Posted by Barney on April 20, 2000

In Reply to: Safety posted by ESC on April 20, 2000

: : : There are many sayings here in Appalachia which are quaint by today's standards. Many of these archaic expressions are disappearing forever although once in general usage. Some of them are crude, some are politically incorrect. It is sad that we no longer can say what we mean, or that we no longer can say things in a benign way which are so precise but someone will take offense. I am Appalachian but I don't necessarily take offense at "hillbilly" references. I am part American Indian but the sterotypical indian stuff doesn't bother me. My saying---As safe as if you were in Abraham"s back pocket and him fixin' to sit down. Abraham in the Bible (Abraham's bosom) There are so many more!

: : It strikes me that some of the older phrases which have fallen into disuse fail the short sharp snappy test. They require all your attention and a great deal of local, or ethnic, knowledge to be fully appreciated. So let's record them in a great big book or website, lest they get lost, and savour them in our old age when we have more time and the experience of a lifetime to allow us to extract the richness of the phrase. What am I saying? I'm only 23 years of age and hope to live a long time yet so it's over to all you older folks who have this knowledge; just pour it into print or some other accessible repository. Don't let it die with you.

: : Barney

: There are a few sites online that have "Appalachian" sayings. I'll post those in a bit. RE: Indian ancestory. I would guess that most of us with "old" families in the mountain regions are part Indian. None of my family registered on the rolls, so I can't officially claim Cherokee blood. All I can offer as proof is my granddad's cheekbones and some family stories.

We can trace our family history back to the 12th century and find that many marrying into the family were blood related: cousins marrying cousins or second cousins, that sort of thing. It's amazing how many parents shared a common great grandfather.

All this means that I can't rightly claim any of those exotic blood lines of which it seems we should all now be proud. I've just got a kind of column of ancestors that reaches back in an unbroken line to 1178. At that time the records become flaky but there is some evidence that the family roots go back to Lincoln, England where, in 973AD, there is evidence they controlled several villages and collected taxes for the local lord of the manor.

Strangely, family history such as mine is now sneered at by many and we're considered inbred morons, by inference if not in fact. Much better to have Cherokee blood, however acquired, a couple of unburied cheekbones and a dollop of warm, fuzzy, verbal family history.