Appalachia: The Pronunciation Matters

How do you pronounce Appalachia? Do you say Appa-LAY-shuh or do you say Appa-LATCH-uh?

Tomato, tomAHto, let’s call the whole thing off. Or not.

If you are from the Southern Appalachians then you, without a doubt, say Appa-LATCH-uh. If you say Appa-LAY-shuh you are not only identifying the mountain range but you are also announcing to all that you are not from there. You can say a lot in just one word. In my 35 years, I have not met one person from my precious Appalachia that says that they are from Appa-LAY-shuh. Not one.

However, when I travel I run in to folks who argue with me about the pronunciation. Usually the debate ends with, well, “this is the way we say it here.” Does it matter how people say it elsewhere? I feel that the pronunciation of the locals is persuasive in establishing the correct pronunciation. Yet, many folks (probably those holding on to the nonsense stereotypes that all of us are shoeless, toothless, and uneducated) think that they know best, but there are many of us from those mountains who know better.

I was recently introduced to what I believe is the best way to explain why everyone should say “Appa-LATCH-uh.” Southern novelist Sharyn McCrumb says it best . . .

“Appa-LAY-shuh is the pronunciation of condescension, the pronunciation of the imperialists, the people who do not want to be associated with the place and the pronunciation Appa-LATCH-uh means that you are on the side that we trust.” Sharyn McCrumb.

87 thoughts on “Appalachia: The Pronunciation Matters

  1. Several years ago, while engaged in an educational consultancy in Appalachia, I was corrected on the pronunciation of Appalachia by a board member of the institution…”Say it right–it is like throwing an apple at cha.” This is one admonition I have never forgotten.

  2. As a fellow Southerner from NC let me add further validation to your claim. The most beautiful part of my state is the Appa-LATCH-uhn mountain range. If someone tells you they are headed to the Appa-LAY-shun mountains for a weekend, you immediately know they are a transplant (due to our state’s beauty and weather, we have many). Of interest, however, is that no one mispronounces the name of one of our state universities locate there…it is pronounced Appa-LATCH-uhn State by everyone…go figure.

  3. Well, I’m from Ohio but have lived in East TN for 15 years. I learned the “correct” way to pronounce it, from some friends in Ohio, before I even moved down here, and whenever I hear people pronounce it the “incorrect” way, it does have a fingernails-on-a-chalkboard kind of effect. AND YET, there is such thing as regional dialectical variation. And I get uneasy when I see people sorting others into the good and the bad — the sinners and the saved — based on their pronunciation of certain words. That’s actually the classic definition of a “shibboleth” (look that up on wikipedia). Johnny Cash pronounced it app a LAY sha. Is he a bad man? His wife was from Hiltons VA, but until the year he died, he pronounced it the “wrong” way. People in the Ohio-river valley region of Kentucky say it the “wrong” way. People in Central Appalachia–especially western PA–say it the “wrong” way. Are they condescending and colonizing? Not necessarily. Oh, and are Kentuckians wrong to say ver-SALES Kentucky, instead of ver-sigh (versailles). If some French person came to Versailles KY and started berating people for mispronouncing the name of their town, I wouldn’t like that person. Pronunciation varies, from region to region, –even family to family, within a region –and over time, and dialectical variation is a beautiful thing, not a sword we should use to divide ourselves from others. There’s a hint of linguistic despotism to McCrumb’s comments. Oh, also, what’s wrong with being a “transplant”? Are people bad because they migrate, either out of choice or necessity?

    • We get it. Sometimes I can look over how a person says something, and sometimes i really really care that they don’t try to choose the preferred pronunciation if there is a preferred. When we traveled as a kid, I tried to pronunce the way the locals said it, and I got corrected. But the only question I really see here is would I have corrected Johnny Cash. I love and loved him so much that I don’t even recall how he said the word. I’ll never forget seeing the Johnny Cash and June Carter Family at our local high school in the Appalachian area during Jonesborough Days when I was younger. Johnny Cash had a ticket from me to say it either way it pleased him.

    • Kevin, I hear where you’re coming from. I bristle a bit at the “right” vs “wrong” terminology as well. I appreciate that the preferred pronunciation is different in different parts of Appalachia. And I’m not from here either so I don’t like the implication that I’m bad for moving from my hometown.

      That said, let’s not miss the forest. The message here is, “I thought you might like to know that it’s hurtful when you insist on saying the name of my home that way.”

