Monday, April 9, 2012

A-Z Challenge - H is for Hit and Holler

So, we live in a holler. Sometimes we holler in the holler. But mostly we're back in a holler. What's a holler? Well, I think the technical definition is a valley off of a main road that you have to wind to get to, often surrounded on three sides by natural boundaries, like mountains, or rivers, or creeks. When people ask, "Where do you live?", I actually describe the road, the turn-off, and then, for real, I say "Back in the holler on the river side."

Now hit. Hit's another story.

This is actually me, about age 2. Ain't hit sweet.
I had gone to see about some insurance. The place I went was a trailer on the main road in town. I waited on one side of a chipboard partition and finally the woman insurance salesperson could see me. We talked about insurance. I filled out forms and I commented on the photo of a toddler behind her desk.

Me: Is that your grandchild?
Insurance Lady: Why lord, yes. Ain't hit sweet.
Me: Hit?
Insurance Lady: Yes, hit's spoiled rotten, going on near five now, that sweet little thing we just love hit to death.

Now where I grew up, young children were Johnny or Becky or Suzie Q but never were they to be Hit. Here, it's a whole 'nother ball of wax.

In Wikipedia under the definition of Appalachian English (yes, there is such a heading) it says below the phonemic incidence heading:

H retention occurs at the beginning of certain words. It, in particular, is pronounced hit at the beginning of a sentence and also when emphasized. The word "ain't" is pronounced hain't.[11]

There are so many things I love about this area, but I must admit, calling your children "Hit" is just one I've never gotten used to. 

So, do you "hit" your children or just call them by name?


25 comments:

  1. So, would that be the same as saying "isn't it sweet?" like calling your child 'it"? I would find that strange in itself.

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  2. Will the next poster let me know of my word verification is off? I check it periodically and everytime I do it says yes to the "show verification" and I have to switch it again. Don't know if it switches to default the minute you pop into settings or not.

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  3. Maybe because there's only one - I call my son something different just about every time I address him. Sometimes it's "Son" sometimes it's "Sonny sunshine" sometimes its' "Sonny sunshine son-boy"
    Sometimes it's even "Sonny Bunny". I didn't notice I was doing this until my little niece asked with a giggle if I ever called him by his real name.

    And word verification seems to be off!

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  4. Jaye, I'm loving your stories. When is the book coming out? I can't wait to read "hit". :)

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  5. Wow. I'm not familiar with that "hit" term but it makes me think of a variation of and an English (as in from England) dialect. =D

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  6. So really she was calling her grandchild "it"? Hehe:) I love it! Keep these stories coming! I love em':)

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  7. I must say I'm more that aware of the "hit" vs "it" pronunciation- while we don't get down on the Appalachin speak so much over here in Eastern NC, we have our share of... Southern speakin'.

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  8. This whole thing is awesome. I want to live in a holler too but I don't want to call my kids hits. :-) They're names will do.

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  9. I've never heard of calling your child "'it." Funny!

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  10. Ha! Mostly I call my girlie by name. :) This post made me smile which, on a Monday morning, is a great feat!

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  11. I would love to holler in a holler! thanks for visiting me.
    dreamweaver

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  12. LOL That's a pretty funny story about Hit and Holler. Never knew holler could be defined like that.

    Sonia Lal, A to Z challenge

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  13. I love the variations in English....

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  14. How odd to call your child Hit. That's just not normal.

    You were a cute child. Love the word holler.

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  15. Great post! I'm ready to read your book if you can make me enjoy reading about insurance! ;)
    Stopping by from A to Z challenge #893
    Leigh @oneandoneequalstwinfun.com

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  16. Y'all are the best! Thanks everybody for stopping in.

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  17. Hit is even more strange than spotted dick, LOL! I have no idea what it is by the way. It says sponge pudding on the can - what the heck sponge pudding might be is just as much of a mystery!

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  18. you threw me with the opposite direction your post went!
    i thought you were going to say how kids hit each other then holler for attention =)

    hit is just strange to call a kid!

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  19. It's interesting to read about different slang phrases. To an outsider, hit's mighty strange. ;)

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  20. Dialects are crazy, hain't they?

    We had hollers in Illinois; usually they were pretty remote. The folks that lived there didn't come into town that often.

    I am enjoying your posts!

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  21. This is hilarious! "Hain't hit a great kid?" Grinning hear to hear (oops). Love that usage of holler, too. Is that also specific to the Appalachian region?

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  22. Hisn't this a cute article. I tell you I love hit; a very hintriguing article. I'm just A to Z-ing it. Have a great week.

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  23. Super interesting post - regional dialect varies so much!

    Stopping by for A to Z, good luck with the challenge!

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Hey, do you ever wonder why they call it 'your two cents?'