West Virginia slang words and phrases offer a glimpse into West Virginia culture, customs, and the locals’ sense of humor.
West Virginia has its unique dialect, so many words and phrases may be unfamiliar to other Americans. Here are some of the most popular West Virginia slang expressions:
West Virginia Slang Words And Phrases
West Virginians have their unique way of speaking, which is no more evident than in their slang words and phrases.
From “ya’ll” to “fixin‘ to,” West Virginia has some interesting sayings you might not hear elsewhere.
While West Virginia slang has been around for a long time, it wasn’t until the 20th century that it became more widely used.
West Virginians have always had their unique way of talking, and West Virginia slang words and phrases have become ingrained in daily conversation.
West Virginians often mix traditional terms with new ones to create West Virginia slang, making it constantly changing and evolving.
28 Famous West Virginia Slang Words And Phrases
Slang words and phrases are informal or casual terms used in daily conversations.
West Virginia slang often uses unique turns of phrase that can be difficult to understand if you don’t live in the state.
West Virginia has a long and varied linguistic culture, with West Virginians often giving traditional words their own unique spin.
From “bless your heart” to “tuckahoe,” West Virginians have created some of the most interesting regional slang words used in conversation.
Here are some West Virginia slang words and phrases you should know:
West Virginians love to talk about their local creeks and streams.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that “crick” is a common West Virginia slang word for stream or creek.
It is used in phrases such as “He went fishing down at the crick.” The term is also used in West Virginia to refer to a crooked person or thing. Such as, “He’s a right crick.”
This West Virginia slang word means crazy and is often used as an adjective to describe someone or something.
For example, “That’s cwazy!” or “He’s cwazy!” In addition, the term is often used as a friendly insult.
It originated in the West Virginia vernacular and is still commonly used by West Virginians today.
This word has two meanings in West Virginia slang. The first meaning describes a type of tobacco chew or dip.
It is usually flavored with menthol, and a pinch can be placed between the lip and gum for a long-lasting tobacco experience.
The second meaning of this West Virginia slang word is to refer to a person as being slow or easily manipulated, such as in the phrase “he’s a total grounder”.
In West Virginia, “nearly” is slang for nearly or almost. It’s often used in phrases such as “I’m nerly done,” meaning that you are close to finishing something.
West Virginians might also say they are nerly ready to go somewhere by saying, “I’m nerly out the door.”
The term can also be used to emphasize that something is very close to happening, as in, “I’m nerly there!”
5. Gone West:
In West Virginia, this expression is used to describe a person or thing that no longer exists.
It’s usually used when someone has died, though it can also refer to an object or idea that has been lost.
For example, West Virginians might say that “Grandma gone West” when referring to their grandmother who has passed away.
This West Virginia slang term refers to being scared or frightened of something.
West Virginians might use this expression when talking about the things that make them feel uneasy, such as a dark and spooky house or their fear of heights.
For example, they might say, “I’m skeer to go into that old house!”
In West Virginia, redbuds refer to wildflowers that bloom in the springtime. West Virginians love these flowers and often use them as decorations in their homes or yards.
They also use this expression when talking about something they find beautiful or special. For example, they might say, “That sunrise is a redbud of beauty!”
8. Bless Your Heart:
This West Virginia slang phrase often expresses sympathy or kindness towards someone.
West Virginians use this phrase when trying to console someone going through a tough time, and it’s often said with genuine sincerity.
For example, they might say, “Bless your heart; I’m so sorry you must go through this.”
In West Virginia slang, a skit is something funny or amusing.
West Virginians use this phrase when something has made them laugh or when something is particularly entertaining.
For example, they might say, “That was a real skit!” The term can also be used to describe a person who is always joking around and having fun.
This West Virginia slang phrase often expresses mild annoyance or frustration.
West Virginians use this phrase when something has gone wrong or when they’re dealing with an unpleasant situation.
For example, they might say, “Dang-nabbit! I knew I should have double-checked that!”
11. Put On:
In West Virginia slang, this phrase is used when someone exaggerates or tells a tall tale.
West Virginians use it to express disbelief in something they’ve just been told. For example, they might say, “You’re putting me on! That’s impossible!”
The term can also be used when someone tries to lighten a situation, such as “Well, that’s one way to put it on!”
West Virginians use this term to refer to a location that is not too far away. For instance, they might say, “I’m headed yonder,” to indicate that they are going somewhere close.
However, the term can also be used to describe something more abstract.
Such as when someone says, “My dreams lie yonder,” to indicate that their aspirations are still far away.
This West Virginia slang term means to talk a lot. West Virginians use this phrase when someone talks too much or does not listen.
For example, they might say, “Will you please just shut your yap and let me get a word in edgewise?”
The term is also used more affectionately when West Virginians want to express the joy of hearing someone talk a lot.
This West Virginia slang word describes someone who talks too much.
West Virginians sometimes use this term instead of “yap” or “jabber” as a humorous way to refer to someone who can’t stop talking.
