My Favorite Southern Expressions

Straight From the Southern Belle's Repetoir

  • Eat up with the dumb-ass
  • Balls to the walls
  • People would look at my feet all the time...to see if I was barefoot.
  • Older than dirt
  • gimme some sugar
  • You goin Jukin tonight?
  • He sure is puny
  • She treats me like the red headed stepchild
  • Take your head out of your ass
  • Yont to (you want to)
  • butter my butt and call me a biscuit
  • I'll be there, if the Lord's willin and the creek don't rise
  • full as a tick
  • No one wants to be the turd in the punchbowl
  • That one's as mean as a yard dog
  • Flat as a flitter
  • Hell's bells
  • Lower than a snake's belly
  • She looks like she's been rode hard and put up wet
  • Right as rain
  • yont to (you want to)
  • Slicker than snot
  • I'm Hongray (I'm hungry)
  • tow up from the flow up (tore up from the floor up)

Wanted: Translator Fluent in Mississippi

When I first arrived in Mississippi I had a difficult time with the dialect, while the natives had difficulty with my dialect (Canadian English). I know I spoke rather quickly, and us Canadians shorten up the O sound, while Mississippians elongate the O sound. It took me a while to learn to slow my speech so people could understand me, or at least follow what I was trying to say.

When my then boyfriend (now my wonderful husband) came to visit me (he was still living in Canada) I actually had to interpret for him. Our first trip to McDonald's was hilarious the poor man had no idea what the cashier was saying to him. Now he has a thicker southern accent than I do. You tend to pick up the habit of speaking in the regional dialect when you have been in Mississippi a while. I suppose out of survival. You don't want to sound too much like a "Yank". However, you can't fool a Mississippian, no matter how much of an accent you put on.

I am still struck with awe when I hear a "gracious southern belle" drawl a greeting. Being a big fan of the movie "Gone with the Wind" long before I ever moved to Mississippi, I never tire of hearing someone who has that old fashioned southern accent.

Being in the healthcare field I work mostly with women. A lot of my patient's are elderly females. There are several different dialects I have noticed. I also have noted that certain people from certain towns have different dialects. Some are very proper, and some just down right "country". The country dialect is the one I get the most amusement from. Remember the show "Hee Haw" and the character "Minnie Pearl". There is not a day goes by that I don't meet up with a "Minnie Pearl" type character. There is no shortage of humorous anecdotes on any given day at work.

I live in a suburb of Jackson, Mississippi. It's quiet, and my neighbors are wonderful. Everyone you meet on the street always speaks or waves. The Hospitality is second to none in my opinion. No hustle and bustle just the slow deliberate southern way.

More by this Author

  • What I Love Most About Being a Nurse
    34

    Nursing is a very demanding profession, both mentally and physically. Nurses work long hours. Nurses spend most of their working hours on their feet. Nurses do not just take care of patients; they take care...

  • Little Girls Love Polly Pocket Dolls
    6

    I'm writing this because I just finished cleaning out my daughter's room. There must have been fifteen Polly Pocket dolls under the bed and in every crack and crevice there were Polly's accessories. Every holiday,...


Comments 49 comments

Lisa Busch 6 years ago

LMAO! I remember too many times, patients calling to the desk for, specifically worded, "A Coke"...but when you came to the room with a Coke in hand, the patient would say "But I wanted a sprite/Dr. Pepper/rootbeer!" or something like that. The universality of Coke as reference to all sodas (or 'Pop' as we Canucks call it!!) while I lived there was one of the things that stuck in my head.

And although after almost 15 years in the States, on a lazy relaxed day I can still do that southern drawl (and still use "Fixin' to" occasionally!!), My "Ooot and abooot" reminants of my Canadian accent are what still gets people's attention. I guess you never totally get rid of your original accent.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Hey Lisa glad you got a kick out of that. Makes me feel like I'm not wasting my time!


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California

How about "drunk as Cooter Brown, bout to, fixin to, hi y'all, oh I got a million of them, but you did a good job. I remember most of yours, but I'm from Georgia, so we had a few different ones. Great hub!


Kim Garcia 6 years ago

LOL!!! I so enjoyed this Hub very much, as I'm quite familiar with these sayings. I can recall both my grandmothers and other relatives spur a few of these off once in a while. Have you heard of "Well I Swannie"; or, "sweatin' bullets," or "playin possum" or "you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar?" These were a few in my grandmother's repituar. Thanks for sharing!! Peace ~K


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Thank you Fastfreta and Kim Garcia for visiting my page! Wrote down all the expressions I could think of at the time...."Fixin" to add more got come cute lil ole country gals I hang with, so I will probably add more. Thanks again!!


livewithrichard profile image

livewithrichard 6 years ago from Charleston, SC

I lived in the Biloxi/Gulfport area of MS for about 7 years and I have to say, coming from Chicago it was quite a culture shock. It took a bit of effort to slow myself down in speech and expectations. Things were, as you say, slow and deliberate. I learned a lot about southern ways that helped me when I spent the next 7 years in Charleston, SC.

