Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Say It Like A Southern Girl

On Saturday I received a phone call from a very nice man who was conducting a survey. He sounded like he was of Indian descent and I will just tell you the truth, I was having a hard time understanding him. I had to keep repeating, "I am so sorry, but could you repeat that?" And he would. I tried to be patient because as I was listening I had the thought, "He is probably having as just a hard time as I was understanding ME." I have always had a hard time saying certain words and add in my Southern accent, well, I might need an interpreter on occasion.

All that to say, I love to hear the Southern accent. Not sure that everyone else does, but to me, it means home, good stories, and good things.

I also love Southern words and phrases. Jayme, introduced me to a new one just this week. She is not a Southern gal herself, but her family was, and they had a certain way to denote that time of the month when anything and everything can get on your very last reserve nerve. It is called being "unwell." Love it!

So I started thinking about other Southern phrases I know of personally, and use quite a bit, or ones that I have heard in movies or read in books.

And I need your help. I want to start a page on my blog called, "Say It Like A Southern Girl." I want to start recording all the wonderful sayings I hear on a daily basis, but take for granted. There's some good stuff being said all around us.

I"ll start with some I could think of off the top of my head:

~hurts likes the dickens -not sure what the dickens is, but I have always said this

~sets my fields on fire -makes me really mad

~bless her heart -you are really sorry about the situation the person is in

~bless her heart (#2) -used to declare shock and amazement. Example: someone wearing white shoes after Labor Day, although this particular fashion fuax pax seems to be wearing down-what is this world coming to?

~there's no telling -again, shock and amazement

~cute as a button

~cute as a junebug -this one really doesn't make sense, as junebugs are not cute, but we go with it here

~Well, I never... -again, shock and amazement

~crazy as an outhouse rat -Mark's personal favorite

~I could just eat him up... -meaning that the baby is so sweet and fat and chubby that you just can't get enough of him. We really only eat up lots of good Southern food.

~that's tacky -most famously used in the movie Steel Magnolias

So, do you have any to add? If you do leave me a comment and I'll add it to my list. I know there are a lot of good southern gals out there because I hear you everyday!

I'll leave you with Julia Sugarbakker and one of my most favorite rants...

We are proud of our crazy people here. They give us our best stories.

PS-There just might be a little tiny prize for one commenter that leaves a Southern saying...


  1. I'm not southern but I actually say a couple of those phrases, too! On of my best girlfriends is from Louisiana and I LOVE her sayings and comments....Can't wait for your new page.

  2. The all important "ya'll..."

  3. I love living in the South. I remember when I first moved her not being able to understand my teachers, but I caught on quick!

    Southern Phrases:
    Kiss my grits

    Also I'm not sure if this a common southern phrase, but my boss who is a true Southern lady always says, "She's a real sweet girl." This phrase comes with a huge implied but (she's not very bright) that would never actually be spoken.

  4. I have to agree "ya'll"

    fixin' to- I had a friend who came to Texas for school and swore she'd never say it, and halfway through discovered herself saying it. She was so mad.

  5. When Mawmaw was receiving a most disturbing piece of news she would say "the lawwww" which I'm pretty sure was her way of calling on The Lord. Or she would say "Why, I declare" or "you don't mean it". Those may not be really things to put on the page, but fun to read!

  6. " I'm fixin". Like I'm fixin to go to the store or I am fixin to get a shower, etc...

  7. the old boy bout had hisself a Conniption fit when he found out there wernt no more gravy for the biscuits.

  8. Oh, I had forgotten about the conniption fit and the "she's a real sweet girl..."

  9. Not a phrase, but I think grandparent's are only known as Memaw/Mawmaw and Pepaw/Pawpaw in the South!

  10. I love southern sayings, I'll try to think of some more and come back & comment.
    Designing Women was one of my favorite TV shows, and Julia Sugarbaker's rates were my favorite part! I also love that the actresses had great southern names like Dixie Carter & Delta Burke :)

  11. Oh my goodness - that is the funniest clip!! Love it and I know I will quoting "proud of our crazy people" line for quite awhile. And its true - we all have 'em and even know what said they came from:)

    Don't even get me started with the things y'all say below the Mason line! I love the accents...cause its in my blood - somewhere!..but some of the sayings are just a hoot:)

    I don't know if its an everywhere in the South thing or just in Charlotte - but to "go to town" (which we do not do here) you go "uptown"! Uptown?? We definitely go downtown here and I have even been called out on that one when NC. Excuse me.

