One Old Stripper, An Old Churne, and Hanovers: Irish and Other Dialect in Blue Ridge Mountain Vocabulary

Jack W. Weaver

In the whimsical view of Samuel Johnson, a lexicographer may be defined as 'a harmless drudge'. Since one who collects and disseminates groups of words indicates something about the culture he purports to represent, as well as himself or herself, however, the word 'harmless' cannot be totally accurate. Even ignoring the concept of political correctness, what one assumes to be the truth, whole truth, and nothing but the truth may simply be a bias or a series of biases. Still, while one may describe efforts in lexicography as labors of love, there is less doubt that some drudgery is involved. For me, that drudgery appears in the act of writing, which also demonstrates my point of view. Even when I remind myself to avoid what one historian calls 'historians' fallacies'(1) (one of which is to select and make use of only the evidence that supports one's own case), I may well be guilty of doing so. But isn't everyone? Perhaps all Irish, Scots, Scots-Irish/Scotch-Irish, Welsh, and Border English should simply adopt, as working philosophy, the old Protestant revival hymn's opening line, 'Just As I Am, Without One Plea', and go on from there. In this spirit, I am pleased to offer a brief essay in honor of Ulster linguist R. J. Gregg. While he used the term Scotch-Irish in a strict linguistic sense to refer to a speaker of the Ulster-Scots dialect represented most heavily in Antrim and Down,(2) and I must use it in the American sense of any emigrant from Ulster to the North American colonies, both of us use language as a means of making our points. His effort is the more rigorous, while mine, lexical/cultural only, represents the older approach. In an appendix, American historian James G. Leyburn traces Scotch-Irish to Elizabeth I and her state papers.(3) Therein she applied it to the McDonalds/O'Donnells because they could elude her troops by skipping from the western isles of Scotland (outside her dominion) to Ulster and back. Histories of Clan Donald, which held the 'Lordship of the Isles', support her claim. If we ignore the concept of the Dalriada, what do we do with a Highland clan which connected western Scotland to northern Ireland? Gregg was correct in identifying the Ulster-Scots dialect with the Scottish Lowlands, but that is only one of several dialects and accents present in old Ulster. These include, as identified by one scholar or another, Ulster English (for the Gaeltacht areas of Donegal), Mid-Ulster English (especially in Fermanagh and Tyrone), Irish-English (especially in South Ulster), and a variety that approaches Received Pronunciation (especially among the landed gentry), as well as Ulster-Scots in Antrim and Down.(4) In fact, Ulster has more and more varied dialects than any other area of the British Isles! Whether one relates these to 'cultural traditions in Northern Ireland', as did a series of conferences in 1989, 1990 and 1996, sponsored by the Queen's University Institute of Irish Studies and the Cultural Traditions Groups, or 'styles of belonging' (1991), there are diverse cultures (i.e. Irish, Scottish, English, and Continental European) to be found which parallel the dialects and surely were reflected in the emigrants to North America whom Americans call 'Scotch-Irish'.(5) As nearly as I can judge, our Scotch-Irish also included individuals of Irish, Scottish, English, and Continental European origin. Because of this mix, I prefer to think of my part of America more as Caesar Salad than as melting pot.

I must indicate clearly that my knowledge of dialect was arrived at by growing up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Ashe County, North Carolina, not by specializing in linguistics. In furthering that knowledge, I have consulted lexical archival collections in Northern Ireland and Eire, in Yorkshire, at the offices of the Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) in Madison, Wisconsin, and various other libraries, as well as representative dictionaries and selected published word lists. The first two phrases in my title are drawn from the collection of Quaker wills and inventories at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and are a reminder to me of the ways in which early American material culture duplicates that of 18th-century Ireland.(6) As far as I can judge, both also duplicate much that is merely rural British and is extant in museums in Scotland, Wales, and at least six counties of northern England. While there are individual differences in vocabulary from region to region, that which relates to tools, planting and harvesting, and rural superstitions is largely the same. In North America, I have found it in the Atlantic Provinces of Canada (i.e. Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island), as well as my part of Appalachia. Though our respective geographic areas have some lexical differences, I have seen it also in a dictionary of southern Appalachian English(7) and in the numerous articles of Montgomery on Scotch-Irish linguistics and vocabulary.(8) While it is linguistically correct to define this collective dialect (i.e. the shared dialect of these New World varieties) as Hiberno-English, the culture which furnished the vocabulary could just as accurately be called rural Celtic, rural British, or simply vernacular. As Ulsterman James Fenton and I have independently concluded, it is the horse/oxen/mules-with-harness-collars-yokes-sleds-and-plows culture we are speaking of. It began to disappear with the dominance of tractor and combine after World War II, but is still remembered by those of us born before 1940. Fenton's 'hamely tongue' from rural north Antrim is often my tongue too, differing only in his larger number of pure Scots expressions.(9) And, as the rest of my title suggests, the Blue Ridge Mountain culture had settlers other than from Ulster. A number of these were German and, while they anglicized their names and otherwise joined in the stronger culture, they also left evidence of their roots. As with my Weavers, some may have been Flemish (from Flanders, Belgium). It is interesting to note that the name Fleming, Gaelicized as Pleamonn, can be associated with Slane as early as the 12th century and is now common in all four provinces in Ireland.(10) Apparently not only 17th-century Huguenots entered Ireland to help with the manufacturing of textiles.

