Being from a tiny town near the Tennessee and Kentucky borders of Virginia, I've always considered myself to be "Southern." However, I didn't realize just what this meant until I came to college and truly discovered the different cultures of the United States. I've learned that in the eyes of most, the South is a lovely place that often has some hilarious stereotypes. While some of them aren't true, a lot of them are.
This one is fairly obvious, but just for clarity, yes. We do say "y'all." All the time.
2. Calling people from the North "Yankees"
Anyone who isn't Southern is a Yankee. If you make us mad or act like a stereotypical New Yorker, you're a d*mn Yankee. *Note, this is the only time it is acceptable to cuss (yes, "cuss," not "curse")*
3. College football is a religion
I promise you that we really do show up to football games as "guys in ties and girls in pearls" for 98% of football games. That's just how it is. You've never been to a tailgate until you've been to a tailgate with SEC fans.
4. The Bible Belt
There's a church on every street and nearly everyone you'll meet has one that they attend at least semi-regularly.
5. "Bless your heart"
Perhaps the most Southern of Southern stereotypes, the "bless your heart" is almost always an insult. It's also pretty fun to substitute it with "I love *person* to death, but..."
While I'm not as into the monograms as some, they're definitely a huge thing.
7. "Yes/no, ma'am/sir"
No one really knows why, but you just say it.
8. Sunday best/really nice church clothes
You'd better look as nice as you ever have when you go to church. Picking out an Easter dress is a massive ordeal that usually begins a month in advance at the very latest. Seersucker and pearls are a staple for any girl trying to pull this off. Essentially, anything that you'd picture being on a postcard for Southerners going to church is completely accurate.
9. Families are super important
Friends are great, but your family goes before everything except Jesus. Got a boy/girlfriend that your family doesn't like? Dump them. Family gatherings happen really often - like once a week often.
10. Sweet tea
You will be judged if you call it "iced tea." You will be judged if you don't like drinking it. You will be judged if you think hot tea is better. You will be judged if you think that unsweet tea (*shudders*) is better. There is one kind of tea. Lemon, peach, strawberry, blackberry, or raspberry flavoring optional. And yes, we really do drink it out of Mason jars half the time.