The Manchester Enterprise: A Boy's Memories Bits of Clay

A Fishing Tale

It was the summer of 1975 when Margy, my new wife, and I decided a fishing trip sounded like a good idea. We didn’t have a boat so our options would be very limited to where we would spend the day fishing.

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Playing with dynamite

I know from my title of this story some of you are going to start to think that this can’t be about what the title seems to say, but it’s exactly that. There was a summer in the early ’70 when we played with dynamite.

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Hillbonics Part 2

I had a tremendous response to my last article about the way we talk here in southeastern Kentucky. I got a call from lady in Indiana, one from Ohio, and another from Florida, all recalling the language they had left behind when they moved away. Also, several calls from the locals who got a big laugh out of it it. Everyone was telling me how much they enjoyed it, so thought I had to finish what I had started with one more article on Hillbonics.

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Hillbonics

What is hillbonics? That’s probably the first question I would like to answer. Hillbonics is how the mountain people of Applachian speak and the words that they use. Some of the words that we use everyday are a little hard for northerners to understand and I would like to write a column for them to clear the air.

Lots of these words we use everyday and we don’t even think twice that it sometimes sounds a little strange to people who weren’t raised in the mountains. So for all you Yankees, “this ’ens for y’all.”

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Nicknames

Everyone knows if you were born in Southeastern Kentucky, most of you have a nickname of some sort. And that nickname, given to you as a child, is the name most are called for the rest of your life, like it or not. Growing up on Paw Paw, almost everyone had a nickname and here are the ones I remember.

First and foremost, not many people ever knew my Dad’s real name was Rufus everyone just called him “Jamup”. When he was young his family called Dad “Junior” because my Pap Paw was Rufus Miller Sr. I asked him once where the name “Jamup” came from and here is what he told me.
Back when he was a young man, there was a comic duo on the radio called “Jamup and Honey” who told jokes and sang as entertainers. Dad always called Momma, “Honey”, as an affectionate nickname, so before long someone gave Dad the nickname, “Jamup” and it stuck with him forever.
Jacqualene, my oldest sister, was known as “Jackie”. Her husband Alfred Lee went by the nickname of “Big Al”. Jackie and Al have tow kids. Jason is called “Jay” for short and Jeremy, well we called him “Germ”.
My older brother Gary was called “Shag” or “Shaggie” and where that came from I really don’t remember. It could have been from Scooby-Do or maybe from a haircut. Gary’s oldest son Isril is called “Izz”  and Trinity is called “Trin”.
Ronnie got the name of “The Falcon Kid” from one of his first cars he owned a 1961 Ford Falcon. Then after entering the military, he was known as “Sarge”.
When I was young I got the nickname of “Dozer Rod” from my cousin. A few years later, “Jaguar” and “Big Rod” came along. Then came my nickname that most people know me by now as “Buckwheat”. My son Kelly, is sometimes called by just “Miller”.
Anthony is known by most as “Big A” but when he was younger he got the nickname of “Doshie” as a tease about a girl who lived close to us from our uncle “Buster” whose real name was James Russell. Buster’s wife, my Dad’s sister, was called “Bootie” and her given name was Edna Ruth. Buster and Bootie had a daughter whose name was Stella Rose but to her family she was always called “Dink”.
Carlos didn’t get a nickname until he was married with grandkids. Now, he is known as “Papa Daddy”. His son Brandon is called “Bran” or “Nephew” for short. Brandon has two kids Kamerah who is called “Belle” and Ethan, his son is called “Roo”.
Darlene, my youngest sister, was given the nickname Gimlet” by my Uncle Earl. Darlene’s husband David, is called “Deer-Slayer”. Her son John is simply called “Big John”.
My Pap Paw Floyd Burkhart was called “Red Meat” because of our Indian ancestors. My Uncle Lloyd had a couple of nicknames “Green” and “Bucket”. Lloyd’s son Jordan is known as “Mud Cat”. Another one of Pap Paw’s sons was named Virgil but we all called him “Brother”. It was always funny to introduce him as Uncle Brother.
Others who grew up around me with nicknames were: Robert Smith who was called “Put-Butt” and “Tarzan”, Troy Sibert, was called “Fluff”, Kelvin Jackson was called “Double Yellow”. Johnny Baird is nicknamed “Johnny Fly”. Albert Sibert, who was called “Pot”. We called Nevada Rogers “Vip”. There were two Tommy Siberts, one was called “Big Tommy” and the other “Little Tommy”. There also a guy known to everyone only as “Little Jim”.
Herman Hibbard’s nickname was “Cheetah”. Arvil Jarvis is known only as “Bootsie”. His son Jerome Jarvis, is called “Romeo”. Cecil Isom is only known as “Red”. Charlie Lewis when he was young was called “Charlie Boy” now he only wants to be called “Chuck”.
Clinton Lewis was called “D-Wit”. Hugh Gregory was called “Greaser”. Eugene Johnson was called “The Killer” and “New-Gene”. George Harris was called “George Magoo”, David Wombles goes by “Blue”. Johnny Marcum was called “Bicycle Bill”. Lee Gibbs was called Lee “Duck”.
Charlie Lewis is known far and wide as  “Charlie Fox”. We had a “Goat” Lewis, a “Bear” Lewis and a “Tuffy” Lewis. There were guys called “Jeep”, “Cat”, “Frog”, “Bull”, a boy we called “Dog-Man” and two girls called “Cat” and “Sissy Cat”,
We had lots that were nicknamed for colors like “Blue”, “Blackie”, “Red”, “Brownie”, “Whitey”, “Green”, “Smokey” and even a “Pinkie”.
Other nick-names include: “Pet Owl”, “Johnny Rock”, “Mater”, “Tater”, “Red Panties”, “Dirty Bird”, “Dirty Ear” (pronounced Yer),“Mater-Gravy”, “Hambone”, “Football”, “Pee-Bob”, “Pee-Wee”, “Shorty”, “Spankie”, “Rose”, “Big Momma”, “Little Man”, “Gay-Boy”, “T-Tommie”.
We had a “Dad Roberts”, “Big Daddy”, “Little Daddy”, “Fat Daddy”, “Piggy-Daddy”, “Porky”, “Tonk Man”, “Bones”, “Blue John”,  “Bug”, “Smiley”, “Thumb”, “Coonie”, “Mutt”, “Turkey”, “Doodle”, “Chicken”, “Hen Man”, “Egg-Head”, “Birdie”, “Mushie”, “Indian”, “Bean”, and many, many more.
So now you have the story and the nicknames. See how many you can put their real name to. There are probably many more I have forgotten and for those, I apologize. But anyway, nicknames were a big part of growing up on Horse Creek.
Signed: Darrell Rodney “Dozer, Jaguar, Big Rod, Buckwheat” Miller

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Page 3 of 25

e-Edition A-Section 8-28-14

ME.A-1

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e-Edition B-Section 8-28-14

ME.B-1

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