Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Can you speak Southern?

When I married my DH, little did I know that I was in for constant ribbing about my southern accent. You see, Mike comes from a long line of Westerners (on his dad's side) with a solitary Southern belle as his mom. Thus, the crazy western accent ended up being his accent. People are constantly amazed that we genteel southern belles can draw out a relatively simple one syllable word (take for instance jail) and turn it into a multi-syllable word that might go on for a few seconds (say it as I write it: Jayyyyy-ellll).

So, for all of y'all that don't speak Southern, I'm writing just a few entries for the Southern dictionary, so here goes------

y'all- noun, a group of people. As in: I love y'all. Also can be "all y'all" which means a bigger group of people. As in I love all y'all.

yonder-noun, over there. As in: I'm going over yonder.

fixin'-noun or verb. Noun usage: I like fried chicken with fixin's. Used in this context (which confused Mike greatly upon first hearing it) it means side dishes like mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, rice, whatever. Verb usage: I'm fixin' to get up. Used in this context means getting ready to do something.

cut-verb. Oh silly girl you say I know what cut means! Oh ho!!! Cut in Southern means turn on, i.e. cut on the light. Also can be used in the phrase "cut that out" which means stop doing that or you're going to get hurt.

Bless her/his/their heart(s)-I've explained this to my cousin and western sister Stephanie that you can say whatever about whomever and all is forgiven if you say "bless her heart" right after it. An example from long ago, the following statement was actually heard by myself at some time in the distant past (I'm typing like it sounds): I cain't beleeeeve she's waring wite shoos after Labor Daaay. Don't she no any bedderrrr? Bless her heart.

Bar-B-Q-This term is still a source of endless bickering after 11 years of marriage. To me, BBQ is what you eat, depending on where you're from it could be mustard, ketchup or vinegar based and it's usually on ribs. When Mike says Bar-B-Q, he means that thing that is outside of our house that you cook on, commonly called a grill.

crick-To me, a crick is something in your neck whenever you sleep wrong. To my wonderful DH, a crick is a trickling stream of water that you can fish in (I call that a creek).

I know that there are all sorts of little Southern words and phrases that I'm forgetting, but there's only so much room and time. The longer that Mike has lived down here, his western accent has faded and he's taking on a bit of a Southern accent (or so his family says-I can't tell).

It's funny that my accent gets worse when I'm tired (pronounced t-eye-ered) or have been at my granny's or with Crystal. Other than that, what accent are you talking about?

Peace and love y'all!


Connie said...


peace, love, and rock&roll said...

Love it. End of story.
People out here in Utah laugh when I use those lovely Southern phrases that nobody else understands...it's great.

Tiff said...

I love this post. I'm also pretty sure that Mike had an issue with the way that we used the word welp.

scchesleys said...

Tiffany, that's one that bugs me as well. But then again, I have an English professor for a boss.

Anita said...

Love the dictionary! I should print it out and distribute it as a flyer to the people I meet out here. They just don't get it. And while we're at it, I must say that BBQ is something that almost always involves a pig. There's no such thing as chicken in BBQ.