For example, if a West Virginian has heard enough of another person’s chatter, they might say, “OK, gobblegobbo! We get it!”
West Virginians use this phrase to describe someone who is trying to do something difficult or challenging.
For example, they might say, “He’s gum-beatin’ it up that mountain,” to indicate that the person is struggling with the climb.
The term is also used to describe someone who is working hard on a project or task.
16. Shoot Fire:
West Virginia slang for expressing surprise or disbelief.
West Virginians might say this phrase when something unexpected happens or when they don’t believe what someone is saying.
For example, they might say, “Shoot fire! I didn’t know that!” The term can also be used interchangeably with “Good Lord!“
In West Virginia slang, toboggan means to fall down or slip. West Virginians often use this phrase when someone trips and falls down or slips on a slick surface.
For example, they might say, “Be careful walking in the snow, or you might toboggan!” The term can also be used interchangeably with “take a tumble” or “fall down“.
18. Hit The Frog And Toad:
West Virginia slang for leaving. West Virginians might say this phrase when they’re ready to go somewhere, usually somewhere far away.
For example, they might announce, “I’m gonna hit the frog and toad and go to West Virginia!”
However, the term is usually used in a casual and humorous way to say goodbye.
19. Git On:
This West Virginia slang phrase simply means “get going“.
West Virginians often use it when they want someone to move faster or when they’re trying to encourage them to get somewhere quickly.
For example, if you’re running late for an event, your West Virginian friend might say, “Git on!” as they wave you out the door.
The term is usually used in a lighthearted, humorous way.
This West Virginia slang term refers to a rubber band. This phrase has apparently been in use since the 1950s, yet its origin remains a mystery.
It is often used to describe something that is loose or stretchy, such as clothing or hair.
West Virginians might use this phrase when they’re looking for something to tie up or secure an item, such as a bundle of papers or cables.
For example, “Grab me that gumband over there so I can tie this up.” The term is often used in a joking, informal manner.
21. Wried Up:
This West Virginia slang phrase means to be confused or overwhelmed.
West Virginians might use this phrase when someone feels overwhelmed by a task or situation or has trouble understanding something.
For example, “I’m so wried up, I can’t figure out what to do next.” The term is often used in a joking manner.
West Virginians typically use this phrase to describe something that is awesome or fantastic. This can be applied to food, events, experiences, and more.
For example, “That concert was rampin’!” It’s also sometimes used as an exclamation of joy or enthusiasm.
The term can also describe someone’s physical attractiveness or likability.
23. Smoke ‘Em:
West Virginians often use this phrase to suggest that something must happen quickly.
For example, “Let’s smoke ’em and get out of here.” The phrase is generally used when someone wants to accomplish a task quickly or efficiently.
The phrase comes from the state’s coal mining culture, where miners had to move fast and be careful while working in order to avoid serious injury.
The phrase is meant to imply that a task needs to be completed quickly and safely, and with attention paid to detail.
West Virginians often use this term as a nickname for someone they like. It’s usually used in a friendly way and is meant as an endearing term of affection.
It can also be used as a term of endearment for someone who is not from West Virginia but has endeared themselves to the locals.
In either case, it is a sign of mutual respect and admiration between people.
For example, “Hey there, tater! How are you doing today?” The term can also be used as a slang term for potatoes.
West Virginians often use this term to refer to someone they respect or feel fondly towards.
It’s usually used in a way that conveys admiration, appreciation, and affection. For example, “My hon has been my rock throughout this tough year.”
The term can also be used as a way to refer to an object, such as “That’s my hon of a car!”
26. Mess Around:
West Virginians use this phrase when they’re talking about doing something without any particular aim or purpose.
It can be used in various contexts, often to describe someone who is being lazy or wasting time by not accomplishing anything meaningful.
For example, a West Virginian might say, “We’re just messin’ around today.”
West Virginians use this phrase when they need to refer to something that happened very quickly.
For example, a West Virginian might say, “He got here lickety-split!” when referring to someone arriving quickly at a destination.
The term is also often used to emphasize a sense of urgency, as in, “We need to get this done lickety-split!”.
West Virginians use this term to describe something that is not working properly or is malfunctioning in some way.
In other words, it can be used to describe something that is broken or not functioning correctly.
It could also be used to describe someone who is acting irrationally or unpredictably.
Regardless of the context, this term has been around for many years and its usage continues today.
For example, West Virginians might say, “This computer is getting wormy” when referring to a computer that keeps freezing up or crashing.
West Virginian slang words and phrases are an interesting mix of Appalachian and local dialects.
West Virginia slang words and phrases are unique to the region and offer a glimpse into West Virginia’s culture and heritage.
From “durn” to “aintcha,” West Virginian slang words and phrases are sure to add a unique flavor to any conversation.
So the next time you hear a West Virginia native speaking, listen closely for these West Virginia slang words and phrases!
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