Almost a decade and a half I could never rid the Yank in me. It showed every time I asked for pop and the fact I could never bring myself to use the terms fixin or y'all.

Now that I'm back in Chicago, I kind of miss the pace sometimes and the weather.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Nice to meet you Richard. It's a trip here. I don't miss the weather up north for sure. See ya around and thanks!


resspenser profile image

resspenser 6 years ago from South Carolina

Excellent hub. Whew, glad I live in the north .......of South Carolina!

I came visitn' cause I didn't know what a canuck wuz!

Later


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Resspenser, thanks Now you know what a Canuck is!


johnnyco12 profile image

johnnyco12 6 years ago from Pascagoula, Ms

What a wonderful work you have done here dear lady. I have lived in Mississippi all my life but have traveled extensively and I can truthfully say there is no place like the Belle of the south, Dear old Mississippi. I love the list of expressions and have said most of them(except for butter my butt and call me a biscuit lol Hey would you be interested in writing a bi monthly column for my online mag Southern Sassafras? if so email me.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Johnny, thank you for the encouragement. I have emailed you. Take care!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

LOL!! Of course, I grew up hearing these, but I can imagine your culture shock. Great read, Tammy.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Habee, culture shock for sure. Thank you for your lovely support. I am hereby naming you head cheerleader! LOL


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Great! I used to be a cheer coach when my daughter was cheering. Rah rah!


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Habee, You never cease to amaze me!


ralwus 6 years ago

I worked very hard to erase my southernness, to no avail. Can't be done after all these years, so I just do it. I do say hamburger now instead of hambooger. Maybe a few other words too, but mostly I have retained my speech patterns and have worked hard to get it all back. ey? I long to return home. Gawd willin' n' the crik don't raaz.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Hi ralwus....thanks for stopping by. My kids have very strong accents but they have learned the dialect from school. It is just so darned cute to hear little ones with that southern drawl. A southern drawl is a hard thing to lose.


hotspur profile image

hotspur 6 years ago from England

Thought you were from the south because your first name's Tammy! Enjoyed the read.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

hotspur thankyou so much for visiting this lonely hub. Look forwar to reading more of your hubs too.


itakins profile image

itakins 6 years ago from Irl

I missed this one!-It occurred to me while reading this-we have so many accents here in Ireland -and it's tiny by comparison to North America-you must have sooo many-that southern accent reminds me of the old movies.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Itakins...gone with the wind is one of my favorite movies, so I totally agree with you. There is a new Disney cartoon movie out here right now called The Princess and the Frog have you heard or seen it? It has a lot of dialect and accents that are dead on what I hear every day.

Thanks for visiting this lonely hub.


itakins profile image

itakins 6 years ago from Irl

Yes I've heard of that new movie-now looking forward to seeing it even more:)

This hub is no longer lonely-------queue forming.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Itakins...I took my daughter to see it last week it was so great! Thanks again!


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

hehehe, Tammy, I jot it down, and can use it at times here at Dallas, and when can we dance? Maita


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Maita...LOL I can turn the tunes on right now! What's your fave dance tune right now?


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 6 years ago from Tucson, Az

funny one here Tammy :)

Lands sakes alive as I live and breathe aint you just the cutest thang! Why I swear I caint member nuther one who put it to the congegation liken you just did :)

and omg I am so glad to be back in our heart home!! I will NOT read the prejudice hub until I have been home again for a little while longer..my heart is still crying for the kids who died from my kids group....small towns...good and so very bad....


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Tams, I liked you before, but now I think you're really wonderful! I so enjoyed this. You need to add, "happier'n a dead pig in the sunshine"!


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

RNMSN...shoot I thought I replied you y'all I bes get my act togedder and be mo fasser about speakin to everone in dis here place. Hope to see you soon. You are so sweet!

Habee...My lovely friend I need your secret on how to get more followers not that I can keep up with the ones that I got but I sho do try...yessum I sho do...LOL I heard one the other day goes like this...wash up as far as possible, wash down as far as possible, then wash possible. LOL


christalluna1124 profile image

christalluna1124 6 years ago from Dallas Texas

Tammy,

Hi what an amazing hub. i grew up hearing those same expressions all my life and it took me a speech therapist and about 5 years to lose my southern mississippi accent. Its great to know someone appreciates the olden days of the southern belles. i have to be careful and catch myself at times.