According to information on vernacular architecture in writings of Henry Glassie, the house I grew up in had a 'simplified Georgian roofline (i.e. four triangles coming to an apex at the roof's center)'.(11) My father told me it was designed and built by our cousin Ransom Johnson. His surname goes back to the village of St. Johnstown in Donegal and possibly Clan MacFarlane of Iona, if not Clan Johnstone on the Scottish Border. Given the European roof-line, Johnson must have learned his carpentry from Germans in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where his family settled. Because of Bauers, Shoafs, and Liddles in Ashe County, however, one of our villages was called Little Berlin, until World War I made German names unpopular. At that time, it was rechristened Bina(h), a name I have traced to the Jewish Kabbala(h), and seen otherwise used as a given name for women of the mountains. I found it as a character's name in a story by the Irish writer Mary Lavin and learned it was also the name of one of her neighbors in Boston.(12) Unless it appears, as well, in W. B. Yeats's writings about the Irish Kabbala, the Order of the Golden Dawn, I would be surprised if it has any other Irish connection.

More German is our Ashe County, N.C., habit of referring to rutabagas as Hanovers. While some readers may not recognize the term, it is listed in DARE with citations from 1942 on.(13) It is obviously much older than that in its American presence. Identification of this vegetable with a German locale was explained in two ways by a colleague of mine who consulted relatives in Germany to support her recollections.(14) In the first, the word was used as a town joke against country people, i.e. the accusation that those from Hanover or Hannover had heads shaped like turnips or rutabagas. The second identified the vegetable with the Hanover Rhinos, the fine horses, who would be spoiled by being fed this vegetable. I have found no evidence of either connotation in my American sources, but such might have been lost with time. Lexicography is not an exact science, especially when one deals with oral materials. Since the term is known to a number of Ashe Country families, however, I suspect it was used for some time and became a staple of the local culture. In this respect, it parallels a German word which permeates U.S. culture as a whole — the word doodle in our song 'Yankee Doodle'. In strictest definition, it means a poor musician, one who plays out of tune, and, thus in context, one who is out of tune with his surroundings. The Yankee Doodle is a country bumpkin and one who is being laughed at for his rusticity by the more sophisticated British.

Because most of the settlers in the North Carolina Blue Ridge mountains came from Pennsylvania by way of Virginia, ours is a younger, more derivative culture than that of either of those states. I am told that the Blue Ridge mountain culture of northern Virginia is more German than Scotch-Irish, but this is only second-hand information. It has been common to say that the Scotch-Irish learned to fight the Shawnees and Cherokees in northern Virginia, spent a generation there growing crops and raising families, and then came up (i.e. south in) the Shenandoah Valley. This probably oversimplifies. It is more true to note that the northern Blue Ridge chain was settled before the southern and, more than likely, the North Carolina Blue Ridge were settled before the Smoky Mountains were. The latter had to await pacification of the Cherokees before Scotch-Irish and others could move in. The difference is about forty years, or a generation, though the Scotch-Irish culture would dominate both areas. With words added or lost, some changes in vocabulary occurred. The Irish word dornog 'stone for throwing', also rendered as dornick, dernick, and donnick 'a brick or brickbat', was commonly used in Pennsylvania, according to DARE, but also can be traced through West Virginia and Kentucky. If it appears in either Carolina or Tennessee (and one of Montgomery's consultants attested it for western North Carolina), it must have had minimal usage. The fact of time equaling geography may be reflected in another example. Allowing for changes in pronunciation, note the difference in the form of the following word. Fenton's Hamely Tongue (HT) identifies an Ulster expression, peely-wally, which is echoic/imitative of Scots palie (see also the Concise Scots Dictionary (CSD) and the Concise Ulster Dictionary (CUD)).(15) The Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English (DSME) and DARE identify the American version as pindling.(16) My Blue Ridge informant, Virginia Lewis Weaver, used peedly 'pale, anemic'. Since either peely-wally or palie can be pronounced peely, peedly is closer to the original than is pindling. The surname Lewis is from Ulster and the Scottish isle by the name, so we may have a direct family transmission in this example. In most other cases there is considerable agreement between the Blue Ridge and the Smokies.

