| SOUTHRONESE: A Guide to the Southern Language !
| Thursday, January 30, 2014
This basic vocabulary guide to our language down here is offered
as a gesture of our hospitality to visiting Northerners who truly want to be able to understand what it is that we're saying.
Ah - The pronoun "I." i.e., "Ah done did that."
Ah'd - Contraction of I would. i.e., "Ah'd ruther be out huntin'."
Ah'll - Contraction of I will. i.e., "Think Ah'll mosey on down to the lake fer sum fishin."
buggy - A shopping cart.
daid - Dead. i.e., "They had to bury Billy Bob's dog 'cause he wuz daid."
fat - A physical confronrtation usually involving fists, but not always. i.e., "You youngins' best stop fatin' or I'm gonna whup your lil asses."
fer - For.
git - Get.
j'yoo - Did you? (Begins a question), i.e., "J'yoo go huntin' in Butcher Holler yesterday?"
mayrd - Married. i.e., "I heard that Bubba and Mary Jo got mayrd last week."
nanner puddin' - Bannana pudding.
Nawlins - Largest city in Louisiana. Known for it's jazz music and Mardi Gra Festival.
ruther - Rather.
snipe hunt - A practical joke that Southerners sometimes play on dumb Northerners.
sum - Some. i.e., "Want sum of my chewin' tabakki?"
tabakki - Tobacco.
thang - Thing.
thar - There.
ustacould - Used to be able to, i.e., "Bubba ustacould sing til' he got that frog in his throat."
whar - Where.
wuz - Was. i.e., "I wuz goin' to work today, but I think I'll lay out and go do sum fishin.'"
whup - To beat up. i.e., "Ifn's you knock my accent one more time, I'm gonna whup yore ass." Also, it can be used in the context of making something: i.e., "I'm a gitten hungry, think ahl whup up sumthin' to eat.
yawl - Contraction for you all. Sometimes written as y'all.
yonder - Afar. At a great distance. i.e., "Hey look over yonder! Bubba's a fixin' to drive his four-wheeler through that bog.
yore - Your.
youngin - A child. plural: youngins.
Southern Language Usage Guide
This part of the Southern Language guide has been prepared to provide non-Southern people a guide to the peculiar way we Southrons paraphrase and colloquialise thangs down here.
The Proper Use of "Bless His/Her Heart" and "Swanee"
(Original author unknown)
Someone once noted that a Southerner can get away with the most awful kind of insult just as long as it's prefaced with the words, "Bless her heart" or "Bless his heart." As in, "Bless his heart, if they put his brain on the head of a pin, it'd roll around like a BB on a six lane highway." Or, "Bless her heart, she's so bucktoothed, she could eat an apple through a picket fence."
There are also the sneakier ones that I remember from tongue clucking types of my childhood: "You know, it's amazing that even though she had that baby 7 months after they got married, bless her heart, it weighed 10 pounds!"
As long as the heart is sufficiently blessed, the insult can't be all that bad, at least that's what my Great Aunt Tiny (bless her heart, she was anything but tiny) used to say. I was thinking about this the other day when a friend was telling me about her new Northern friend who was upset because her toddler is just beginning to talk and he has a Southern accent. My friend, who is very kind and, bless her heart, cannot do a thing about those thighs of hers, was justifiably miffed about this. After all, this woman had CHOSEN to move to the South a couple of years ago. "Can you believe it?" said my friend. "A child of mine is going to be taaaallllkkin liiiike thiiiissss."
Now, don't get me wrong. Some of my dearest friends are from the North, bless their hearts. I welcome their perspective, their friendships and their recipes for authentic Northern Italian food. I've even gotten past their endless complaints that you can't find good bagels down here.
The ones who really gore my ox are the native Southerners who have begun to act almost embarrassed about their speech. It's as if they want to bury it in the "Hee Haw" cornfield. We've already lost too much.
I was raised to swanee, not swear, but you hardly ever hear anyone say that anymore, I swanee you don't. And I've caught myself thinking twice before saying something is "right much"; "right close"or "right good" because non-natives think this is right funny indeed. I have a friend from Bawston who thinks it's hilarious when I say I've got to "carry" my daughter to the doctor or "cut off" the light. She also gets a giggle every time I am fixin to do somethin'. My personal favorite was uttered by my aunt who said, "Bless her heart, she can't help being ugly, but she could've stayed home."
To those of you who're still a little embarrassed by your Southernness: take two tent revivals and a dose of redeye gravy and call me in the morning. Bless your heart!
