the Old Fort Cem. on Fort St. and wondered about the fort.
Also please forgive any folkisms I may have in here as I was born in Ole Kentuk but raised in northern Ohio.
My wife Joanne on the other hand was born in Woodsfield and has a lot of ancestory from the southeast Ohio area including Washington, & Monroe counties.
Enjoyed your essay on the language. I had a webpage up trying to find the origins for a lot of the Folkisms I recall my parents and grandparents used in Ky. Makes a interesting study.

      Harley   FOLKISM'S .      (Maybe someone on the site will know the history of Fort Street?)

I enjoyed your commentary on the local language.  I got fish, dish, push, and bush down pat before I took my college entrance exam but got tripped up on dawg!  Still can't say it right.  Also had a lot of arguments in Michigan over whether one brought his lunch in a bucket or pail and, likewise, in which one carried water.


Bob Steinmeyer   (Thanks for sharing Bob, I loved what you wrote!  ~Sandy)

Hi Sandy!  That was a very interesting paper you wrote.  I never thought
much about my accent either.  I was born and raised here in Dayton, Ohio as were
my Mom and her family.  My Dad's family all were born in Hocking & Athens,
and moved to Dayton in the mid-1940's when the mines closed.   We spent every
summer down home with family and friends, so the sayings and pronunciations
were ingrained in us kids.

During the war years, Dayton was a huge industrial town (GM, Delco,
Frigidaire, and various foundries) and a lot of people came to Dayton from
across the river (KY & TN) and "down home" to find work -- much better
conditions and pay than the mines.  There wasn't too much difference in a
lot of the accents. 

Dad knew quite a few people that moved from down there to here:  Szabo,
Keish, &  Mingus were some he knew quite well (somehow we were suppose to be
related to Mingus through my Grandma Leffler, I think her name was Evelyn
Mingus).  Then he'd run into people at work that he'd recognize their name.
George Keish was a realtor here in town and I worked for him for a while
before I got out of school.  I think he moved back to Millfield in the last
few years.(A lot of people from Orbiston migrated to Dayton, including Robinson's, Wade's, and Peacock's.)

I noticed a few words that Dad's family said differently from Mom's, but no
one ever mentioned it.  (My Mom's family is German on both sides -- Her
Dad's grandfather came from Worms in 1853 -- the first Jewish Rabbi to
settle in Dayton).  One of the differences I found was Mom's side used your
full name -- Susan instead of Sue; Marjorie instead of Marge or Margie, etc.
Dad's name was John Junior -- his side called him Jr. or J.R.  After 53
years of marriage, Mom's side always called him John.  A window was winda,
Idea was Idee, wash was warsh, green peppers were mangoes.  We use dinner
and supper in the same manner as you described.  Dad's lunch bucket was his
"dinner pail".

After high school I started work at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Obviously I was dealing with not only people from all over the States, but
the world as well.  I was constantly asked where I was from in Kentucky.  I
was a secretary for 25 years and responsible for correcting everyone else's
grammar as well as writing various instructions and letters for the
Commanders I worked for.  One of my guys, who was very intelligent, from
Maryland, and had degrees up the wazoo, started chuckling while reading one
of my creations.  I asked what I did, thinking I had missed an error.  He
just grinned and said, "You write so well, but to hear you talk, you'd never
know you'd written this." 
I told him that although my teachers had taught
me the correct way of writing, they were never able to change me as a
person.  It was also pointed out to me that my way of speech did change
depending on who I was with -- visiting dignitaries I was more "correct"
than with the "normal" folk. 
I don't even realize I'm doing it.  (Same thing for me! Although the older I get the more difficulty I have with switching. LOL!)

As for what you went through, it's unfortunate you had to deal with that.  (Thank you, as you know, it is adversity that  makes us  strong!)
With us and our "simple" upbringin', we were taught not to make fun of
others for any reason.  (Part of my Appalachian upbringing too that I am glad of!)

Sue Leffler

Sue,  thank you for writing, I really enjoyed reading of your similar experiences! I am so glad to read that so many can identify with my experiences. Also, just want to say You have always been so helpful to me and the website.  You are greatly appreciated!  


