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NAW is LAW in the South

Updated on January 25, 2012
Andy and Barney
Andy and Barney | Source
Source
"Every important yes requires a thousand no's."
"Every important yes requires a thousand no's." | Source

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'.

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    • profile image

      Ghaelach 5 years ago

      Hi Ann.

      My heart skipped a beat when I saw your photo of

      Mr. Warren Buffett. I thought I was in for another lesson from the Guru of the stock exchange.

      Not to be struck down with sorrow, we have you with the theories of "No" and "Naw".

      Enjoyed it Ann.

      LOL Ghaelach

    • anndavis25 profile image
      Author

      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      Ha ha ha ha ha Ghaelach...I thank ye'

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Ann, When I was advising outplaced executives who were getting discouraged by hearing so many no's when looking for new jobs, the motto of the day (in the 90s) was: "Every No (or Naw) gets you one step closer to that Yes!"

      But you are right. No may be negotiable. Naw is final. :)

    • profile image

      girltalksshop 5 years ago

      Interesting...I have a new feather in my cap now. lol! : ) Voted up and accordingly.

    • aslaught profile image

      aslaught 5 years ago from Alabama

      Enjoyed this hub!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Cute hub. Voted up and funny! I love Andy Griffith, and I am from the south.

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 5 years ago from Great Britain

      Voted up of course. It was so interesting. I am practising saying Naw but somehow, I don´t think I can get the accent quite right, here in England.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      A brilliant hub and one which deserves that up up and awaayyy!!!

      Take care and enjoy your day.

      Eddy.

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 5 years ago from Florida

      anndavis25,

      My mother was from the South, and she never had to speak when I asked for something she did not like--I just got a look that said "NO"loud and clear. We called it "The Look of the Undead" as we were teenagers with no couth. Her dark brown eyes could drill holes into a person; when she was thinking "No." So, I always had to ask the same question in another way, with the same results, probably.

      Loved your hub.

      Bobbi

    • anndavis25 profile image
      Author

      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      Bobbi, I know exactly that look you are talking about. I did it myself. Took me a while to master it, but it really worked. Ha Ha.

      Thanks for comments.

    • anndavis25 profile image
      Author

      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      Eiddwen, You're grading me a 'yes'. Thank you.

    • anndavis25 profile image
      Author

      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      Southern tuttoring is necessary, or listen to Andy Griffith. Smile....Thanks.

    • anndavis25 profile image
      Author

      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      Bet you have an accent like me. Well, mine is more of a drawl. Ya'll come back now...

    • anndavis25 profile image
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      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      aslaught, honey, I preciate it...stop in again.

    • anndavis25 profile image
      Author

      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      I would be willing to bet you will start saying naw just for fun....smile

    • anndavis25 profile image
      Author

      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      Well put drbj. No one knows no's like an outplaced executive. ad25

    • profile image

      Shana Eddleman 5 years ago

      Like this....NAW... I LOVE it !

    • anndavis25 profile image
      Author

      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      Awww, Shana, my wonderful neice. Thank you. You are the one who reminded me that most everybody says: 'heck naw'.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Being an ole southern gal, I could relate to your Hub. I have such a drawl, its hard to be understood by some people. I've lived in Fl. for 20 years and still talk the same way! Goodnight.

    • DonnaCosmato profile image

      Donna Cosmato 5 years ago from USA

      Great hub and even though I have southern roots, I didn't make the connection in the title until I started reading this.

    • profile image

      stessily 5 years ago

      Ann, It's fun to play around with naw and its equivalent, nope, all in fun, drawing out the vowel indefinitely. But they both can also mean business!

    • NiaLee profile image

      NiaLee 5 years ago from BIG APPLE

      Yes, Ann, we need to be reminded of this sometimes. We need to know how to take a stand and be firm. I will keep it with me. I am eager to visit that colorful historical south. LOve and peace

    • anndavis25 profile image
      Author

      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      Nia, ya'll come!

    • anndavis25 profile image
      Author

      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      I agree, sometimes we say it in fun. But it does mean business (with an attitude)

    • anndavis25 profile image
      Author

      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      Hi Donna, hope it brought a smile.

    • anndavis25 profile image
      Author

      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      Do you notice when you are around people from the North, they seem to connect our drawl to illiteracy? I had to throw in a couple of sophiscated words once in a while to prove my point. I have one really good friend who calls me an educated hick. laugh laugh. Once in a while when I have to call someone about a product I bought, I get a southerner. It makes me homesick. So I need to live close to you Mary. Why heck fire! We could shoot some snakes!

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

      Heck naw you didn't write about naw!

      Well I loved it. Thank you for the wit and wisdom. Nice combo there.

    • anndavis25 profile image
      Author

      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      Your dad would understand. Come by again.

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 5 years ago

      I must say I love that southern lilt in voice , my daughter raised in the south has it , I just love to listen to her song like conversations ! Awesome

    • anndavis25 profile image
      Author

      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      Thank ya'll, honey. Nice of you to visit, ya'll come back now, ya hear!

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