5 tidbits of true mountain folklore to simplify your life

Mountain folklore seems to be funny and sarcastic, but is actually direct and to the point, true to the Appalachian spirit.

Old-time phrases cut through the pleasantries and say it like it is, and they are as true today as they were generations ago.

We’ve compiled some of our favorites, and included some suggestions about how to put these nuggets of wisdom from the hills in action:

1. Ain’t no hill for a climber

This spicy little gem means it’s not a big deal for someone with experience, and it can be applied to practically any situation that is either easy-breezy or downright hard. If you want to experience this one literally, take a hike up Spruce Knob. At 4,863 feet, this steep and rugged peak is the highest point in West Virginia.

2. Thick as fleas on a dog’s back

While this saying doesn’t put the best image in your head, it’s used as a way of saying there is a big crowd. The single best event to experience a tight-knit West Virginia crowd is at Bridge Day, where up 100,000 people flock to the New River Gorge Bridge to watch BASE jumpers parachute into the canyon.

3. Y’all come over and sit a spell

Possibly one of the most well-known sayings of the old days, this one is an invite for a visit to catch-up and relax. If you are only visiting for a day or two, you can sit a spell and have lunch on the veranda at the General Lewis Inn in Lewisburg.

4. That road was surveyed by a cow

If you’ve ever watched a cow walk through a meadow or up a hill, you know they zig-zag, just like our country roads. This keen observation describes our roads perfectly. While we’ve many winding and twisty roads, the 45 mile loop through the Monongahela National Forest takes you through the beautiful wetlands and forests of Canaan Valley, the highest valley in West Virginia.

5. Putting on the dog

During the 1800s, the word “doggy” was used to describe fancy or expensive things. And when you were putting on the dog, you were wearing your finest duds. The hands-down best place to put on the dog today is at the The Greenbrier resort. You’ll be relaxed after a day on the links or at the spa and be ready to dine or take your chances with lady luck at the casino.

What are some of your favorite mountain phrases to live by?

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This post was last updated on July 22, 2020