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...

  1. A possum is a flat animal that sleeps in the middle of the road.
  2. There are 5,000 types of snakes and 4,998 of them live in the South. Southern humor
  3. Fried catfish is the other white meat.
  4. There are 10,000 types of spiders. All 10,000 of them live in the South, plus a couple no one has seen before.
  5. If it grows, it will stick ya. If it crawls, it will bite cha.
  6. Onced and Twiced are words.
  7. It is not a shopping cart, it is a buggy!
  8. People actually grow and eat okra.
  9. Fixinto is one word. It means I am fixing to do that.
  10. There is no such thing as lunch. There is only dinner and then there is supper.
  11. 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.  
  12. Backwards and forwards means I know everything about you.
  13. The word jeet is actually a phrase meaning "Did you eat?"
  14. You dont PUSH buttons, you MASH em.
  15. You switch from heat to A/C in the same day.
  16. You know what a DAWG is.
  17. The local papers cover national and international news on one page, but require 6 pages for local high school sports, motor sports and gossip.
  18. You would think that the first day of deer season is a national holiday.
  19. You find 100 degrees Fahrenheit a bit warm.
  20. You know all four seasons: Almost summer, summer, still summer, and Christmas.
  21. 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."



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