Hi Sandy

I was delighted to read your essay, and find such great discussion of this thing called dialect. I grew up in Perry County, Ohio and moved to Columbus as an adult, where I found they had no idea what I meant by "red up"! My teacher in high school was from Columbus, and she tried very hard to get us to quit saying "jist" and "git" for just and get. She wasn't successful. 20 years ago I moved to Atlanta. Now I'm at the tail end of Appalachia.  They don't say red up either.  But they say proud for pleased and fixin for "about to-- or getting ready to" and they say mash for push and gem clip for paper clip. I also do a lot of work with African-American young men who get in trouble with the law.  Now I have another dialect to get used to and it changes with each generation. I live in an area with folks from all over:  Ghana, Uganda, Pakistan, India, Mexico, El Salvador, Lithuanian, Russian etc. It takes patience and tolerance for all of us. But I don't want to go back to the days in Perry County where most folks didn't know much about anywhere past Zanesville, and everyone wanted to know why I looked the way I did (half my ancestors were Greek, and on the other side every so many generations there was a very dark person.)  I'm thinking about marking "other" on those ethnic scales you have to fill out sometimes. Appalachia is very dear to me.  The values like: honesty, not being in a hurry, living a simple life, feeling rich if you had lots of children, all still hang with me. Thanks for letting me share, and giving me some places to go to reminisce.  

Cathy Garey (Cathy, thank you so much for writing and those values are dear to me too! ~Sandy) 

Howdy Sandy!!

Just saw your essay & had to respond!!! I'm Hawaiian, Philipino & Chinese on dad's side, German & Cherokee Indian on mom's side. In 1971 my mom brought us to Waycross, Georgia; from Oahu, Hawaii. We look Hawaiian & spoke "Pidgen" slang, broken English of all different Polynesian cultures.

We are waaaay down south, at the Okefenokee swamp where "Pogo" the comic strip is from. We were always laughed at, by teachers & students. In this town you are white or black. My mom would rent houses, then the landlords would see us & we'd have to leave because we were nig...s., in 1981 mom packs us up back to Hawaii.

Imagine!! We're finally home. We look like everyone else!! My 1st day of school when I have to say my name.. of course I said "Aloha ya'll" ! Lord!! They laughed me outta there! They said I talked like Gomer Pyle.

So now I have a beautiful 19yr. old Polynesian looking son, with blonde dread locks & hazel eyes. I've taught him from day one, Be proud of who you are. Hold your head up. Never judge anyone by their color, shape ,heritage, accent, rich, poor, etc...

Now we're back in the same town. Proud to say there's every race possible here, so times are changing, but everyone still laughs when I say, Mike or Spike. I say Miiiuck or Spiiiuck. Very drawn out, but I look very Polynesian w\black hair to hips, chubby cheeks...thanks so much!!!

And thanks for such a wonderful site!! I've been searching for my husband's Ohio, WV, & Pennsylvania families,   Loving every second of genealogy searching!! Surnames: (Tippie, Baker, Larkin, Fiscus, Stacy, Bell, Jewell & Johnson's). I apologize for ramblin. It's just the first time I've read anyone else's story...please take care!!! Much peace..

Kimmi Stacy

Hi Kimmy!  Thanks so much for sharing your story with me!  It is so difficult to adjust to life in cultures different than your birthplace.  It's great that we can have a shared understanding about that!   How is your son holding up in Hawaii?  Probably not too many complaints, huh?  LOL!  A couple of years ago I got to visit Maui for two glorious weeks and it surely was not enough!    I really enjoyed your response. I really feel it helps educate the readers for what it is like for people that migrate to new areas for work and to live.  Your letter is a great example!

 PS, I walked the trail at the Okeefenokee Swamp park out to the lookout tower, what a view of the swamp and the migratory birds that was! I also got to see some huge gators! And those pesky mosquitoes after dusk, my memory of that boardwalk is still quite vivid! LOL!

Mahalo!  I think that is a nice word I learned on Maui!   I hope that is the correct spelling!

Your friend in genealogy, Sandy Mitchell Quinn

You will have to share with me what are the best places to see on Oahu. I hope to come there someday soon!

