Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Every once in a while, the subject of local dialects comes up in my yahoogroups. Yes, accents are just about audible through typing, because of the way we put words together. I DO type words like “y’all” and “reckon” when I’m joining in a conversation. Once I got into an exchange with a friend from Alabama, using as many Southern idioms as we could. The other members tried to guess where we were from (Oklahoma?). Ha! I’m a Kentucky girl, which is still considered a border state, but I’m in the SOUTHERN part of Kentucky, and spent many years in Tennessee besides. So you could call me educated in Southern Speech, even though I am just a hillbilly.
Why is that important? Because when you make fun of Southern Speech, you better be from the South. We can laugh at ourselves all day, but if someone from UP NORTH makes light of our ways, the bile gets to risin'. Meaning, we don't like it. GRITS (Girls Raised in The South) and Good Ole Boys will set you straight in a Noo Yawk minute. Then again, maybe we make fun of ourselves so we can beat the others to the punch. See some posts about it at Clueless in Carolina, Churp Churp, and Scattered and Covered.
Do you have a born-and-bred Southern dialect? Take the Yankee or Dixie Test to make sure. (Thanks, Thor!)
If you came out as a Yankee, you may want to consult the Dixie Dictionary or the Southern Word Homepage to get yourself up to speed. Also, here’s our secret to being catty as all get out while remaining ladylike.
But you cannot LEARN to be a true Southerner. It takes years and years of following the fine examples of our ancestors. Bless their hearts.
Things You'll Never Hear a Southerner Say
We don't keep firearms in this house.
Has anybody seen the sideburn trimmer?
You can't feed that to the dog.
I thought Graceland was tacky.
No kids in the back of the pick-up, it's not safe.
Do you think my hair is too big?
I'll have grapefruit instead of a bowl of gravy.
Honey, these bonsai trees need watering?
Give me the SMALL bag of pork rinds.
Deer heads detract from the decor.
Spitting is such a nasty habit.
I just couldn't find a thing at Wal-Mart today.
Trim the fat off that steak.
Cappuccino tastes better than espresso.
The tires on that truck are too big.
I'll have the arugula and radicchio salad.
Unsweetened tea tastes better.
Would you like your fish poached or broiled?
My fiancee, Paula Jo, is registered at Tiffany's.
Little Debbie snack cakes have too many fat grams.
Does the salad bar have bean sprouts?
Hey, here's an episode of "Hee Haw" that we haven't seen.
I don't have a favorite college team.
I believe you cooked those green beans too long.
Be sure to bring my salad dressing on the side.
How to say I love you in 22 languages... (Thanks, Joe!)
English (Great Britain; certain parts of U.S.)
"I Love You"
" Te Amo"
"lch Liebe Dich"
"Ai Shite Imasu"
"Wo Ai Ni"
& parts of Florida
"Nice Ass. Get in the truck."
Thought for today: In the South, the breeze blows softer...neighbors are friendlier, nosier, and more talkative. (By contrast with the Yankee, the Southerner never uses one word when ten or twenty will do)...This is a different place. Our way of thinking is different, as are our ways of seeing, laughing, singing, eating, meeting and parting. Our walk is different, as the old song goes, our talk and our names. Nothing about us is quite the same as in the country to the north and west. What we carry in our memories is different too, and that may explain everything else. --Charles Kuralt
humor links Dixie funny South dialect jokes Yankee