      When introducing myself, men with overly firm handshakes sometimes shorten my name. To me, it feels like an attempt to establish dominance. I could be wrong, but that’s how it feels. So I politely correct them. I don’t think it’s too much to ask that I be considered the expert on my name.

      • I agree, Kevin. The whole idea of correct versus non-correct pronunciation is nothing more than cultural elitism. I wrote a satirical piece about it a couple of years ago. Some people actually took it seriously and wanted to argue about it.
        You’re absolutely right about the too-firm handshake. It IS a way of trying to assert dominance over others, not just other men. More than once I’ve been nearly brought to me knees by some fool trying to establish his dominance. I’m 70 years old, that means I can get away with a lot that I wouldn’t have done when in my thirties. When I find myself in the grip of a too-firm handshake I push the person away and ask if they’re trying to break my hand. The custom of shaking hands isn’t about dominance, it’s about letting the other person know you aren’t carrying a weapon and aren’t a threat.

    • No, not bad if they migrate. We love our new friends. But they are not ‘from around here.’ Not a bad thing. Just a true thing. The greatest compliment a transplant an hear is ‘you’re one of us now.’ We don’t mean we are against those that aren’t. Just that it’s hard to be from somewhere when you were born somewhere else. Some transplants just take so well that it seems like they were born here. But we are a loving people, despite the stereotypes.

      • But you also can’t assume everyone has had the education to know what locals prefer. I understand the pronunciation, I agree with learning the way locals pronounce their hometowns and such, but don’t be unforgiving if people aren’t educated and don’t assume they are not showing respect, instead, understand they are showing ignorance. It is hard to admit to being ignorant and that is why people fight the way to say things. Instead of arguing or bringing it up as “they are wrong” tie in the reason it matters to yourself and allow them to show acceptance of your reason, instead of ignorance.

      • Oh, I agree and understand if people don’t know. The issue is when people refuse to accept or acknowledge the local pronunciation when shared with them.

    • “Oh, and are Kentuckians wrong to say ver-SALES Kentucky, instead of ver-sigh (versailles). If some French person came to Versailles KY and started berating people for mispronouncing the name of their town, I wouldn’t like that person.” I think you just answered your own question. It DOES matter to the natives how their region/towns are pronounced. It is polite and respectful to seek out and use the native pronounciations, and not just assume that you already know better. Just sayin’…

    • Well, the French actually say les Appalaches (appa-lash)… which is closer to the original Apalache/Apalatchin Mountains posts below…

      • There is no dialect in any native American language that I’ve ever heard, especially not Muskogean ones, that pronounces a “CH” consonant cluster with an “SH” sound. That is a French habit, not a native one.

        Furthermore, the term “Appalachian Mountains” is a fairly recent development, as they weren’t known as such until the late 1800s. They were named after Appalachia, referencing the cultural region, and prior to that were known by their regional names (Cumberlands, Alleghenies, etc.)

        This is what makes the “But people in Pennsylvania/Maryland/New York say it the other way and they live in the Appalachians” excuse especially obnoxious, as the mountain chain was named after the cultural area, which does not run the entire length of the mountain chain.

    • Let’s put it this way, if people mispronounce your name, don’t you correct them? People mispronounce my last name every once in a while even though it is pronounced phoneticallu as it is spell. It is as Sharon a signal that you do not know me.

      As for Johnny Cash, he wasn’t from around here and I am sure that June Carter had many issues on which she was trying to straighten him out on. That was just too far down her list.

  4. The mountains were named for a Native American tribe. The Apalache. That should tell everyone exactly how to pronounce the word. Think about the Apache tribe. Would you call them the “a pay she”? Plus, if you look at maps from 16th century the mountains are labeled and the word is spelled phonetically. Labeled as the Apalatchin Mountains….

    • What’s really funny is that if you ask someone how they’d pronounce “Apalachicola”, most all of them, including those who say Appalachia incorrectly, say it with the CH sound rather than the SH one… even though they’re rooted from the same word.

  5. It seems that the name transitions around the Maryland border. From that point north, the alternative pronunciation is local. I love my Southern Appalachians.

  6. I agree about respecting the way people name their places, but I think it’s narrow thing think of the Appalachian Mountains as a strictly southern range. The Appalachians (along with the eponymous Trail) run from Maine to Georgia.

    New England, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania have their own Appalachian identities and history, Can we really say a mountain range that stretches from the far northeast all the way to Georgia is a merely regional thing? Seems to me that seeks to diminish the shared history of much of the eastern seaboard, not just the southern end of it.