Hi Sandy,

I read your essay about the Appalachian dialect, and I was stunned.
I thought the only person who talked that way was my Grandpa.
I was born in northwest Ohio and now live in Illinois, and I've never 
been to southeast Ohio. However, my Grandpa, Jack Oliver, was born in Chauncey in 
1920, and his parents were from the area (Great-Grandma from Putnam Co., WV). All my
life, I thought that Grandpa just had his own little Grandpa-isms. He talked so 
slowly. I honestly always just thought that Grandpa was so incredibly 
laid-back that he couldn't be bothered to speak at the "normal" rate. He did 
everything slowly, I thought. He played cards slowly, chewed slowly... he even smiled

He also pronounced things differently than I did. "Spayshul" for "special"
(I say "speh-shul"),"shkyool" for "school" (I say "skool"), "Uhiya" for Ohio, etc. 
When he said my name, Kelly,it was more like "Kay-leh" than "Kel-lee." He sounded 
enough like my Grandma, who was from southern Indiana, that I never really thought 
about the differences in their dialects. Grandma and Grandpa just sounded different 
from me -- I never put two and two together that they also sounded different from 
each other. But now that I think back, there were definite differences.

You may be surprised to discover that even at 30 years old, it has never once
occurred to me that there might be a whole group of people who sound like Grandpa 
did. I haven't heard Grandpa's voice since he died one year ago. I'm getting ready to
go on a genealogical expedition to the Athens Co./Putnam Co. WV area this summer,
and I'm getting a little teary thinking about being surrounded by people who sound 
like Grandpa.

Thanks for your essay.

Kelly Oliver
Arlington Heights, IL
Kelly, so sorry about the loss of your grandfather! Drive to Chauncey on your trip, it's just a 
couple of miles from Athens off state route 33 and route 13. I'm sure you can meet some interesting 
people, there is a little furniture store on the main strip, it is called something
Treasures. A lot of locals visit there during the day, and the owner is fun to talk to. ~Sandy

How true this story of yours is. Hello my name is Clint Brown, I'm 42 years old. 
 (Hi Clint, I am 41.) 

I grew up in Straitsville, moved away when I joined the navy, and in boot camp I was with 5 guys from Ohio and the rest were from the New England area, and they all had a hard time talking to me, as my father was from Straitsville and my mother was a farm girl from Maxville area. I was doomed. Ha Ha.
 One of the words I had trouble with was wash. It sounded like it had a r in it. Anyhow, I 
thought I had lost my Straitsville charm, until a year ago. I was in Boston working. It
was close to Xmas, so I was looking for a book for my son. When I asked two little
old women for a book, they looked at me kinda funny and asked if I was from
Texas. I just smiled and said, "No, I'm from New Straitsville, UHIYA." Thank you for
your story, I am going to download it and show it to my mother in law, she is
from Buchtel and lived above the wattering trough. Anyhow your story gives us
hicks a nice warm feeling about our past!
(Thank you Clint, and I am so glad I am not alone in this language thing! So they picked Texas as your
 home state, how funny and how close that is to Mexico which is the place they thought my child was
 from! My Davis grandmother lived by the watering trough too! She still talks about that spring which 
she drank the water from for years. I remember back in the days when everyone washed their car in it too.
I am so glad you enjoyed my essay!
Sandy, an Appalachian Hick Chick and Proud of It!)

Hi, my name is Roger A. Janes and I came across your site while looking for Athens County on the web. I remember when moving from Glouster, Ohio to Naples, Florida, when I got here everybody would ask me, "Where are you from?" and I would say, "(Ohia.)".

(I imagine like me, you did not know you were speaking differently than anyone else when you moved until people pointed it out to you.)

My mom 's surname was Dew when she met my dad, he was a Janes from McConnelsville. But what a time I've had all these years. "All right" has always been "awright" and other choice words have been a repeat of what you said.

(Isn't there a Dew Cemetery near Glouster out by Burr Oak? My grandparents had cabins out by the river at McConnelsville, I grew up spending wonderful summer weekends there. How about that scenic drive on Route 78 from Glouster to McConnelsville, that is one that I will always remember, how about you? LOL!)

It's great to see this site. I will visit often. It actually makes me miss home, but the reason why I left in the first place was no work. I've been in printing for about 14 years and I currently work for Naples Daily News in Naples Fla. We are a Scripps Howard news service.

(I'm glad you enjoy the site, I miss home too and the website does help because it gets me in touch with wonderful people like yourself who know what it is like to live out of the area we were raised in.)