Another term, slob 'mud' (therefore 'disorderly', from Hiberno-English), appears in CUD but not CSD and is designated informal by the American Heritage Dictionary (AHD). Smithereens 'small bits' (from Gaelic) also appears in CUD but not CSD and is designated by AHD as informal. Not present in the Blue Ridge but to be found in Newfoundland are the more obscure boneen 'young pig', bostoon 'clumsy fellow', and caubeen 'hat'.(17) Both galore and smithereens were used in the Blue Ridge Mountains in my time. So was slob 'a messy person', possibly derived from the earlier sense 'mud', but not necessarily another Newfoundland term, floating ice. Of two dozen other Newfoundland expressions, only What book are you in? 'What is your grade in school?' is one I am familiar with. It is found in HT, but not the CSD or CUD. The Dictionary of Hiberno-English contains some 130 listings I recognize, but the Irish influence on American English needs much further work.(18)

For lexical purposes, just how does Anglo-Irish differ from Hiberno-English? Items from the old dialect of Forth and Bargy in county Wexford, a variety that survived into the 18th century from a 12th- or 13th-century English settlement, may furnish guidance for Americans.(19) They include a number of English words, phrases and pronunciations which I knew in the Blue Ridge Mountains and Montgomery encountered in his study of the Smoky Mountains, but which seem to have vanished from major British sources. Here I can furnish only representative examples: beasthes (pronounced 'beast-es' in the mountains) for 'beasts', a pronunciation not recognized by CSD, CUD, HT, or the AHD; bile 'boil', in the EDD, CUD, CSD, and HT; brover 'brother', not in British sources but a non-standard American pronunciation (AHD); cote 'quote', not in British sources but a non-standard American usage; coome (from Middle English cuman 'to come', not identified in this sense by British sources); faut 'fault', in CSD, CUD and DARE; keow 'cow' (from palatization of vowels), probably from old Scots, but a non-standard American usage not in CSD or CUD; naatur 'nature', in CSD and DARE as a variant of nature and non-standard American; neel 'needle', not in CSD or CUD, but probably old Scots; pint, not in CUD, but CSD offers it as alternative to point; vice, which CSD offers as a variant to voice; waal 'well', which CUD identifies as Scots, and northern and western English; yowe 'ewe', which CUD identifies as pronunciations in Southern Britain and in Ulster; and yullow 'yellow', a form not found in Irish or Scots sources. Because some of these, or words similar to them, appear also in Ulster dialect collections, does this mean that the expressions came to North America directly from Wessex, England, from Wexford, Ireland, or from the Belfast area? Since the largest number of 18th-century settlers, the initial source for the Blue Ridge, came from Ulster, logic dictates the Belfast roots. However, some ships originated in Ulster and apparently stopped at Dublin, Waterford, or Cork to take on final provisions and possibly to add passengers. The Bartons of Rock Hill, South Carolina, may be one such family which took advantage of this opportunity, as did the Lane/Laney family from Cork, which was in North Carolina before 1775. On the other hand, one must remember that there were Ulster English settlers in Londonderry, Armagh city, parts of Antrim, and Downpatrick. In fact, settlement maps for several of these designate an Irish street, a Scotch [sic] street, and an English street. Given these facts, it is unlikely that all Scotch-Irish who came to the American colonies were of just Scottish extraction. Because of the mix and for Americans, the term Anglo-Irish could easily be construed as a branch of Hiberno English.

