As a someone who moved from Michigan to Kentucky, I quickly was judged for my “northern accent” and found myself struggling to understand my southern friends. There’s this idea that the only difference between the north and the south is that they say “Y'all” down here… but let me tell Y'all, that’s not the case. Here’s a short guide to help you better understand the unique slang of the south (at least what I’ve encountered so far).
1. "She's plumb crazy!"
Translation: “She’s downright crazy!”
Plumb is usually used to describe something to a very high degree. Usually just to make the sentence more dramatic. It’s like using the word extremely.
2. "I made a 98% on the exam."
Translation: “I got a 98% on the exam”
As a student, I hear this ALL the time. It’s basically saying that they made a grade rather than received it, which actually makes more sense if you think about it.
3. "Can you go grab a buggie?"
Translation: “Can you go grab a shopping cart?”
Yeah, this one is weird. But I swear, people really say this! I guess it's just another word for a shopping cart. I mean I've heard the word buggie before, but I never thought of using it in a sentence.
4. "Some hoecakes would go good with those soup beans."
Translation: “Some cornbread would go well with those pinto beans.”
Well, the south did basically invent cornbread and beans so I think they have the right to call it whatever they want.
5. “Will you fix me some food?"
Translation: “Will you make me some food?”
In my opinion, fix means to repair, so the first time I heard I actually laughed with confusion.
6. “I just got a new cover for my bed.”
Translation: “I just got a new comforter for my bed.”
I don’t think I’ve ever used the word cover as a noun. Usually, when I use it, it is to describe an action like “I’m covering us up”.
7. "Come get your supper."
Translation: “Come get your dinner.”
While this one is pretty self-explanatory, I still can help but giggle when someone says this just because I would never say it.
8. "Go put on some britches!"
Translation: “Go put on some pants!”
I didn’t even know people still used the word britches. It sounds like a term that was used ages ago, but hey I guess it’s still around.
9. "Can you hand me my pocketbook?"
Translation: “Can you hand me my pants”
My idea of a pocketbook is a wallet, but I was surprised to find out that it actually means the entire purse.
10. “Wow! That TV is pretty high.”
Translation: “Wow! That TV is pretty expensive.”
This is by far my favorite phrase and I have no idea why. I had never even though of using the word high to describe price, but I now even find myself using this when I’m at the store. It’s like saying the price is high without actually mentioning the price.
Most of the time you can just put two and two together by using the context. However, these phrases stood out to me the first time I heard them, and I haven’t forgot their meaning since. If you’re looking to sharpen up your southern language skills even further, just start dating a southerner like I did ;)
P.S. Shout out to my southern friends and boyfriend who helped me compile all of these crazy phrases that we are constantly debating about.