One who lives in a remote part of the mountains.
1869 Daily Picayune (New Orleans LA) 25 July /2 csTN, This is a good Southern Democratic county. I don’t know how true it is, but some of our Cove (Valley) boys—about here we call them Covites—say that you can’t find a man in Franklin county that will acknowledge himself an out and out Radical. 1879 New Orleans Daily Democrat (LA) 13 July /2 csTN, A description of Sewanee would be incomplete without some mention of that omnipresent class which delivers eggs, melons and chickens, yclept “covites,” by reason of their dwelling in little sheltered coves on the Cumberland plateau. They seem a docile race, yet the manufacturers of wildcat whisky are of this element. 1897 Scribner’s Mag. 22.377 csTN, Lor, gal! . . these fine folks don’t ax folks like weuns in the front do’; weuns ain’t nothin’ but ‘Covites come to peddle’. 1963 Edwards Gravel 7 neTN, He is a ridge-runner and a cove-ite all kneaded into one, with gravel in his shoes. 1994 in 2017 DARE File—Internet neKY, A woman from around Ashland, KY . . said of a man we both knew “Oh he’s a cove-ite.” I knew immediately what she meant by this and didn’t ask her about the term[’]s provenance. My husband (who is from Middle Tennessee, near the Cumberland Plateau) claims that the phrase most probably came from Tennessee because of the abundance of “coves” in the mountains there. Ibid csTN, When I lived in Middle Tennessee, I often heard the people who lived on the Cumberland plateau (Towns like Tracy City and Sewannee) called covites, especially by students at the University of the South. It was not an endearing term.