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Medical Misery, Pone, and Rising

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A physician in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, shares some of the vocabulary of his patients from Appalachia. There, a misery is anything painful, such as a misery in my jaw if they have a painful tooth or a misery in my back if they have lumbar pain. A rising is a swelling, and a rising in my leader is a swelling in a muscle or tendon. A pone is also a lump, the word adapted from a similar-sounding Virginia Algonquian word referring to “bread” or “something baked,” as in corn pone. In the dialect of Appalachia, the letter A was historically appended to verbs, as in a-coming or a-going, the initial a-deriving from the preposition at, and originally indicating the progressive form of a verb. This is part of a complete episode.

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