If you are new here, then you'll learn that I'm from the south. Everyone else that's been around a while already knows. Let me clarify that I'm not a native southerner, because I was actually born in the Pacific Northwest, but I have spent most of my life in Texas, even though at the age of 30, I moved to New Hampshire. I get bored easily, and now I would prefer not sticking around in one place too long. Needless to say, I have the travel bug inside me.
But today, we're not here to talk about travel. If you are interested in that sort of topic, then head over to my other site, American Small Towns.
Today, we're going to talk about, "speaking southernese," as the title of this post suggests. Consider this a handy little translation guide just in case you find yourself in the south. Feel free to print it out and carry it around with you. Trust me, you might need it, because if any redneck detects a Midwestern or Yankee accent, they will polish their gun while staring at you with an evil eye. If they begin to count backwards from ten, you better get to scootin'. Be quick about it too. Rednecks love moving targets.
So, you have two choices: 1) learn the language, or 2) run like hell.
If you choose the latter, make sure your sneakers are tied tightly so you don't trip. If you fall, you're fair game and considered road kill. And then, dinner.
Let me teach you a few things before we get to specific words later in the post.
- For starters, use the word, "Y'all," in every single sentence.
- Use the word, "awful," in place of, "a lot." For example, "I don't have an awful lot of gravy on my plate."
- Don't add "-ing" to any word. For example, say, "nothin'."
- For words that have a double "O", like, "goodness," drag it out. "Oh my Goooooodness!"
- And don't forget to bless everyone's heart, as in, "Well, bless his heart, he lost the trailer durin' that tornado."
Okay, let's move on to specific words and expression, shall we?
I'll provide the word and then use it in a sentence.
(I don't think this is a complete version. I could be wrong)
Dudden: "That dudden make no sense."
Duddenit: "That sounds 'bout right, duddenit?"
Waden: "That waden what I said."
Haden: "I haden made up my mind yet."
Lieberry: "I dropped them books off at the lieberry."
Fower: "Billy Bob lost his thumb in that tractor accident and only has fower fingers on his right hand."
Awl: "I need to change the awl in the four wheeler."
Eyetalyun: "I sure do love me some eyetalyun food, especially that spaghetti in a can."
Kay-un: "If that women didn't have a kay-un opener, her family would starve to death."
Uhmurkin: "I'm from the United States and proud to be an Uhmurkin."
Dreckly: (directly, which also mean, "soon.") "I'm goin' down the road to the neighbors. Be back dreckly."
Jawl-P: "Did ya'll go to the bathroom?"
Jeet?: "Did you eat?"
Dad burn it: this replaces, "Damn it!"
That dog won't hunt: "This won't work."
Hold yer tater: "Be patient."
He ain't fittin': "That not the way nice people behave."
He could talk a cat out of a tree: "He's persuasive."
It's hotter than a goats butt in a pepper patch: It must be summer.
I'm as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rockers: That's pretty nervous.
Might could: This is a polite way of presenting options. "You might could wash your hands before supper or I might could whoop yo ass."
Fixin': This is used as a verb at all times, as in, "I'm fixin' to go to the store, be back dreckly."
Come to Jesus Meetin': Southern speak for an argument, also called "laying down the law" or "reading the riot act". As in, "My kid and I had to have a come to Jesus meetin' to get her room cleaned!
Caddywompus (a.k.a. caddywonked): a more fun way to say sideways.
Lit up like a Christmas tree: Something with lots of lights and colors. "That cop suddenly lit up behind me like a Christmas tree," which means you are getting a ticket. Sorry.
Sunday-go-to-meetin shoes: Good shoes used for dressy occasions. Instead of shoes, you could also say this about your overalls.
Hissy fit: Southern speak for an adult female temper tantrum. Usually these occur because someone has been plain ornery. Also, we don't throw a hissy fit, we pitch them. "She done pitched a hissy fit."
About to pop: It means you ate too much.
Other things you need to know:
In the south, there is no Pepsi. Everything is Coke. Even Pepsi is called Coke. Get used to it. This is why rednecks don't like going up north, because if they ask for a Coke, all they get is Pepsi.