Ten Unique Southern Expressions

I'm Fixin' ToWhen I lived “Up North” everybody knew that Southerns always said “Y’all” instead of “You all” and dropped the letter “g” on the end of lots of words. My sister and I used to pretend to be Southern belles (Scarlet O’Hara wanna-bes), fluttering our hands and whispering “Y’all hush now!” to each other. (Our grandma lived in Florida and we picked up a few expressions from her.)

After quite a few years living on the South Carolina coast — the “garden spot of the earth” — I’ve discovered a couple more distinctly Southern phrases that Northers don’t commonly use.

1) “Cut off the light” — translation: “Turn off the light”

2) “I’m fixin’ to…” — translation: “I plan to…” or “I’m going to…”

3) “Quit bein’ ugly” — translation: “You’re being mean”

4) “Mash the button” — translation: “Press the button”

5) “Hey” — translation: “Hi” (Can’t believe I say this now: When these words come out of my mouth, I always think of Gomer Pyle or Barney Fife on the old Andy Griffith show!)

6) “She’s lookin’ to…” — translation: “She wants to…”

7) “He’s showing his behind” –translation: “He’s making an ass out of himself.”

8) “Mama” — translation: Mom

9) “Bubba” — translation: A good ol’ Southern boy or a commonly used nickname

10) “Hush” — translation: Be quiet

Do you have other Southern-isms to add to the list?

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3 Responses to Ten Unique Southern Expressions

  1. Alana says:

    I lived in Arkansas years ago, and I remember (this may be obsolete slang) people there referring to making a photocopy as “taking a picture of” something. More true Deep South, I think, would be “Bless your heart” – which has several meanings, at least one of which is a putdown.
    Alana recently posted…Civil War Sunday – Andersonville – August 17, 1864My Profile

    • blogqueendiane says:

      I always read about Southerners saying “bless their heart” but can’t recall anyone I know ever saying it!

  2. Kelly says:

    These are great and all commonly heard!
    After leaving TN to go to college, I learned that “getting your picture made” didn’t translate outside the South. My friends had no idea what I meant until I translated it: “Getting your picture taken!”
    Bless their hearts! 🙂
    Kelly recently posted…Peanut Butter Cup Mini TartsMy Profile

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