    That said, I learned happily to say it the southern way since living here, but I have no problem with my northern brethren who prefer their name for their own mountains too.

    • Exactly. I grew up in upstate New York, where we pronounced our part the “wrong” way. I’m not going to stop doing that. But now that I live in Kentucky, I have no problem pronouncing it the southern way… when I’m talking about the southern mountains.

    • There’s a simple reason for that: The Appalachian Mountains have only been called that for a little over 100 years, and they were named after the Appalachia cultural area… whose name had already been well-established, and which does not cover the length of the chain itself. If you were to ask a New Yorker about their “Appalachian heritage” a century ago, they’d have looked at you like you were crazy. They didn’t have “Appalachian Mountains”, they had the Adirondacks, and the Pennsylvanians had the Alleghenies. They did not consider their mountains to be part of one massive chain.

      So, to put it simply, while they may live in the Appalachians, they don’t live in Appalachia. Using the criteria you’re using, we’d have Canadians talking about their Appalachian heritage.

  7. Grew up in Florida as a 4th generation Floidian and we called it AppaLACHIcola so it seemed right for me to say I was going to the ApaLACHan mts.

  8. My theory is that this business began when Walter Cronkite began doing stories on Poverty in AP-PA-LAAAY-SHUH in the mid 1960s. First time I heard him say it that way (I was a teenager) I was stunned and instantly thought, “Have we been saying it wrong all this time?” Apparently a lot of Indigenous People had the same thought and began saying APPALAYSHUH because they didn’t want to be perceived as Ignorant Hillbillies. When one traces the word back to its origins, the Appalachee Indian tribe, the Spanish Conquistadors who heard about the tribe assumed that they inhabited a land beyond a rumored distant mountain range, which they then proceeded to call (and place on crude maps) the Appalachee Mountains. The Appalachees, by the way, lived nowhere near any mountains–merely northern Florida, but the Spaniards had no idea what topography or anything else lay in the interior they were determined to conquer and loot. Since the Appalachee Indians (as a direct or indirect result of said Spanish Conquistadors and their destructive ways, not to mention certain microbes) along with their language became extinct, there is no way to prove correct pronunciation of “Appalachian.” But “Ap-pa-latch-ion” is the way our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and every ancestor all the way back to the First Hillbilly pronounced it and that is the right damn way to say it. Any questions?

  9. Both of my parents were born and raised in Southeastern Kentucky and I never heard it call anything but Appa-LAY-shion Mountains. Clay and Laurel Counties. But……….we also warsh clothes, instead of wash clothes. Never-the-less, the clothes are clean.

    • I am from Appalacia – I guess I have been wrong all my life? I was born in 1956. Oh, well, old habits die hard.

  10. The App-uh-latch/e/an mountain was derived from the Native American tribe original called (by translation in 16th cen) Apalchen (Apal-chen) which was later changed to Apalachee (a-pə-latch-ē). The true pronunciation has been a matter of debate which they tried to settle it in the 1960’s but the scholars could not agree on the long “a” and short “a”. Adding the 4 vs 5 syllables makes it even more difficult so it continued being pronounced different ways according to regional and cultural dialect. In addition, another variant is brought into the mix when the “ch” is pronounced as a “sh” (18th cen. French immigrant influence in the north) when the Appalachian Trail Conference (in NY), founders/organizers in the early 20th century pronounced the Trail, the app-uh-lāy-shən trail.
    People in the north will also call the Mountains app-uh-lāy-shən but that’s not truly proper, I live in PA along the mountain and I will even agree to that. To be the most correct, we would all say… I was hiking on the App-uh-lāy-Shən Trail in the App-uh-Latch-ē-an/ App-uh-Latch-an Mountains.
    To ad insult to injury, the southern Appalachians can’t agree on the 2 different ways they say it either, App-uh-Latch-ē-an (derived from Native American tribe name) and App-uh-Latch-an, (derived from the areas known as Appalachia Ap-pa-Latch-uh)… so I added both.
    What is comes down to is, the people in the north hold true to their culture and the same goes for the mid-atlantic and southerners. Though it was once a smaller area, the Appalachian became a huge region encompassing many states and subcultures. There are histories associated with each pronunciation, and to say one is more correct than the other is erroneous. If scholars would agree to “one” correct way, our authoritative educational tools such as my Webster’s Dictionary for the Appalachian Mountains wouldn’t offer 6 pronunciations, but it does and they are: ( 5 syl) a-pə-lā-chē-ən, ˌa-pə-lā-shē-ən ˌa-pə-la-chē-ən, and (4 syl) a-pə-lā-chən, a-pə-lā-shən & a-pə-la-chən.
    As Michale W. said…. ” One should never have the arrogance to tell a local how to pronounce their location names. This just shows disrespect. Period.”

