Wednesday, September 13, 2023

How to Pronounce “Appalachian?” This Podcast Helps! (published 9-13-2023; article #430)


Greetings, on this warm and mostly sunny day, in early fall. Meteorological fall started on the first of this month, as always. I don't accept the astronomical beginning of fall, which can vary by three days. This year, it occurs next Saturday. Thank you for dropping by.

By the way, if you are from Singapore, please help me stop those Singapore “bots” (or web spiders) from crawling my website! They increase view totals, but they are not legitimate. I'm trying to stomp the spiders, but they keep crawling.

Around these parts of northeast Tennessee, folks -- who were raised here -- know how to pronounce “Appalachian.” Interlopers, however, who come into this area, legally or illegally, often mispronounce the word. This article -- the 26th entry, under the topic section “Appalachia - Upper East TN -- will, once again, try to educate all interlopers.

After all, this website is called “Appalachian Irishman.” This article wants all readers -- family, friends, national and international viewers, and even enemies (if I have any) -- to pronounce “Appalachian” correctly, as we do, in these parts. Listening to my embedded podcast, below, is crucial!

Important Note

This article explains the pronunciation of “Appalachian,” as folks in northeast Tennessee say it. I know that Appalachia is a huge region. See, for example, “About the Appalachian Region,” on Appalachian Regional Commission ( The first paragraph states:

Appalachia is made up of 423 counties across 13 states and spans 206,000 square miles, from southern New York to northern Mississippi. The Region’s 26.3 million residents live in parts of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia, and all of West Virginia.

That document includes the following map, “Subregions in Appalachia,” which denotes the five subregions of Appalachia.

Subregions in Appalachia,” in “About the Appalachian Region,” on Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). ARC Web and Privacy Policy, Copyright Information: “the country, state, and regional maps on this website, which were created by ARC employees, are in the public domain and may be used without permission.”

As you can see, northeast Tennessee is in the south central subregion. Don't you just love how “guvrmint” bureaucrats like to divide us folks! Who decided to designate the five subsections? Inquiring minds want to know!

Folks -- in the Appalachian Yankee states of Maryland, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania -- often pronounce “Appalachian” with the soft sound, unlike we do, here in northeast Tennessee. That's their right. It's still a fairly free country -- at least for now. This article does not critique how they say the word. It does, however, critique Appalachian Yankees, when they try to impose their pronunciation on us here! Y'all up north say it how you choose. Honor how we, down here, choose to say it -- even if we visit or move up there!

Previous Articles

This website has made two previous attempts to educate, on how to pronounce “Appalachian.” In fact, the very first article that I published is titled “How to Pronounce 'Appalachian' (published 3/6/2006; inaugural article).” That article, of over 17 years ago, still draws views, almost daily. It's still the most viewed article, on this website, with over 12,540 views, as of 9/12/2023. It has garnered 35 comments, so far. I wrote the article, with my sarcastic tongue placed firmly in my cheek. Notably, the wiser Merriam-Webster Dictionary now defines “Appalachian” as “a native or resident of the Appalachian mountain area.” Seventeen years ago, the definition was “a white native or resident of the Appalachian mountain area.” Did my article motivate those folks to remove the word “white?” I hope so!

The other article, written about three years and nine months after the first, revisited the inaugural article. It's titled “How to Pronounce 'Appalachian' - Revisited (published 12-12-2009; updated 11-20-2022).” The article is my reply to two comments, on the first article. You'd have to find and read those comments, in the first article, to understand the revisited article. As of 9/12/2023, this article has had over 1,755 views.

Those articles include only my written instructions. This article includes the embedded podcast of my verbal guidance.

Two Other Podcasts

Before getting to my podcast, I thought that I'd present podcast instructions, from two other folks. My comments follow each episode.

Yesterday, I searched, on Norton Safe Search and Google, by “How to Pronounce 'Appalachian?'” Each search provided thousands of results. The first result, on both platforms, was: “How to Pronounce Appalachian (2 Correct Ways in American English),” on SpeechModification (YouTube), by Christine Dunbar, 1/27/2022. The episode is two minutes and 36 seconds in length. Yesterday, it had over 14,480 views, with 35 comments. The speaker, in fairness, states that both the hard and soft pronunciations are correct. Her opinion is that the soft pronunciation is the most widely used. (Of course, only the hard pronunciation is correct around here!) Interestingly, Christine Dunbar admits that she's from the Midwest! Early in the episode, she states, incorrectly, that the Appalachian mountains are only in the Southeast. A comment, of two months ago, corrected her error. How could a Midwesterner speak with authority, on how folks, in these parts, pronounce “Appalachia?” Despite appearing somewhat confused, at the end, Christine Dunbar did a good job, explaining the hard and soft pronunciations.

The second result, on both search platforms, was “How To Pronounce Appalachian,” on pronunciationbook (YouTube), 9/14/2011. It's only 10 seconds long. Yesterday, it had over 343,165 views and 279 comments. The male voice nails the way folks, in these parts, pronounce the word! It's short, to the point, and spot on! I like it. It presents only the hard pronunciation.

My Podcast

Drum roll, please! Are you, dear reader, ready to listen to my podcast presentation, of how folks, in northeast Tennessee, say “Appalachian?” I thought so.

On Appalachian Irishman - Podcasts (YouTube), it is published today! See “How to Pronounce 'Appalachian?' This Podcast Helps! (published 9-13-2023; episode 18).”

The episode is five minutes and 22 seconds in length. My Irish blarney got a bit long winded, as I spoke extemporaneously. If any of y'all know, please explain what a “far tar” is! I've climbed several, over the decades.


If you, dear reader, were raised around these parts of northeast Tennessee, then you know how to pronounce “Appalachian.” If you've moved away, especially into a Yankee state, don't let those folks make fun of how you pronounce the word! Let them pronounce it the way that they do. Just keep saying it, the way that it rolls off your tongue naturally!

To any interlopers -- who have come into this area, legally or illegally -- pronounce “Appalachian” the way that we do in these parts! Don't try to chide us, into saying it the way that you do!

Two previous articles -- on 7/28/2022, about Cades Cove, and on 4/4/2023 -- highlight Donnie Laws. The 4/4/2023 article introduced him, on this website.

Donnie Laws East Tennessee Outdoors (YouTube) is an Appalachian treasure trove of episodes. As of today, he has 705 episodes. Subscribers number 164,000. I highly recommend, as you finish reading this article, that you watch “Appalachia Mountain People Talking and their way of life #Appalachia,” on Donnie Laws East Tennessee Outdoors (YouTube), by Donnie Laws, 2/14/2023. It's just over 20 minutes long. As of today, it's been viewed over 276 thousand times. The episode includes the audio recording of John McCaulley (1880 - 1961), who lived in Cades Cove. Mr. McCaulley and my paternal grandfather were born in the same year.

Well, now that I've peeled “them thar taters,” I reckon that Mrs. Appalachian Irishman is “fixin' ta mash 'em.” Y'all keep turnin' right and goin' straight out there, ya hear?

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