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Let me tell y’all right now, I was NOT born in the south. I was born in California and I moved all over the U.S. throughout my childhood (thanks Dad for the culture lesson, but seriously, a kid needs roots). I lived in New England and UPSTATE New York (didn’t want you to think I was a city girl…ever) for my entire childhood and into my teens. I loved it there. I still have a LOT of friends there and sometimes I think they laugh with (at) me when they hear me talk.
You see, back in 1986…that’s right 25 years ago, I moved to Georgia (thanks Dad for yanking us yet again) so I have spent well over half of my life in the south. I have spent my entire adulthood in the south. I live in Texas now (on an island, have I already told you that?) and I love the south with all of it’s quirks and perks! I love the weather, I love the people, and OH MY do I love the language. Apparently, I am so entrenched in the south that I use terms, phrases, and colloquialisms that stunned and confused me when I first moved here all of those years ago.
Apparently, I have an “accent”. Apparently I say “odd” things! Apparently, I am now a southerner. I have my favorites! I use a bunch of them (I never thought this day would come) and I just giggle at others. I feel obliged to share my top 10 with you here so you can giggle along with me. I know some of these have made their way up north (thank you Mr. Internet whoever you are) but believe you-me, they were formulated in the south and they are overused to the millionth degree!
Without further adeaux, here it is, my “list”. I’ve learned a lot from living in the south! There is wisdom behind the accent. Sit back and enjoy!
- Bless her/his little heart! I feel I should start with this one because it goes hand in hand with so many others. Please understand that in the south, you can say ANYTHING about ANYONE and it won’t be a put down as long as you complete your statement with “Bless her little heart”! Use it, love it (I do, probably WAY too often)!
- Slicker ‘an owl shit. You know personally, I don’t know how slick owl shit is. I’ve never run across it in my daily life. But after 25 years in the south, you better damn well believe that if someone tells me it’s slicker ‘an owl shit, I avoid it like the plague. I’m clumsy as it is. I’ve been dumb enough not to heed these warnings in the past and mark my words…each time I ignored the warning, I ended up bruised, battered, and broken. I’ve learned that owl shit must be extremely slick. And indeed if I ever do come across some owl shit, I’m not going near it. That shit is slick!
- She’s been whooped with the ugly stick one too many times. Poor thing is just not a pretty girl. You know the type….bless her little heart!
- You look like an old thowed out kid! Please understand that I know how to spell thrown. Please understand that I know that even if I were to try to spell “throwed”, I would use the R, but please understand that I have used this phrase on my children way too many times over the years. They put on mismatched clothes. They won’t brush their hair. They sometimes get dirty. Bless their little hearts!
- Rode hard and put up wet. Again, I use this entirely too often. I’m educated, I know better than to stay
shitthings like this. But seriously…some people look like this! You can imagine what it means. Bless their little hearts!
- How’s yer mom an’ dem? This is a social must! If you ask this question in the south, you truly care about the person you are speaking with! And yes, the grammar is very correct! What’s your point?
- Happier ‘an a pig in shit! Now that’s pretty damned happy! Have you ever seen a pig in shit? I have, and they are very happy. Unless of course that shit is from an owl! As we all know, that kind of shit is even too slick for a pig!
- If all y’all don’t quit acting too big for your britches, I’ll knock you into tomorrow! This is a huge threat that I use often with my kids! It’s a broad statement since of course you cover EVERYONE in the house with the “all y’all”. And oh do my kids often act too big for their britches? You know they do! And tomorrow is a long way off. Hey it works! Use it on your own kids, you’ll see!
- Son of a Biscuit Eater! This is most assuredly one of my favorites and I use it on a daily basis. Please don’t confuse this with Son of a Mother Hunchy because these are two entirely different terms with very different meanings. You see in the south, we can “cuss” all we want without actually cussing at all and it’s acceptable. As a matter of fact, I stabbed myself in the hand with a knife while cooking tonight (note yet another reason to avoid owl shit…I am clumsy) in front of my kids. I used the Son of a Biscuit Eater comment, and Bug simply said “are you ok?”. See? Normal AND acceptable!
- Drunker ‘an Cooter Brown. Well that MUST be bad. You see, I’ve never met Cooter myself, or if I have I was drunker ‘an him so I don’t remember, but it must be a really bad thing since everyone references him so often! Poor Cooter! Wait? Poor me, I think I just remembered meeting him at a party one time and I WAS drunker ‘an him!
Well folks, that’s about all I have on this-here subject. I really do love the south and I get to laugh every day! I know there are so many more and I hope you will feel free to share them with me with comments below (that is if they are worthy)! I love to laugh! And I can laugh at myself! I really have learned a lot by living in the south! And now, so have you! Bet you had no clue how slick owl shit was until now, did ya?