If you are new to the South, you may have noticed a language barrier. Even though I was born in Houston, Texas, I never considered myself a Southerner. I've never lived above the Mason-Dixon line, which divides the South from the North. My parents were from Pennsylvania, so I grew up hearing Yankee words and phrases. But everything changed when we moved to good ole South Carolina. It was like they were speaking a whole new language! So, I am writing this as a guide for all non-Southerners to help you navigate through polite Southern conversation. Here are 7 Southern words or phrases you should know!
For all you Yankees, this is the Southern version of 'you guys'. Y'all is actually a contraction of you all. If you're like me, it feels weird to say y'all especially if you haven't grown up saying it your entire life. This Southern word is a staple in all polite Southern conversation, don't you even think about saying 'you guys'.
This, my friends, is a shopping cart. I've never understood why Southerners insist on calling it a buggy because it is a cart. The only buggy I know of is a horse and buggy that the Amish use.
3. Bless your Heart
This phrase may sound sweet, but do not be fooled by that Southern charm! This is just the Southern way of saying that someone is stupid. It just sounds more polite than calling someone a dumbass.
When a Southern says they want Coke, they really mean any kind of carbonated beverage or soda. And if you didn't know, Coca-Cola has a proud Southern history.
This is the Southern word for a purse. Southern women just love carrying their pocketbooks and have different ones for every outfit!
6. Fixin' to
This is how Southerners say they are going to do something. It does not mean they are planning to fix something, this is a common misunderstanding made by Yankees. Simply put, when you're fixin' to do something, it's going to happen!
These two little words gave me a lot of trouble because I was raised by Yankees. Apparently, you are supposed to say, ma'am and sir, to address any adult. Growing up I was taught just to say please and thank you, I had no idea why I had to use ma'am or sir! But when it came to not getting in trouble, I learned to say 'yes ma'am' very quickly!