Some usages in Ireland had an origin in England, especially pronunciations: varmint 'vermin', stim 'stem (of a pipe)', venter 'venture', pikter 'picture', apern 'apron', axe 'ask', nummer 'number', orphants 'orphans', clifts 'cliffs', huntin', shootin', and fishin'.(20) These word forms and others, such as lep (a past-tense form of leap), driv, and catched are not uncommon in the Blue Ridge Mountains today.(21) An older sister also remembers one example Braidwood does not include: our maternal grandmother, Laura Campbell Elliott, used the word spore as the past tense of spare. With such examples, it would seem that early American linguists who labeled mountain speech as Elizabethan were not totally wrong, just wrong in not knowing that most of it came by way of Ireland.

Braidwood also suggests a Yorkshire connection for some of his expressions, and these could have come to the American colonies by way of Ireland, too, though it is likely we had emigrants directly from Yorkshire as well. According to the curator of the Downpatrick Museum, all Turners originated in Yorkshire.(22) A considerable number ended up in southwest Virginia and northwest North Carolina, where their descendents still live. Two Turner brothers married Campbell sisters and became part of my ancestry. Some expressions I know are documented in Yorkshire, but I do not find them in Scots and Irish sources: balk 'unplowed land beside that plowed', jay legged 'knocked kneed' (compare Blue Ridge mountain jake leg, a likely corruption of jay legged, from the shape of the bird's legs), stob 'sharpened piece of wood', whittle 'a knife, especially a pocket knife' (thus to carve pieces of wood with one), and queer (or tight) as Dick's hatband (a comparative whose origin is unknown).(23) Others such as yonder 'over there' are still common in Ireland and North America.

Perhaps by now I should feel like Moliere's hero M. Jourdain of Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, who discovered in his mid years that he had been speaking prose all of his life. Have I now proved what some never doubted, that Blue Ridge Mountain speech came primarily from Ireland but also had roots in parts of Britain, too? I suspect that not only the Blue Ridge Mountains had a culture that was well mixed. For an initial collection of some 400 words and phrases compiled entirely from Irish archives in 1994, I was able to clearly identify sources for 120. Of these, forty were native to Ireland, forty to Scotland, and forty to England. Of course, this collection depended upon my recognizing the words and phrases the Irish had used and this is not the most scientific of procedures. On the other hand, I did qualify as moderately experienced, in that I came from the culture I was trying to describe. I also collated my findings with a number of American lists and checked all with Carolinians at least twenty years older than I. Even if my results are labeled impressionistic, they appear to parallel conclusions I have also arrived at about Ulster settlements.

In an attempt to achieve some validation for my collections, I worked in the Folklife Collection at University College Dublin (now at Belfield), the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum in county Down and the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland in Belfast, and visited Hezlett House in county Londonderry. In all parts of Ireland, I found records of the same tools and farming customs I had known from the Blue Ridge Mountains. Usually the Irish and Southern American names were the same, too. Suspecting a possible 'politics of commemoration',(24) I turned to a comparable American source, Joseph Doddridge's Notes on Settlement and Indian Wars of the Western Parts of Virginia ... 1763-83.(25) As well as similarities, there were some interesting differences. In the Ballyhagan Inventories (Quaker wills and registers at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland), residents of the Ballyhagan communities in county Armagh mention no firearms and, despite the numbers of other kinds of livestock, Quaker documents make no mention of pigs or chickens.(26) Might these be construed as female possessions and not suitable to be mentioned in property lists of males? Inventories do list flat irons, household linens, and other objects associated with females, if not necessarily their legal possessions. Again, and despite the presence of many horses, cows and sheep, Quakers seem to have had few scythes, flails and rakes. Did bovine animals have to survive on potatoes, too? These disagreements with my mountain culture are noteworthy.

