NAW is LAW in the South
A Southern Word
Naw is Law in the South...
A Carolina boy said it best. Andy Griffith said it with authenticity. It means : a firm ‘no’. You can mess around with the word no, but the word naw means there are no choices.
Say you are a child and you ask your mom for a dog. Her first response might be, “No,” with a-maybe-tone of voice. That meant you could ask again.
The second ‘no’ would be in a firmer tone. That meant waiting a little longer and you could start pleading. “Please, can I have a dog?”
At this point she feels the need to explain the reason she is saying ‘no’, the responsibility and the expense. Next, the promises. I’ll squeeze him, and pet him, and feed him, and clean up the messes. Mom will feel sorry for you, and she will think about it. What’s left? Whining and listless begging. “Please, mama, Please?”
This situation is one that can be settled very easily, with a 'naw'. It’s understood by all southerners that naw is the final answer. Accepted with no questions asked.
No is a powerful word. It’s defining. Warren Buffett said he might say no a hundred times to investment proposals before he says ‘yes’. Every important yes requires a lot of no’s.
Saying no is taking a stand for the better part of yourself. You are actually uncovering your values and saying yes to a deeper motivation. There is nothing as strong as a clear intention.
Saying no to drugs will prevent addiction.
Saying no to complacency will advance your career.
Saying no violence will promote peace.
Therefore, saying no can distill your values. You will be saying yes to honesty, kindness, respect, courage, and integrity.
The family has spoken
My southern family has been reading this hub, and reminded me that it's a common thing to say 'heck naw'.