  11. I’m from Cabell County, West Virginia born and raised, and my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents have always pronounced it, “Appa-LAY-sha”, and so did my relatives on the other side of the river in Kentucky. So it’s a little bit frustrating to be told that I must be a “transplant”. Remember: there are more dialects in this region than you can shake a stick at…

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  13. I agree one doesn’t tell a local how to pronounce names. However, I grew up in the Appalachian mountains in central Pennsylvania and everyone pronounces it LAY. And believe me, no one in Clearfield PA is being condescending, because that would be above their raising.

  14. Thank you! I’m an Appalachian girl and always FELT this difference, even though no one explained it as well as you have here. Now I have a place to point folks when they doubt me.

  15. Pingback: App-uh-latch-uh | It is pretty.

  16. So glad to discover that I have always pronounced it correctly. I questioned myself once when, at a family reunion in my hometown in Kentucky, one of my husband’s cousins from Chicago asked what mountain range we were in. I told him “The App- latch-uns” and was quickly corrected by my husband’s aunt from Virginia. Maybe I should post this to her wall. Lol

    • I live in Appalachia, Virginia right in the heart of the “Appalachian Mountains” (or the Blue Ridge to locals) and graduated from Appalachia High School.

      Your husband’s aunt was emphatically wrong. lol

  17. I am from Harlan county, Kentucky and we say appalatcha, mater, and tater yuns want to know any other word im perdy shore we cant teach yall just how us country folk say stuff and we can also understand you city folk I know what a soda is and I know what a pop is

  18. In my travels I often hear people say “Appa-LAY-shuh. When I do, I tell them an appellation is something appalling and that while natives of the region are many things, we are not appalling — although the way we are often portrayed is. I then admonish them that if I ever hear them pronounce it that way again, “I’ll throw an apple atcha.”

  19. The only issue I have with this is the author’s analogy to Northern Ireland, it makes it seem that the British are distrusted and unwelcome there. Well, the people of Northern Ireland recently reaffirmed their love and loyalty for Britain and their overwhelming desire to remain British. So, like them, I’ll say Londonderry. Besides, you wouldn’t refuse to call London, London simply because the invading Romans names it so, would you?

    • Note, that was not my analogy, that was Sharon McCrumb’s analogy. I’ve never been to Derry/Londonderry. If I did go I would pronounce it the way the locals do. They know best.

    • As an Ulsterman who lives in Virginia, I’d have to wonder when they exhibited their “overwhelming desire to remain British”. Not sure if you’re confusing it with the Scottish independence referendum (which, itself, was not even an “overwhelming” victory) or what.

      There has been no such referendum in Northern Ireland recently, nor is one planned. If there was, however, the notion that the unionists would win any type of landslide is laughable. What would, in fact, happen is that there would be a fairly even split amongst those who want to remain in the UK, those who wanted to join the Republic, those who wanted to be independent from both, and those who just flat didn’t care.

  20. Great post! The same thing holds true in the Far North as well: it’s not ValDEZ, Alaska–it’s ValDEEZ. Even though it’s not the proper pronunciation of the Spanish explorer, it IS the way the locals say it. Likewise for Livengood: It’s not pronounced as in “livin’ good”–it’s long-i, LIE-vengood. Wanna know the “right” way to say it? Ask a local.

    • As a LIE-vengood living in the App-a-latch-ees, I thank you Sharon. Now if I could only convince people that when I speak of Pis-gee I am referring to a mountain in North Georgia, NOT the one between Brevard and Asheville.

      • And don’t forget Albany, GA – a very different sound from Albany, NY

  21. East Tennessee born and raised, and I have always said LAY-cha… this is mostly due to never hearing the word until I entered school. In all honesty we didn’t use either form, we just said “the mountains” or referred to an area by what it was surrounded by. I think bickering over pronunciation is silly when half of us use different words for things two counties over.