Hezlett House did contain and Quaker inventories did mention numerous objects I grew up with: wash stands, bedsteads, goose-irons, dash churns, butter prints and pats, pot handles, washboards, shoemakers' lasts, chill plows, whipple trees, double trees and single trees (properly, swingle trees), sickles, scythes, rakes, pitchforks, crosscut saws, wedges, froes and hammers. A typical inventory also specified oak and rush chairs, ladles, warming pans, pastry pans, lanterns, brass candlesticks, tubs, noggins, cans, wheeled cars, wheel barrows, a grinding stone, cheese press, a spade, shovels, oak chests, iron pots, a cradle, bolster, harrow, plows, men's and women's saddles, chisels, and an auger. The Quakers lived well, however, in the 18th century, and I knew these items only from the 20th. As Doddridge notes, in colonial America bowls and trenchers would have been carved from the abundant trees and used in early mountain cabins for eating. In tanning leather, mountain people used ashes, instead of lime, to take hair off the skins they used for shoes and clothing, and, instead of fish oil for softening, they used bear grease, hog lard and beef tallow. In both countries, plants and shrubs furnished medicines, as did vegetables and spices such as anise, cucumbers, garlic, onions, radishes, plantain, and turnips. A cure for burns, for example, was a poultice made of scraped potatoes, roasted turnips, or slippery elm bark. Potatoes, onions, or whisky and sugar were used to aid sufferers from croup. Born in 1932 and a farm child plagued by croup, I had to endure some of these practices. My father, born in 1892, wore an asafetida (pronounced asofetidy) bag to ward off colds and had to take a spring tonic of sulphur and molasses to help thin blood presumed to have thickened by winter inactivity. Comparable superstitions were present in Ireland and the rest of Appalachia, too, if not all of Eastern Canada.

Many speech patterns are shared between Ulster and the Smoky Mountains, a sister chain for the Blue Ridge.(27) These include double helping verbs as might could, quite common in the Blue Ridge, the pronoun combination you-uns 'you ones' (i.e. 'you' plural), and such vocabulary as airish, backset, beal/bealing, bonny clabber, bottom 'low-lying land', chancy, contrary 'to vex', creel 'to twist or give way' (is this the same as Blue Ridge keel over?), discomfit 'to inconvenience', fireboard 'mantelpiece', hull 'to shell (beans)', ill 'bad-tempered', kindling 'wood scraps to start a fire', let on 'to pretend', mend 'to improve physically', muley 'hornless cow', nicker 'horse's whinny', palings 'pickets (of a fence)', piece 'distance', redd up 'to tidy up', soon 'early', swan/swanny 'mild swear words', and take up 'to begin'. All of these but bonny clabber, redd up, and perhaps creel are also common to the Blue Ridge. Muley, noted earlier, is from Irish moiley 'a hornless cow' and Scottish Gaelic mull 'bald or tonsured' (noun or adjective) and still survives in place names (e.g. Mull of Kintyre) and family names (Mulholland and Moloney).

One of the most important archival collections in Northern Ireland is that of Belfast medical doctor John Byers, who began collecting words and phrases in the 1880s and ceased only in 1920.(28) Some entries are more suited to the culture of the U.S. tidewater than the mountains, and African American culture more than white, however. For the latter, the present tense usage of be in the construction Hurry before it bes dark is identified by Byers as Ulster speech and could just as easily be American Ebonics (i.e. African American English). Byers also lists forms which appear in American mountain speech: afeared 'scared' and ahind 'behind', as well as words common to most southeast American dialects: favor 'to look like', gumption 'common sense', egged on 'urged', gander 'to take a look at', abide 'to endure, put up with', gadding about 'wandering aimlessly', and spanking new 'brand new' (probably derived from delivery of an infant). A new Ulster word for me was juke or duke, but it is much used by U.S. sportscasters to describe the evasive actions of basketball or football players, who feint one way and go the other. I don't recall seeing or hearing it in any other context.

A number of Byers' words and phrases also were changed in America, if my ear has recorded them correctly. His dressed to the ninety-nines became dressed to the nines in American simplification. His neither money, marvels, nor check became neither money, marbles, nor chalk in my lifetime and appeared so stated in a country song. Truckle under became Southern America's knuckle under, with a possible suggestion of force or constraint. Irish hilt nor hair became hide nor hair, clever 'open and honest', became 'thrifty' and 'successful' in mountain parlance. Founder, a bad effect of influenza in humans, became bovine indigestion from eating too much early Spring grass, and cow's lick 'a widow's peak', became any lock of hair which insisted on lying the wrong way. Such lexical changes are inevitable and probably say more about current users than those who used them first.