Keep up the good work and I will be visiting Glouster this summer for the family reunion in July. Roger

(Thank you and I hope you have a great visit back! I understand that some changes are beginning to take place in downtown Glouster. I hope you will be pleasantly surprised. ~Sandy)


I was so glad you asked me to look at your article about the Appalachian language. I could have written the part in which you stated you were affected by your use of your language. Upon moving north to Ravenna in 1966, I too was questioned about my accent. I did not have as much of a problem as you, maybe because I only moved south to Hollister, when I was fourteen.  But having lived there after I married, until I was twenty-six years old, I had changed my dialect to match my husbands. I began working to lose that dialect right away. This article now makes me realize I could have lived with it, and even been proud of it.  I think it would be interesting to teach children now that they do not need to be ashamed of the way they speak their language. My children even noticed the difference in the way their father and grandparents would use certain words. Since they were moved north when they were young, they managed to be corrected by teachers and others and eventually lost any semblance of the Appalachian dialect.

(My youngest son who was born and raised in the Cleveland area has no semblance of the language either. It is funny how when we go visit my hometown and he speaks to the people there, they always turn to me and ask "What did he say? He speaks to fast for me." ~Sandy)

On my website now, I have written a short paragraph explaining that part of my book is about the Appalachian area. My book tells of the hardships we had while living in that area. I was advised to do this by a friend of mine, Joy Padgett, who is now working with the Gov. Taft, to bring more industry to southern Ohio. She is reading my book now and is giving me a review on it when she is done. She also wants me to contact Kathy Albertson from OUZ, to get information about my book and bringing forth any information about Appalachia living, when I was younger. These women are both very active in the Applachian area.

Shirley Farley, author


  I enjoyed reading your essay. I was unaware of the Akron-Buchtel connection.   One local story suggests we began pronouncing the cities of the villages differently to distinguish ourselves from out-of-towners who appeared on the scene to take advantage of the locals. Hence,  Chauncey is "Chancy", and Buchtel is "Booktel".  

John P. Lavelle
Trial Lawyer
Admitted in Ohio and Montana
207 Columbus Road, Suite B
Athens, OH   45701-1335

" So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933

John, Isn't it odd that we who graduated from Nelsonville York or other schools in the area, were not taught about the history of our town, being that it was such a new community?  I grew up thinking that the history of our area dealt with just lazy people on welfare.  Until I read Dr. Ivan Tribe's articles about John R. Buchtel and the Coal Barons, I did not have a clue about why I lived in that area and why my ancestors lived there.  My grandparents mentioned the coal mines, but with no evidence left of those great coal mines, their explanations meant nothing to me. I did not even know what a coal mine was. I did not have a clue that the people living there off welfare and disability incomes were doing so because of the effects of their coal mine injuries or their losing jobs when these great coal mines went out of business and were dismantled. I just knew that it seemed the majority of residents were on some type of welfare and pension, and any successful people had moved or were commuting for work to Logan, Athens, or even Columbus.

Until Murray City built a park with a historical marker saying that the park was the coal mine, in the late 1980's, I didn't even know such a huge industrial complex had existed there.  Without being shown a picture of it I still did not understand what that had meant.  It is the same with all those areas.  I believe this information should be taught in all the Athens and Hocking county school systems to the children attending school in these impoverished towns so that they can realize how they are living is the result of huge industrial coal companies that have gone out of business and that they don't need to feel inadequate in today's society, but they can be proud of their history.  Then if money becomes available in the future to these impoverished towns, maybe the children when grown, could be learning how to utilize it for a better future, instead of not knowing what to do with such money.

I further believe that the current children of the area have become desensitized to the conditions of poverty around them and see this as the norm because for the most part, these communities are still isolated from the rest of Ohio. Murray City for instance is in the center of five to seven square miles of forest.

It further concerns me for the children being raised in the area, being born through intermarrying of families. After researching the genealogies of the families of the area, for example, it is very apparent that if the young adults of the community marry to another young adult or to young adults of the nearby communities of Murray City, New Straitsville, Buchtel, Nelsonville, Glouster, Logan, or Athens, they are going to have a one in three chance of being related to each other. How is that going to effect the genetic structure of future generations? Some physically and mentally challenged children have been born in the area over the last twenty years.