  22. This isn’t a right-wrong divide–in my experience, this a north-south divide. Northern Appalachian residents (such as Pennsylvanians) say “LAY-shuh.” They aren’t wrong They just aren’t southern. The south doesn’t “own” Appalachia and neither does the north, and as far as I can tell neither side is (officially…) colonizing the other. I can appreciate wanting people to pronounce your home correctly, but in this case, “it’s how we say it here” can be pretty valid! Same mountains, different dialects.

    • No it isn’t. There’s tons of southerners who say it the “wrong” way and northerners who say it the “right” way.

      If anything, it’s more of a local/non-local divide, and to add to the confusion a lot of the non-locals aren’t aware they’re not locals. Appalachia is, first and foremost, a cultural division. The confusion arises from the fact that they decided to take all the mountain sub-chains and lump them all into one that was then named after the cultural area, so now you have people in Pennsylvania and New York who mistakenly think that they live in Appalachia because they live in the mountain chain that was named after it, and they use what you call the “northern pronunciation”.

      However, you have to realize that there is an inherent level of condescension in the “there is no right pronunciation” argument, because all of us who live here are keenly aware that we’re the only place where this rule applies. If you went to Beverly Hills and started asking locals how to find “Roh-dee-oh Drive”, someone would inevitably correct you. Now, here’s where the problem arises: When someone DID eventually correct you, what would you say? Would you acknowledge your error, or would you argue that there was no correct pronunciation? I’m willing to bet that you’d acquiesce to the local’s pronunciation without a second thought, which would beg the question: Why does it apply to one place and not another? Are you saying Appalachia is the only place that is too antiquated to know how to pronounce its own name?

  23. The name was not commonly used for the whole mountain range until the late 19th century. A competing and often more popular name was the “Allegheny Mountains,” “Alleghenies,” and even “Alleghania.” In the early 19th century, Washington Irving proposed renaming the United States either Appalachia or Alleghania.
    [Stewart, George R. (1967). Names on the Land. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.]

  24. It’s good to learn how people speak the names of the places they live in. It’s interesting and it’s polite. But if people get it wrong, it doesn’t mean they think you are ‘shoeless and toothless’, as the writer suggested. You seem to be a little over-sensitive about this. It’s language and it’s interesting. People outside of an area will pronounce your place as AppalAYShu just to understand each other. For example I know how to pronounce Paris and Rome and Beijing in the way the French, Italians and Chinese do, but I don’t do those pronunciations unless in those countries or speaking to people from those countries. Be proud of your place and the origins and explanations of its language, and explain to those who want to know. Tell the rest to get lost.

  25. I grew up in the AppaLAYchians in Pennsylvania. Regionally, it’s pronounced with LAY. Not as condescension or derision, or even because I feel I’m right and you’re wrong, but because that’s the way it’s pronounced where I grew up. Quite honestly, I think there are more worthy things to get your panties in a bunch about.

    • I like your take on it. I grew up in NJ, with a family cabin in upstate NY, but currently live in Asheville, NC… and so I prefer your version. I am ‘not from around here’, but that sure doesn’t make me incorrect!! Also, if anyone considers “proper’, a look into a common dictionary list the most correct pronunciation first, as anyone with any level of exposure to grammar understands, and guess which version is listed first?

      • If you’re going to be smug, it would serve you well to note that the first definition listed is the most COMMON one. It is not a reflection of how “correct” it is.

  26. After being gone over 70 years, I call it what I want to….mostly “back home”.”A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”….seems like much ado about nothing!

  27. I understand the part of wanting to have people pronounce it correctly, but that does not mean we side with one side or another. I was taught to say it wrong, so I admit that I say it incorrectly, but that does not mean someone can’t trust me. I was just taught wrong and yes, because the pronunciation was drilled into me, I still say it out of habit, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be trustes.

  28. ideally, you’d want to pronounce it the way the native americans who lived there first pronounced it, followed by the french from which the word originated. speaking of imperialists…

  29. My own mama was born in the same place as me, in the mountains of North Carolina. The rest of us in our very large family say ‘Appa LATCH un’ while she insists on saying ‘Appa LAY shun’. We all say ‘ASH-ville’ while she says ‘AISH-ville’, which, by the way, is the traditional mountain way to pronounce the name of Asheville, NC. We just have to laugh over it and move on- we’re not disowning each other over it- yet.

    • Well said. I’m from Cherokee,Nc which is smack in the Smokies. If we got upset about all the things other people pronounce differently than us we would be pretty miserable.