Byers furnishes an even longer list of words that may be different only because of pronunciations, if Ulster spelling accurately signals that difference. Phrases such as hum and ha (our hem and haw) and debbling (our dabbling) may not be different.(29) Ulster pronunciations make a cat say meow instead of the English mew and a female sheep be a yow instead of a ewe. The Ulsterman also drops the -d in words such as blind and the -t in words such as respect. Like American mountaineers, also, he sometimes makes a single-syllable word into two (car becomes cy-ar) or he reduces two syllables to one (tower becomes tare). Probably many apparent lexical differences could be detected by secretly recording the everyday speech of Appalachia and that of rural Ulster and comparing them.

The work of Brendan Adams furnishes other words and phrases I am familiar with.(30) These include bat to mean not only a wooden object, a flying mammal, or an old woman, but also 'a mentally unbalanced person'. In a notable article, he furnishes examples of haymaking language largely differing from what I knew from the horse and sled culture of the Blue Ridge Mountains, though the practice was precisely the same.(31) Of interest might be terms such as buggies 'a low vehicle for moving hay', handsticks (perhaps equivalent to our haypoles, a means for carrying hay from place to place), win (our winnowing 'tossing the hay so that it could air-dry'), and needle. The last, an iron bar pushed under a pile of hay with rope attachments to draw a hay-heap to a storage place, looks like a possible origin for the American expression, needle in a haystack. Another expression, snig, has been lost totally, but the practice was duplicated: i.e. the drawing of a hay-heap along the ground by passing a tow-rope, wire or chain around its base and attaching it to a horse or tractor. What Adams does is furnish documentary evidence for what Estyn Evans offered as pronouncements, but both can shed light upon the Irishness of my mountain culture.(32)

As may be surmised, many things British which were lexical, linguistic, or merely cultural can clarify early American culture, but the Irish sources tend to repeat each other. The work of Braidwood shows knowledge of Adams' writing, as well as that of Evans, and no doubt is even more indebted to the John Byers collection. In speaking of the Ulster-American connection, he identifies granny 'midwife', sook/sookie 'a call for calves', I want in 'I want to get in', I want out 'I want to get out', and I want off' I want to get off'.(33) By now, most of these are probably just American dialect usages. It is possible even that some were lost in Ireland but brought back by disillusioned Irish emigrants from the America which made them unhappy.

The Concise Ulster Dictionary adds some words also found in others. These include aish (in Ireland, probably the mountain ash or rowan tree), allow 'to be of the opinion that', beholden 'indebted to', boot (from Scots buit 'money given to equalize a trade'), brachin/breachin ('straw pad protecting a horse or donkey's back'; in the U.S. 'the leather straps of a harness from the collar to the horse's tail'), crupper (Irish 'hind-end of a horse'; in the U.S. 'the leather strap which goes under the horse's tail'), disremember 'forget', and many others. The CUD also omitted terms which the editor found too common, producing what she felt to be just Ulster dialect. Her omitted terms include many prevalent in America, but all makers of dictionaries must decide what to omit as well as what to include.

Share has a few more terms that exist in Blue Ridge speech: hind tit (i.e. the one containing less milk, offered to the weakest or runt), rip ('slovenly dressed girl or coarse, ill-conditioned woman with a bad tongue'; in the Blue Ridge Mountains, 'a slut'), scrab/scraub/scrawb (from Dutch schrabban 'to scratch or scrape'; in the Blue Ridge, drabble 'to scratch for new potatoes'), white-headed boy 'pet, favorite' (based on the Celtic preference for fair hair; in the U.S. fair-haired boy?), and whyfor 'why' (as an intensifier).(34)

A glance at an English/Scottish Gaelic dictionary suggests that an important number of Scots words in the Blue Ridge were likely brought by Ulster emigrants, even as was any residue of Elizabethan English.(35) That dictionary, however, only offers some 40 words I recognize, and most of these are not unique to Scotland. Perhaps sluig 'to swallow' (in America, also a drink), pack/pac/poca 'sack' (in America, a poke), and crosda (from Nas Crosda, 'cross, bad-tempered') are the most interesting to me.

As one can see, Blue Ridge Mountain dialect is eclectic, a combination of words from several languages and places, and not all of these words exist today in the form in which they were originally brought to the mountains. To paraphrase Bob Dylan's song-title, the times they have changed. I assume I have also, so I must content myself with this progress report in honor of R. J. Gregg. Perhaps someone else can update it sometime in the future.


(1) Fischer, David Hackett, Historians' Fallacies (New York, 1970).

