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Southern Traditions: Vocabulary

Updated on February 2, 2010


Below are several words that you can hear any day in any small town in the Deep South. To help explain, I’ve provided a sentence with each word so that readers can understand the application of the vocabulary words.

Yestiddy – the day before today

I had to work overtime yestiddy.

Mess –  enough of a specific food for a family meal

I caught me a mess of fish at the pond yestiddy.

Findigo – about to leave

I’m findigo to Mickey D’s; you want a Big Mac?

Fur piece – a considerable distance

Washington is a fur piece from here.

Plague take – a curse

Plague take that cat for jumping on the table!

Plike – to assume pretend role models

Let’s plike I’m a cowboy and you’re a saloon girl.

Co-coler – any type, flavor, or brand of soda

What kind a co-coler you want – a coke, Sprite, or Orange?

Sodie water – any type, flavor, or brand of soda

You want a sodie water to go with that hotdog?

Weenie – a hotdog without the bun

I’m gonna cook me a weenie in the oven.

Reckon- to suppose

I reckon I need to get up and get to work.

Alanna – a city in Georgia with tall buildings

Have you been to that giant fish tank in Alanna?

All Benny – a city in South Georgia

Let’s go to Albany to eat at A.J.’s!

Pole lice – law enforcement

If they don’t quit fighting, somebody’s gonna call the pole lice.

Conniption – a fit of anger

Mama’ll have a conniption if she finds out I skipped church!

Boggin’ – purposely trying to get your 4 x 4 stuck in the mud

Hey, it’s raining! Let’s go boggin’!

Rile – to anger or harass

Bubba, don't rile that dog - he'll bite you!

Washateria – a laundry mat

I have to take the laundry to the washateria because my washer got repossessed.

Varmint - a pest

If you go varmint huntin’, Mama can make us a stew.

Peanut hog – a hog fattened on peanuts, usually used to describe obesity

Aunt Agnes is a regular peanut hog!

Black baldy – a bovine cross between a Hereford and an Angus

Is this t-bone off a black baldy?

Slew-footed – having feet that turn out

That slew-footed mare is lame again.

Heap – a large supply

My wife sure does have a heap o’ shoes!

Lead pill – a bullet

I think a good dose of lead pill would straighten him out.

Testosterone poisoning – what negatively affects a group of males

The county commission is suffering from a bad case of testosterone poisoning.


Grocery feet – very dirty feet

Did you see them nasty youngins with them grocery feet?

Piddlin’- a small quantity

That sure is a piddlin’ amount you put in the collection plate this morning.

Skank – a low-class person

That boy she’s dating ain’t nothing but a skank.

Gator mouth – someone with very bad teeth

That gator mouth needs to see a dentist!

Hankerin’ – desire

I got me a hankerin’ for some pecan pie.

Skunk head – a dark-haired person with a gray or white streak

Did you see the skunk head brother at the bar?

Plumb – completely

I done run plumb outta ideas.

Youngin – a child

What is that ornery youngin up to now?

Tow head – a small child with very light blond hair

His hair might be dark now, but when he was a kid, he was a pure tow head.

Tote - to carry

Help me tote these groceries in.

Sammidge – two slices of bread with meat or some other filling between

I made me a sammidge outta that leftover barbecue.

Mater – a tomato

Would you make me a mater sammidge?

Tater – a potato

I want butter and sour cream on my baked tater.

Okrey – a green slimy vegetable often found in gumbo

Are you gonna fry that okrey, or boil it?

Okra – a famous female celebrity

Did you hear that Okra Winfrey gave away a bunch of free cars?

Ignernt – dumb

He’s so ignernt he don’t know when to come in outta the rain.

Idjit – really dumb

She’s such a idjit she can’t tie her own shoes.

Gully washer – a heavy rain

That gully washer nearbout broke the pond dam.

Frog strangler – a heavy rain

We got nearbout 4 inches in that frog strangler last week!

Yonder – a location, often used in conjunction with “ways”

That row of peanuts is over yonder ways.

Show – a cinema

Hey, what’s playing at the show this week?

Nearbout – almost

I nearbout fell off my chair when he said that!


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    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 5 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska


    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Aww, thanks, Antoinette! Southern gals rock!

    • profile image

      antoinette 7 years ago

      Thank you for bringing smile to my face! I'm Southern gal too, and I really enjoyed reading this. Some I knew, others were new to me. I loved it!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      You have me chuckling now, Marie. I can just picture your doing this!

    • marieryan profile image

      Marie Ryan 7 years ago from Andalusia, Spain

      That was great fun. I had to read the whole list out loud to myself and it worked! My favourite was 'mater sammidge'!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Good thing to know another language, Doa!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, ucu! Glad you enjoyed it!

    • Dao Hoa profile image

      Dao Hoa 8 years ago

      I think I visited the south often that I remember some of the words here. Hahaha!

    • ucuzoma profile image

      ucuzoma 8 years ago

      Funny and interesting hub. I've never thought of writing something like this before. Thanks

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      I just spell them phonetically! lol

    • Tammy Lochmann profile image

      Tammy Lochmann 8 years ago

      Funny, I hear those all the time. I never know how to spell them though LOL

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Eth, my dad said "gumption" all the time!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Glad you enjoyed it, Lily!

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Great fun. I though of another one of ours. Gumption. Do you say that? It means common sense.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Bpop!

    • Lily Rose profile image

      Lily Rose 8 years ago from East Coast

      Very funny, and interesting. I have heard many of these, but I think there were more here that I have never heard of! Had a good laugh, thanks!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 8 years ago

      What a wonderful hub!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Good, HH! Glad you enjoyed!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

      Habee, you gave me a good giggle there. Thank you.