  30. in the Northern end of Appalachia, specifically in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, it is pronounced appal-LAY-CHA. Proof that there are regional pronunciations, where one is not necessarily the “correct” one.

    • There is no portion of Appalachia in Massachusetts. There is a portion of the Appalachian Mountains, but that is not the same thing, as the Appalachia cultural region does not include that portion of the mountains… which weren’t even the Appalachian Mountains a little over a century ago, they were just the Berkshires.

      Appalachia is a cultural region, the Appalachian Mountains are the topographical nomenclature for the mountain chain named after said area. The two are not interchangeable.

  31. As someone that was born and raised in the region and has since moved around the country I have to say McCrumb is right. When I tell people where I am from many have corrected my pronunciation. “Hillbillies” and their culture is still fodder for stereotypes and comedy. It would not be tolerated for another culture to be treated as Appalachian culture has been and still is. So yes, pronunciation matters as it reflects a much deeper issue.

  32. Interesting. I lived in the mountains of WV most my childhood and always say AppaLAYsha. There is no other place so sacred in my book ♡ Even passing through any part of the mountains I feel at home. There is something extra special about the WV mountains though. So, I may not say it the same yet those mountains are my home. Ancestry runs deep there as well. (I’ll admit, my grandparents moved to Baltimore and refused to freely claim their home) I will claim it, regardless the pronunciation. :-)

  33. Eastern Kentucky pronunciation is App-uh-LAY-sha. My mother, who went on a tireless crusade against the word “hillbilly” until her death, even so far as to complain about “hillbilly” novelty crafts (such as a magnet of a foot with Hillbilly Calculator inscribed upon it) being sold at the Appalachian Festival in Cincinnati. She felt that the App-uh-LACH-a pronunciation was the pronunciation of condescension.

  34. I have always lived in south central Ohio in a county the Appalachian Region seems to skip around. My mother was from Kentucky. I make a point of taking pride in my Appalachian heritage and take offense at the common, destructive stereotypes applied to people from Appalachian areas. I do, however, use the pronunciation Appa-LAY-shuh because that is the way I have always heard it pronounced. I understand why some people would feel the “incorrect” pronunciation would be condescending considering the history and still common misconception that people of Appalachia are somehow less capable or qualified to think for themselves. I also feel very strongly against the offensive use of the term “hillbilly”. I am frequently amazed at the number of self-professed educated people that seem compelled to elevate themselves by degrading what they “perceive” to be a hillbilly.

  35. If latch-uh is the correct pronunciation to natives, that’s great. You have your own culture and modern America doesn’t just not understand it – they can’t even pronounce it!

    But Mexico is pronounced Meh-hee-ko. And Japan is pronounced Nee-pan. And Spain is pronounced Es-pawn-ya. Are natives from these countries offended when we call them Mexico, Japan, and Spain? Is it “condescension” every time a news station says eye-ran instead of ee-ron? (Because they do so quite often.)

    I’m not trying to disrespect anyone and I’ll definitely be more mindful of these pronunciations in the future. But food for thought: if you want to call Appa-lay-chuh “condescending”, I hope you’re pronouncing all those other country names correctly, too.

    • Mexico, Japan, and Spain are the correct words for those places in English, just as the Turks correctly say “Ingiltere” for England, and the French corrctly say “Londres” for London, and the Spanish often say “Nueva York” for new york. No one is telling the Spaniards to call their country Spain by using the correct English word for it. (If you were an English speaker speaking Spanish, however, of course you would say España in referring to Spain.)

  36. I’m from New Hampshire where the Appalachian mountains are as well. I’ve always heard it as what you claim to be the wrong pronunciation.

  37. I’m from Appalachia and people in my neck of the woods say it either way. I also live by a creek that could be called a crick. I live by a hollow that can also be a holla or holler. I prefer “lay” because it follows general grammar rules. Throwing the T sound in there just confuses people trying to correctly spell, then they do look uneducated. My name rhymes with Katrina but I get a lot of Corinnas thrown at me. Ultimately to me it’s not a big deal even though my daughter and I often disagree on the pronunciation of Appalachia. I do take issue with the author rudely insulting me and mine that we are a snobs and not from here if we don’t pronounce this the way she prefers. And we DO have toothless hillbillies here, but they are still good people with better manners than to judge outsiders like this or insult their own neighbors for their life circumstances or pronunciation. Whose the snob dissing a native culture? Look in the mirror.

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