And to those of you who are still having a hard time understanding all this Southern stuff, bless your hearts, I hear they are fixin to have classes on Southernese as a second language! Bye Bye Y'all!
Bless your hearts.
Thangs A True Southerner Knows
Only a true Southerner knows the difference between a hissie fit and a conniption, or how many fish make up a mess.
A true Southerner can show or point out to you the general direction of cattywumpus.
A true Southerner knows exactly how long directly is, as in "Going to town, be back directly."
Even true Southern babies know that "Gimme some sugar" is not a request for the white, granular sweet substance that sits in a pretty little bowl in the middle of the table.
All true Southerners know exactly when "by and by" is.
True Southerners know instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a neighbor who's got trouble is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of cold tater salad. (If the trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add some hot biscuits and nanner puddin'.)
True Southerners grow up knowing the difference in length between "pert' near" and "a right far piece."
True Southerners both know and understand the differences between a redneck, a good ol' boy, and po'white trash.
True Southerners know that fixin' can be used both as a noun, verb and adverb.
No true Southerner would ever assume that the car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn.
Issued by the Southern Tourism Bureau to All Visiting Northerners and Northeastern Urbanites:
1) Don't order filet mignon or pasta primavera at Waffle House. It's just a diner. They serve breakfast 24 hours a day. Let them cook something they know. If you confuse them, they'll kickyour ass.
2) Don't laugh at our Southern names (Merleen, Bodie, Ovine, LutherRay, Tammy Lynn, Darla Beth, Inez, Billy Joe, Sissy, Clovis,etc.). Or we will just HAVE to kick your ass.
3) Don't order a bottle of pop or a can of soda. Down here it's called Coke. Nobody gives a flying damn whether it's Pepsi, RC, Dr. Pepper, 7-Up or whatever -- it's still just a Coke. Accept it. Doing otherwise can lead to an ass kicking.
4) We know our heritage. Most of us are more literate than you e.g., Welty, Williams, Faulkner. We are also better educated and generally a lot nicer. Don't refer to us as a bunch of hillbillies, or we'll kick your ass.
5) We have plenty of business sense (e.g., Fred Smith of Fed Ex, Turner Broadcasting, MCI WorldCom, MTV, Netscape). Naturally we do, sometimes, have small lapses in judgment e.g., Carter, Edwards, Duke, Barnes, Clinton). We don't care if you think we are dumb. We are not dumb enough to let someone move to our state in order to run for the Senate. If someone tried to do that, we would kick their ass.
6) Don't laugh at our Civil War monuments. If Lee had listened to Longstreet and flanked Meade at Gettysburg instead of sending Pickett up the middle, you'd be paying taxes to Richmond instead of Washington. If you visit Stone Mountain and complain about the carving, we'll kick your ass.
7) We are fully aware of how high the humidity is, so shut the hell up. Just spend your money and get the hell out of here, or we'll kick your ass.
8) Don't order wheat toast at Cracker Barrel. Everyone will instantly know that you're a Yankee. Eat your biscuits like God intended -- with gravy. And don't put sugar on your grits, or we'll kick your ass.
9) Don't fake a Southern accent. This will incite a riot, and you will get your ass kicked.
10) Don't talk about how much better things are at home because we know better. Many of us have visited Northern shit holes like Detroit, Chicago, and DC, and we have the scars to prove it. If you don't like it here, Delta is ready when you are. Move your ass on home before it gets kicked.
11) Yes, we know how to speak proper English. We talk this way because we don't want to sound like you. We don't care if you don't understand what we are saying. All other Southerners understand what we are saying, and that's all that matters. Now, go away and leave us alone, or we'll kick your ass.
12) Don't complain that the South is dirty and polluted. None of OUR lakes or rivers have caught fire recently. If you whine about OUR scenic beauty, we'll kick your ass all the way back to Boston Harbor.
13) Don't ridicule our Southern manners. We say sir and ma'am. We hold doors open for others. We offer our seats to old folks because such things are expected of civilized people. Behave yourselves around our sweet little gray-haired grandmothers or they'll kick some manners into your ass just like they did ours.
14) So you think we're quaint or losers because most of us live in the countryside? That's because we have enough sense not to live in filthy, smelly, crime-infested cesspools like New York or Newark. Make fun of our fresh air, and we'll kick your ass.
15) Last, but not least, DON'T DARE come down here and tell us how to cook barbecue. This will get your ass shot (right after it is kicked). You're lucky we let you snowbirds come down here at all. Criticize our barbeque, and you will go home in a pine box -- minus your ass.
|posted by Sarge @ 10:37 PM