I am hoping this website will open some discussions about the problems that the communities are facing today and that some solutions are quick in coming! I think a basic course in our Appalachian history, particularly a communities own history, in the local schools would be a great place to start! Let's teach the children about poverty, why they are living in it, and help them figure out ways of changing it. Let's teach them leadership skills, and technical skills and quit pitying the people of Appalachia. Let's teach them to do something about it!)

Sandra Mitchell Quinn

graduate of Nelsonville York and the University of Akron, BS in Education, minor in psychology


Always and forever I have had the language thing hanging onto me and I never cared as I saw nothing wrong with it. I do not say feesh, deesh, or boosh, I have made use of those changes but Chancy will never be Chauncey to me, Buchtel will always be Booktel not Bucktel, Appalachia will never be Appalatcha, we will always say did you eat as didjaeet? Been called HillBilly, and never cared.

(I guess it wouldn't have bothered me either, if it weren't for the reactions of the northerners to my speech when teaching school. Even though I have received enough awards in high school and college to wallpaper my wall I was offered a full time substitute teaching position instead of my own classroom! I guess the thing is, like me you probably did not know you even had a language difference until you went north for work. ~Sandy)

I worked as a credit counselor for Consumer Credit Counseling Service, a non-profit organization started in Columbus, Ohio in 1955 and funded by the creditors themselves. Wonderful plan for those in hard times or foreclosure, FHA was very good to work with us and the families in keeping their homes. When I started there we had less than 100 families, now they have thousands. In that line I talked to many creditors , customers, and big shots at FHA, every day and frankly, they all loved what they called my "accent", sooner or later wanted to know where I was from.

(That is exactly my point, here you were, working just about an hour away from your hometown and people were wanting to know where you were from, the language difference was evidently an obvious one! ~Sandy)

I never detected any nasty vibes either but then maybe I am dumb. You know what they say, Sandy "Ignorance is Bliss".

(I am so glad that you did not have any negative experiences over the language differences, seems to be something that occurs once you pass the Appalachia line. ~Sandy )

I loved your work and it is very good. I met Dr. Ivan Tribe at a dinner at the Ramada, he is a nice man and I must read his Black Diamond book sometime. One of the Wolf sons died in a mining accident in the Black Diamond mine. I have no other info , just that he was William Wolf age 23. Small world! Good Job! (Thank you! ~Sandy)

Jody Cullison, former credit couselor for Consumer Credit Counseling Service


I had to laugh when I read your comments on your dialect. I too lived in Athens in the late 70's (I met and married my husband while attending OU) We moved back to his roots in Cleveland after he graduated and I was constantly teased about my accent which was so foreign to them. They did not believe I had always lived in Ohio. (It never occurred to me I even had an accent!) So I can relate.

(I am so glad to hear that it was happening to a lot more people than myself! The seriousness comes in thinking of the children being raised there today, and they still do not realize that they are going to be stigmatized when they try to leave the area. Unless all become aware they have a language difference, and the history of the area and the reason for the poverty and the language, then the stereotype and stigma towards Appalachian's is allowed to continue. I really did not know how to answer the people that were making fun of me and correcting my speech because like you, I did not realize my language difference. One just assumes if all are born in Ohio, attended Ohio schools, that all speak the same language. The thing about that is the majority of my teachers were Appalachian too and may or may not have realized about the stereotypes. I definitely was not made aware of them until much later in my life. What you got to wonder about is how many great thinkers might there have been from Appalachia had the stereotypes against them not have existed? ~Sandy)

Lisa Knowles Maciag


I too have had interesting experiences with the language. I did not know I spoke "funny" until I traveled from Pittsburg Hollow to Denver Colorado, the first time I had ever been out of state. From then on it has been a struggle and I actually had to work with a tape recorder to remove the "hill folk accent" so as not to stand out. Not that I was ashamed of it, it was just that it was so noticeable and I was embarassed that it was noticeable in a negative way.

(Isn't it sad to think of how language can change a persons perceptions of another?)   

By the way, this is the first time I have been on this website in many many months and it is awesome. You have worked very hard and I am very proud of it. I consider it a legacy for my grandchildren.  (Thank you! ~Sandy)

"...But those memories I have will be gone all too soon, leaving this world at the same time I do... just as the memories of my grandfathers and great-grandmothers left with them, and unless they are given and passed on, it is as if those things had never been..."

