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Talking Right: Mysterious phrases in Adair Co., KY speech

Adair Countian linguistics lesson for March 14, 2011: More on I don't care to do that. Plus: Pertinear. Fer-off. Poke (the noun). Who has the accent. I reckon. Bottoms. And, The other side of the Holler
Print a copy of this lesson. These questions will be on the test. -CM

By Prof. George Rice

I have noticed that frequently questions are asked about certain phrases in our language.

I have no answer to the meaning of "I don't care to do that" but I've heard it all of my life and still can't define the definition.


But if the incomers stay here long - and we hope they will - they will hear more phrases that will make them scratch their heads.

I can remember as a lad that frequently people would mention pertinear or fer- off - meaning the opposite distances.

And sometimes pertinear would mean "almost."

A brown paper bag was a poke.When I was in the New England area those people said I had an accent. I thought it was they who had the accent.

When I would answer a question with I reckon I would have to re-explain myself.

Down in the bottoms was where the cows pastures were located, and the other side of the holler was where the dogs treed the possum (opossum).

B.J. Fudge or Shamarie will have to define the holler. -George Rice, Egypt, District 6, Adair Co., KY


This story was posted on 2011-03-14 06:26:50
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