Say what? 6 dead giveaways you’re from WV

In West Virginia, we speak our own language.

If you catch yourself saying these 7 terms, pronunciations and sayings, you’ve definitely spent some time in the Mountain State!

 1. Holler

No, this doesn’t mean to yell. “Holler” to a West Virginian means a remote road or area. Even if you don’t “live up a holler,” you definitely know what one is. You folks probably just know it as a “hollow.” The Mountain State’s combination of mountains and streams make for quite a few remote areas and lots of hollers!

2. Smooch

In West Virginia, we don’t kiss. We smooch. This is the same thing as a kiss, but it’s a little more playful and less romantic. If you ask someone to give you a smooch, that could be anyone from your Grandma Betty to your preacher. No one is off limits from a smooch.

 3. Britches

“Britches” is primarily used in conjunction with phrases like “pull up your britches” or “too big for your britches.” This universal word for pants in West Virginia is so common no one bats an eye when it’s used in everyday conversation.

Young people sitting for a spell on a porch, West Virginia

4. Spell

To most folks, “spell” means to spell a word or perform some sort of ritual or magic. In West Virginia, a spell refers an undetermined amount of time. For example, someone might ask you to “sit a spell,” and that could be 30 minutes or 4 hours, so prepare yourself to wait a little while!

5. Poke

A poke normally refers to poking someone with a stick or finger, or poking at a fire. In West Virginia, a poke is a bag. As in: “Can I have a poke to carry my stuff in?”

6. Crick

People who’ve got a crick in their neck might be sore or stiff. In mountain talk, a crick is a shallow stream or “creek” you probably splashed around or caught crawdads in when you were younger. (Crawdad, if you don’t speak mountain-ese, is a crayfish). Although other folks may not have any idea what you mean when you reminisce about your favorite crick, true West Virginians always will!

Where did you learn your favorite West Virginia sayings?

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This post was last updated on March 16, 2022