Sally Messenger, nurse in Chicago

"What distinguishes Appalachians from other Americans? Well there are probably many answers to that question, but the one that always comes to mind is the Appalachian Dialect.

I recall many years ago when I had an acquaintance by the name of Sarah. I believe she and her husband Bill located here from northern Ohio. After several years Bill took to Washington County like a regular trooper, but Sarah never seemed very comfortable with people native to Washington County. (Washington and Athens county border each other and parts of Athens county were once a part of Washington county back near 1803.)

I sensed Sarah’s uneasiness, and made it a point to try to make her feel at home here in Hill Country. After many discussions, I suddenly figured out one of her problems. I slipped and called her Sary. I didn’t mean any harm, in fact I thought that I was being downright friendly. Wow, did she unloaded on me! “My name is Sarah” she informed me, “how dare you call me Sary.” I was dumbfounded. I found out right then and there, not only did Sarah not think much of me, but she disliked most of the other people in Washington County.

Under ordinary circumstances, I would have dismissed this, but for some odd reason it got under my skin.

I had never intentionally done anything to Sarah which should cause here to dislike me, and wondered why, so I kept the incident in my mind. One day while talking with a friend of mine who was also native to Washington County, I noticed the way we were talking. For instance:

“Hi Clary, I hain’t seed you’n coon’s age.”

“Yup, I beena stayen close to the nest fer a spell. Beena feelin kinda lowly.”

Suddenly it occurred to me why a lot of people from outside Washington County may not like us when they first come here. Regardless of the fine English teachers we have, some of us often lapse into our Appalachian dialect. Over the course of 200 years, people in in Appalachia invented our own language! I hope this helps “new” residents understand some of us “old” residents a little better. We are not dumb, we just sound that way.

Here is a translation of a few words that were once commonly used here:

You-uns = You people

ain’t = am not, will not

hain’t = have not

wisht = wish

clum = climbed

et = ate

So new residents should not be offended when you here us natives talk. We mean no harm and for the most part are trying to be friendly. I think that some day there may be a standard English spoken in the United States, but it will be a long time coming!"

(I caught myself saying "Yelluh" the other day for yellow. It is a struggle to be aware of when I am speaking my native language or when I am speaking my learned English. It is much easier to speak the native way.)

Henry Burke is an historian specializing in Afro-American history and the Underground Railroad. His column appears every week in the Leader.

Hi Sandy--

I enjoyed your essay.  I'm sorry you had such a hard time because of the accent.  I guess we didn't realize we even had an accent until we moved, did we? ha ha

I never experienced any prejudice because I talk "funny".  We lived in New York for four years, and people asked me where I was from a lot. When I said "Ohio", they would always be surprised because the Ohioans they knew were usually from Cleveland, and had the same accent they did.  Usually they said my accent was "so cute,"  believe it or not.

I always tried to change how I spoke, I guess.  I never said "feesh" for fish, or "woish" for wash, etc.  I tended to be conscious of that for some reason.

Roberta Burson was from Jacksonville, and one would have never known it.  I'm sure she grew up with the same accent we all did, but she got past it somehow.
(Roberta Burson was our beloved journalism teacher throughout high school.)

I've never been embarrassed by it, and have never been made fun of about it.  Maybe I was just lucky!

Cindy Shuttleworth Clark, nurse in Indiana
(life long friend)


I don't think I can be of much help, because I have never experienced the kind of prejudice you're talking about. I've never had any trouble making myself understood either. The language differences I noticed in Wyoming were just accents, we lived in an oil boomtown, and there were people there from all over the country.

Maybe I watch too much tv, but I have never used the pronunciations "feesh" or "warsh", and altho I used to call green peppers mangoes, I stopped a long time ago. I also don't know any young people that call them that.

 I do have a cute story about that- a friend of mine was living in Florida with his Florida-born wife. He asked her to get him some mangoes, and "she came back from the store with some weird fruit"! That same woman didn't have a clue what I meant by roasting ears, either.

As for talking slow, that's certainly not a problem for me. Many times I've had people ask if  I ever breath between sentences. One thing you said rang a bell- "talking with a sing-song". I've always thought that people from northern Ohio talked "flat", with little intonation. I can almost always pick out people from Cleveland!

Although, I know I have a regional accent, it's never been a problem for me, and it's certainly never held me back, or been anything I've been ashamed of. (And I know that's poor grammar, but poor grammar's easier than correct grammar.)

