How To Talk Southern
As a "Yankee" transplant from upstate New York, now living south of the Mason/Dixon line, I regularly have my vocabularly expanded by native southerners. I'm compiling a list of things learned - or relearned abut the uniquely colorful southern ways to turn a phrase.
Life in the Southern United States
I now know that...
- A possum is a flat animal that sleeps in the middle of the road.
- There are 5,000 types of snakes and 4,998 of them live in the South.
- Fried catfish is the other white meat.
- There are 10,000 types of spiders. All 10,000 of them live in the South, plus a couple no one has seen before.
- If it grows, it will stick ya. If it crawls, it will bite cha.
- Onced and Twiced are words.
- It is not a shopping cart, it is a buggy!
- People actually grow and eat okra.
- Fixinto is one word. It means I am fixing to do that.
- There is no such thing as lunch. There is only dinner and then there is supper.
- Iced tea is appropriate for all meals and you start drinking it when you're two. If, heaven forbid, you want hot tea; it is wise to arrive at the meeting with your own tea bag tucked in your brief case.
- Backwards and forwards means I know everything about you.
- The word jeet is actually a phrase meaning "Did you eat?"
- You dont PUSH buttons, you MASH em.
- You switch from heat to A/C in the same day.
- You know what a DAWG is.
- The local papers cover national and international news on one page, but require 6 pages for local high school sports, motor sports and gossip.
- You would think that the first day of deer season is a national holiday.
- You find 100 degrees Fahrenheit a bit warm.
- You know all four seasons: Almost summer, summer, still summer, and Christmas.
- Going to Wal-Mart is a favorite pastime known as goin Wal-Martin or off to Wally World.
A Southern Happiness Secret
I'd be remiss if I didn't include this insightful definition of southern happiness.
"Happiness to a true southerner is a Canadian heading home with a New Yorker under each arm."
Author, Margaret Ross is president of the Kamaron Institute and a self-described "common law southerner."