(2) See, inter alia, his 'The Scotch-Irish Dialect Boundaries in Ulster' in Wakelin, Martyn F. (ed.), Patterns in the Folk Speech of the British Isles (London, 1972), 109-139.

(3) Leyburn, James G., The Scotch-Irish: A Social History (Chapel Hill, 1962), 329.

(4) See especially Barry, Michael V., 'Historical Introduction to the Dialects of Ulster' in Macafee, C. I. (ed.), Concise Ulster Dictionary (Oxford, 1996) and entries in McArthur, Tom (ed.), The Oxford Companion to the English Language (Oxford, 1992).

(5) Lundy, Jean, and Aodán Mac Póilin (eds.), Styles of Belonging: The Cultural Traditions of Ulster (Belfast, 1993); Crozier, Maurna (ed.), Cultural Traditions in Northern Ireland: Varieties of Irishness (Belfast, 1989) and subsequent volumes.

(6) Gailey, Alan, 'The Ballyhagan Inventories, 1716-1740', Folk Life: A Journal of Ethnological Studies 15 (1977), 36-64.

(7) Montgomery, Michael, and Joseph S. Hall (eds.), Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English (Knoxville, 2004).

(8) Montgomery, Michael, 'Exploring the Roots of Appalachian English', English World-Wide 10 (1989), 227-78; 'How Scotch-Irish Is Your English?' Journal of East Tennessee History 67 (1995), 1-33; 'The Scotch-Irish Influence on Appalachian English: How Broad? How Deep?' in Blethen, H. Tyler, and Curtis W. Wood Jr. (eds.), Ulster and North America: Transatlantic Perspectives on the Scotch-Irish (Tuscaloosa, 1997), 189-212.

(9) Fenton, James, The Hamely Tongue: A Personal Record of Ulster-Scots in County Antrim, 2nd ed. (Belfast, 2000).

(10) MacLysaght, Edward, Surnames of Ireland (Dublin, 1978).

(11) Glassie, Henry, Pattern in the Material Folk Culture of the Eastern United States (Philadelphia, 1968), 111.

(12) Lavin, Mary, personal communication, 1978.

(13) Cassidy, Frederic G., and Joan Houston Hall (eds.), Dictionary of American Regional English, volume 3 (Cambridge, 1996).

(14) Heinemann, Barbara, personal communication, 1994.

(15) Robinson, Mairi, et al. (eds.), Concise Scots Dictionary (Aberdeen, 1985); Macafee, op. cit.

(16) Montgomery and Hall, op. cit.; Cassidy, Frederic G., and Joan Houston Hall (eds.), Dictionary of American Regional English, volume 4 (Cambridge, 2002).

(17) Kirwin, William J., 'The Planting of Anglo-Irish in Newfoundland', in Clarke, Sandra (ed.), Focus on Canada (Philadelphia, 1993), 65-84.

(18) Dolan, T. P. (ed.), Dictionary of Hiberno-English (Dublin, 1998).

(19) Dolan, T. P., and Diarmaid Ó Muirithe, The Dialect of Forth and Bargy Co. Wexford. Ireland (Dublin, 1996); Montgomery, Michael, 'The Celtic Element in American English', in Tristram, Hildegard (ed.), Celtic Englishes II (Heidelberg, 2000), 231-264.

(20) Braidwood, John, 'The Brogue On the Tongue (Poor English — Good Irish)', Queen's University Association Annual Record (1977), 72.

(21) Ibid.

(22) Turner, Brian, personal communication, 1988.

(23) Kellett, Arnold (ed.), Yorkshire Dictionary of Dialect, Tradition and Folklore (Otley, 1994).

(24) McCormack, W.J., in a speech at the Hewitt Summer School, 1998.

(25) Doddridge, Joseph, Notes on the Settlement and Indian Wars of the Western Parts of Virginia and Pennsylvania from 1763 to 1783 (Wellsville, 1824; expanded and reprinted, 1976).

(26) Gailey, Alan, personal communication, 1995.

(27) Montgomery, op. cit. (1995).

(28) This collection is deposited in the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Cultra, Northern Ireland.

(29) Russell, Charles, People and Language of Ulster (Belfast, 1910).

(30) Adams, G. B., The English Dialects of Ulster: An Anthology of Articles on Ulster Speech (Cultra, 1986).

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