I believe that mass media is to an extent wiping out a lot of our regional speech differences (such as mango), and actually, that's a shame. As you said, we have a rich cultural heritage, and I hate to lose it. I have a friend who did her master's thesis on Appalachian language (I pronounce it Appal-atch-ian, because that's the correct way), and I'm going to give her your website. Maybe she'll have some interesting insights, I know she spent ages on her study.

Keep up the good work!

Maggi Greenlees (my life long friend and recently figured out fifth cousin!)

Dear Sandy,      

  Enjoyed reading your essay. 

I was born and raised in Huntington Township, Ross County (Chillicothe), Ohio, and didn't realize I had an "accent" until at age 16 my mother and I visited my  sister and her husband in Massachusetts, the place where he grew up.  There we were told we had a Southern accent.   I really had difficulty understanding the Boston accent.  They drank tonic--we took a tonic if we were sick and it didn't taste good.  No tonic for me, thank you.  They also thought something was a good idear.  My brother-in-law's name was Carl.  They called him Cawl.      

My husband and I spent 1958-1963 in Columbus, Ohio; where I worked as a secretary at Ohio State (School of Business and Dean of Women's Office), Factory Insurance Association and North American Aviation.  No one mentioned my accent then that I can recall.  Maybe Columbus is close enough to Southern Ohio not to make a difference.        

My mother was born in Vinton County (Ray), Ohio.  I can remember her saying she had to warsh and rench the clothes or the dishes.  

People in Ross County still say "I seen ya."   I am guilty of saying, "I reckon" or "I guess so" for I suppose.  

I'm sure my written communications and oral communications are quite different, but I had no idea Clevelanders might be intolerant of those with a Southern Ohio dialect.     

I was visiting the Hocking and Athens County websites looking for clues to my great-great-grandparents Titus England (Ingland in 1830 census) and Katharine Bussard, who married in Hocking Co. on 1/1/1829.  They both died before 1850 and clues are as scarce as hens' teeth (is that an Appalachian expression? ha!). (Emma, on I found an England website that mentions Titus. Give that web search- engine a try! ~Sandy)

Keep up the good work. Emma in Ross County, Oh-Hi-Oh        


I was very surprised as I read your essay.  The way I express myself down here in the appalachians had never entered my mind. 

I moved to the Cleveland area in 1960. I never had the "problems" you did.  This started me thinking why this didn't happen.  I came up with the idea that I was the second generation to leave this Appalachian area. I came in contact with the first generation who had left the area, and so there wasn't a problem for me.   (A large migration of people left Murray City and the surrounding area in the 1930's when the coal mines began to close down, and when WWII began, an opportunity opened better jobs elsewhere. A lot of these people out-migrated to Cleveland, Barberton, Akron, Lorain, and Elyria. I do believe you were part of the sandwich generation, the first to speak the new language of the foreign language blends.)

You're right the language had to change so people didn't know where people came from,  you know, so that you could fit in with the crowd. Ha Ha.   (I imagine no one wished to be known as an outsider, especially during the times of the Great Coal Mine Wars. ) To be associated with Appalachia you were classified as a dumb hillbilly and poverty stricken.  ( Our ancestors were used and abused for labor, wasn't it true that your dad and dad's dad did not get to go to high school but had to work in the coal mines instead? Isn't it sad to think that they did not get the same educational opportunities that children in other areas of the country did?)  

 I moved back to the Appalachian area in 1966 and no one could tell that I had been gone for 6 years.  I think this was due to my strong ties with the area.  I would come home every weekend to visit with family.  I'm very proud to be from this area and glad that I kept my hillbilly dialogue. 

 If northern people check out their genealogy they just might find that their great-grandparents and grandparents got their "bringin uppins" in Appalachia.   I really enjoy the website.  Keep up the good work. 

Love Ya, Mom (Marlene Mitchell-past writer of the Nelsonville Tribune Murray City news column) (Thanks Mom, your opinion means a lot to me. Tracing our genealogy wouldn't have been as much fun without you as my companion tracking through all those cemeteries, libraries and court houses! Love you, ~Sandy)

Back to Athens County Resources

Copyright 1996-2007

All Rights Reserved

Sandra Quinn, for her website