Best wishes and warmest regards,

Christal


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Christal...Thank you and I am so glad to see you back. Funny you tried to get rid of yours and I have gained one, sort of. Thanks for reading and taking the time to leave a comment I am so excited to see you.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

Guess I live in the south because most of these sound familiar. Full as a tick must be an old one, I had an elderly aunt who used that.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Dolores..That's cool. I have a bunch more I learned recently learned and I need to put them on here.


bmtphoenix profile image

bmtphoenix 6 years ago from Austin, TX

I've lived in Texas all my life, and I love Canadian accents! Don't lose it!


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

bmtphoenix...Don't worry it keeps finding me. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and make a comment. Nice to meet you.


CreativeOrange profile image

CreativeOrange 6 years ago

Lol, great hub. Very original and unique.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

CreativeOrange...thank you for taking the time to read and make a comment


JannyC profile image

JannyC 6 years ago

This made me smile I may have been born up north but on my fathers side they all came up from louisianna missisppi so I know some of them phrases! and I still say them sometime and people are like um..excuse me? Southern blood is strong I guess. Hahaha


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

JannyC...Glad you enjoyed I really enjoyed writing this one. Believe it or not I am Canadian. I was born an lived my entire life there until 1995. I love the south. Thanks for dropping by now I must go and read some more of your great work!


esatchel profile image

esatchel 6 years ago from Kentucky

My favorite Southern expressions are "Bless his heart" and "God love him". You can use these phrases to express genuine concern, as in "Vera was eat up with the cancer but still put her garden out this spring, bless her heart" (or God love her - both appropriate), or to add a little irony or humor, perhaps punctuate what an idiot some one is being, such as "Did you see how Aunt Susie drank half the bowl of punch at the wedding then ran around the rest of the evening with her skirt tucked up her pantyhose, God love her" (again, or bless her heart).

Southern use of language has always been a beautiful thing and I hate to see it disappear. Really, I hate to see all dialects (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Boston) disappear into the skim milk of the general "American dialect" that appears to be taking hold, you know, that newscaster voice that sounds the same where ever you go.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

esatchel...Nice to meet you! I agree I love to hear a true southern dialect. It is especially cute coming from little kids. I doubt it will disappear here in Mississippi the teachers speak with the local dialect too. Thank you for dropping in and sharing your wisdom.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

I love regional dialects - they give character to language. Thanks for these interesting gems.

Love and peace

Tony


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Hi tonymac04...Thanks for stopping by and reading and for your very gracious comment. I have always been fascinated by the english language and the different dialects. Thanks again Tony it's always a pleasure to see you!


heather 6 years ago

I just ran across your site. I'm Canadian, but I'm in the final editing of a children's book set in the south in the Depression. Honing my southern 'dialect'.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Hi heather nice to meet you. Good luck on your children's book. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.


Pete Sardino profile image

Pete Sardino 6 years ago from Off Piste

Ovair in Bumminham, Ellabemma ole George said, 'hey maysh the lots," and Ah said, "Do hwhut?" (he meant turn on the lights by mashing the light switch)

After a while I got used to it, though, and back up north people thought I was Southern for years after that for some reason that I wasn't too sure of, but it had to have been how I was talking. Probably still do sometimes.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Hi Pete...Nice to meet you. I have been in Mississippi for about 15 years and I still have my Canadian accent, but at when I visit Canada they seem to think I have picked up a Southern accent...kinda strange isn't it? Thank you for reading and taking the time to write a comment.


Jan Meier 5 years ago

You can take the girl out of Mississippi but you can't take the Mississippi out of the girl. I have been told I have an elegant southern draw which I really appreciate. I live in Dallas and people ask me all the time where are you from...your not from Texas. I lived in Lincoln County all my life and even the dialect is different from person to person in our county. Mississippi is full of originality even down to the way we each speak. The native Mississippian is full of rights and wrongs, good and bad, love for each other and love for our state. My husband is from Michigan, a doctor and does not like the way I speak. I've tried my best to change...but think at 53 I am just a true southern belle and it's just to late to worry now.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 5 years ago Author

Jan Meier....I have and will always be in love with that elegant southern drawl. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.


Rangoon House profile image

Rangoon House 17 months ago from Australia

These are so funny. I don't know which ones I like best - they're all so clever.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working