Appalachia is more than a place. The Appalachian Mountains are rich with customs, food and dialect that is not found anywhere else. Those mountains are at the core of the people who were raised there or have adopted it as home. The mountains become part of who we are, why we are, and how we go about what we do.

Great Smokey MountainsOne of the things that many Appalachia natives are particular about is how we say our name. This is also something that many people from elsewhere do not understand. In Central Appalachia, where I am from, it is app-uh-LATCH-uh, not app-uh-LAY-sha. I am told that there are people in Appalachia who were taught to use the latter pronunciation. Fair enough, I obviously get regional dialect. Please understand, when you say App-uh-LAY-sha in much of Appalachia people, in addition to knowing immediately that you are not a local, may think you are trying to be fancy or worse. How you say the word Appalachia matters.

As you can tell, I and many others feel strongly about this word. So, when stumbling around on the internet I found a company called Pronunciation Tees I was super excited. What do these people do? Well, they get me and my people. Pronunciation Tees produces t-shirts that proudly display the proper pronunciation of Appalachia – [app-uh-latch-uh].


The moment I saw this shirt I had to have it. Oh, and it gets better, the mission statement of the company is to

Help raise awareness about the infection known as [app-a-lay-sha].

I encourage everyone to support these brave and creative folks. It’s cool, it’s fun, and it’s just plain right.


6 thoughts on “App-uh-latch-uh

  1. Having had the conversation about How To Pronounce many, many times with friends, I was delighted to see a link to your blog on Facebook (shared by a college friend from TN, who says it right!). Recently, it’s been my poor daughter who has to have the How To Pronounce conversation over and over: she’s going to college in the heart of New England, with many students from all over the country and from other nations. She represents. She represents *well.* She’s proud of Pulaski County, Virginia, and I’m proud of her. Just bought her that pronunciation tee and sent it to her at Yale, as a birthday gift.


  2. I was taught the place is named after the Appalach tribe. Never was an AppalAsh tribe…no long A.. just was watching Ken Burns’ Civil War. The narrator misprouces it. He was a newscaster so no excuse for getting wrong…except he’s a democrat liberal elitist… the mispronunciation was started by democrat elistists in the 1960s…

  3. Just found your blog, 9/30/2017. Love it!! By the way, I come from Lancaster County, PA and moved to North Central West Virginia 10 years ago after living in the Lanc’ster (not Lan CAS ter) area for 46 years. When I moved here, everyone was calling it App uh latch uh and I thought it was so wrong cause I was raised to say Appa lay sia. The folks here quickly corrected me and I’ve learned well, especially when they tell me I’m from LanCASter!! Haha.

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