    I think one of my favorites is the use of "Honey" - I'm telling you when I'm out with my aunt...everyone is honey - the grocery clerk, the bank teller or the friend you run into. Its all in how the honey is said. To be sure, I call no one outside of my home, honey. But the best use of this word is

    Honey...don't!! Can really mean a lot of things but when my aunt says it, I know exactly how she felt and its a hoot:)

    The use of "Child" is pert near the same - all in how you say it.

    A couple others that never made much sense: madder than a wet hen, meaner than a snack and the always popular - I will smack you silly!!

  12. Oh, how fun! I love this! What about "I love you a bushel and a peck!"

    The "fixin'" is so true. When I was teaching, one very proper young lady raised her hand and said, "Mrs. Hixon? You must be from the south." When I said, well, yes, why do you ask, she said, "You say "fixin' to. I've never heard anyone say "fixin' to."

    This was in Birmingham. You know, the big city. ;0) Cause folks in the city don't talk that much southern anymore? Hilarious!

    And what about, "Well, she has a pretty face. . . ." We all know what that means!

    And a sayin' we have in our family van when Mama's making a very quick stop? "Hold on to yer biscuits!"

    Love it.

  13. Well, i swanney!

  14. LOVE IT. I want a southern accent so badly! I say ya'll all the livelongday and people look at me like i'm crazy. But...it's wearing off on my daughters :) I'm sure it's not nearly as cute as it would be if we truly were southerners! I always find myself adapting a southern accent when i talk to someone with one, or when i watch shows with it in there :)

  15. How many of ya'll have pitched a hissy fit or gone over yonder.And yes us Southerners know exactly where yonder is. It is where we are not. When we get there it won't be yonder anymore. One of my favorites ( and my girls have heard it numerous time) is "Where is that girl's Mama?"
    It means that girl has done something or is wearing something that is very not very ladylike.

  16. Dear Mamahen,
    I havne't been over here in 'a coons age'... sweet comments like your on my blog are 'scarce as hen's teeth'!!! ;)

    The Prairie Hen

  17. I'm afraid I could write a dictionary of words I use. Even my children make fun of poor ol'moma. :(

    Do hickey, thingamabob, whatchamacallit, or a hickydo - that item that we can't remember what it's name is.

    Berean Wife

  18. You could start a whole new blog, except instead of being Urban Dictionary, it would be Southern Dictionary. It'd be fun!! :)

    I can't think of any right now, but if I do, I'll come back! :)

  19. We'll mine are taken. While in China last time, I told my travel mates 10yo daughter that I was "fixin" to do something...she was from Connecticut, and I had to explain.
    Hissy fit was my other one, and I was gonna offer to show you one if you needed clarification.....it's been that kind of week! What about having a caniption....I can show you one of those too.
    Oh- what about "pert near" (pretty close to). And "if it'd been a snake, it would a bit ya" my grandmother used those.
    And don't forget, when eating a biscuit, that you will need some syrup or gravy to "drag it thru".

  20. Mrs. Deb from CBS wanted me to add, "she's just falling off" or "she has fell off". This means quickly losing a lot of weight.

    Do people do that?


  22. Well, since "conniption fit," "fixin' to," and a few other really good ones have been taken . . .

    "Those biscuits (substitute other food) are so good, they'll make you want to slap your grandma!"

    "Lord willing and the creek don't rise . . ."

    "He's looking like a calf staring at a new gate."

    A specifically Texan one . . . "He's lower than a snake's belly in a wagon rut!"

  23. DH is fuller than a tick on a hound dog......meaning he ate too much.
    Is James going to help you put this all together?=)

  24. I am loving reading all these comments. My grandpa used to always say . . ."Running around like a chicken with your head cut off."


    "Good heavens"

  25. My daughter has been lving in the south for a couple of years and has also picked up the "fixin' to" phrase. One that
    I have not seen mentioned is "might could" as in "That might could work".