Wednesday, May 23, 2007

East Tennessee Dialect

I have now lived in Knoxville for a year. Crazy, I know. It really doesn't seem like it's been that long. Anyways, since living here and working in rural counties, I have noticed some interesting things in regards to how people talk around here:

1. The use of the word "the"
ex. "She had the head lice so I couldn't send her to school."

2. Around here you don't "skip" school or work, but instead, "lay out."
ex. "They were caught laying out of school last Thursday."

3. The use of the word "done"
ex. "I done caught them laying out of school last Thursday."

4. The use of the term "the law" instead of "police" or "cops"
ex. "We done come down the mountain and were at their house just talking in the yard and the law showed up!"

All of these are pretty prevalent and I don't think I've noticed them anywhere else I've lived except for around here. I'm sure there are more, but I can't remember them right now or they aren't used as much.


shadylady said...

I love various dialects! The favorite class I took in college was Introduction to Linguistics. I almost changed my major because of it. There are various websites devoted to dialectical differences.

I could swear I've heard something similar to one of those you listed...instead of "the head lice" about "der hear lice"!

Melissa said...

lol! Yup, that sounds like the South. I miss NC.

Anonymous said...

How about the terms "might could"for I will and "carry" instead of going to. Example: when asked if you would go to the general store and get some milk, your reply would be. "I might could carry myself to the store and fetch some milk." To which a reply, because the person dosen't want to give you a ride. "The store is just yonder"( meaning near and I'm too lazy to get off the poarch and give you a ride).

shadylady said...

Well I swanny! I incorporated "might could" into my my personal dialect years that phrase! First learned it in North Carolina, then heard it used frequently here in Texas.


You do realize most of the settlers that came to this region were the Scotch-Irish? Many of the expressions heard throughout this region can be traced to the days of Queen Elizabeth I. Some of the words and the way they were spoken by my ancestors would be considered Elizabethan English with a Scottish and Irish flavor sprinkled in. Some of these can be found in the works of great English authors such as Shakespeare, Alfred and Chaucer. Many of these expressions and words can be heard throughout the region today. I am very proud of my Irish ancestry and the dialect handed down to me from generation to generation.

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