Song of the South


Only a Southerner knows

FRUSTRATION: "Hissie" / "Conniption fit". A hissie fit is an emotional display of frustration about an opportunity missed while conniption fit is an extreme emotional display. Note that you don't "HAVE" them, you "PITCH" them

SPECULATIVE TERM: "fixin" - can be used as a noun, a verb, or an adverb. Quite often used with Hissie or Conniption as in: "She's fixin to pitch a conniption fit." Or "She's fixin a mess of collard greens" Or "Them's nice fixins." Or "I be fixin the wagon."

QUANTITY: "Mess". The amount of fish, collard greens, turnip greens, peas, beans, etc., that make up "a mess." Alternatively, one could use a "Passel" as in: "Reckon ya'll need a passel of grits with them fish?"

DIRECTIONS: "Yonder": To show or point out to you the general direction of "yonder." Note: the following adjectives are used with yonder to refer to specific directions: "up yonder" - generally North, "down yonder" - generally South, "over yonder" - generally across some distant expanse in ferners territory or any direction currently visiable and may be accompniand by a pointed finger. Also, "thru yonder" - referencing a hole in the ground or doorway perhaps in answer to where's the toilet? Believed to be derived a line by Shakespeare's "Romeo" - "what light through yonder window breaks?" (Always wondered if the window breaks or does light have the property of breaking - reckon maybe so.)

TIME: "Directly" - Measure of time. Duration of time..exactly how long "directly" is -- as in: "Goin to town, be back drectly."

EXPECTIONS: "by and by". All Southerners know exactly when "by and by" is. They might not use the term, but they know the concept well.

ANSWER FOR ALL QUESTIONS GREAT AND SMALL: "Reckon" / "Speck". All Southerners know exactly what is meant by the answer "reckon" or sometimes for clarity "reckon so" or "reckon not" to any question asked. Also a term of speculation as in "Reckon y'all have to wait till tommorra fer the rest of the load" Note: no punctuation mark - could be a question or a prediction. An alternative to "reckon" is "speck" .. as in I "speck". Also sometimes clarified with "speck so" or "speck not".

LOVIN: "Gimme some sugar" Even Southern babies know that "Gimme some sugar" is not a request for the white, granular sweet substance that sits in a pretty little bowl in the middle of the table.

TOOLS: Only a Southerner knows what a "stob" is or what it is used for.

LUGGAGE: "Poke". Usually a brown paper bag used to carry belongings on a short trip. Not to be confused with a "Tote" which is a bag used for going shopping. Not a good idea to ask someone to get your luggage - "It's a brown bag" when you actually mean "poke". Drives them crazy looking for a brown suitcase.

SYMPATHY: Only a Southerner knows instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a neighbor who's got trouble is A mess of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of cold potato salad. If the neighbor's trouble is a real crisis, "Speck ya'll need aw passel of banana puddin!"

DISTANCE: "A right fer piece". Only Southerners grow up knowing the difference between "right near" and "a right far piece." They also know that "just down the road a piece" can be 1 mile or 20.

SOCIAL CLASSES: Only a Southerner, both knows and understands, the difference between a redneck, a good ol' boy, and po'white trash.

RULES OF THE ROAD: No true Southerner would ever assume that the car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn.

CONVERSATION: Only Southerners make friends while standing in lines. We don't do "queues," we do "lines"; and when we're "in line," we talk to everybody!

RELATIONS: Put 100 Southerners in a room and half of them will discover they're related, even if only by marriage.

SYNTAX: "ya'll" Southerners never refer to one person as "ya'll."

You know you are in the backwoods when "ya'll" is replaced with "y'uns"

FOOD: "Grits" Southerners know grits come from corn and how to eat them. as in "grits, red eye gravey with a passel of collard greens and a mess of fish and a heep of hushs puppies and some blackeyed peas"..."reckon thats some good fixins."

DEPLOMACY: All southerners know what is meant by the expression "I declare". This is a rhetorical response for any and all statements or events. It usually infers that the user doesn't know what the hell you are talking about or what's going on and meant to convey the aura of intelligence. Can be expanded to "Well, I do declare" when there is a need to elevate the aura of intelligence to semi-conscious. Also used as a polite expression to cover for the real meaning: "I don't give a sh__." .

Every Southerner knows tomatoes with eggs, bacon, grits, and coffee are perfectly wonderful; that red eye gravy is also a breakfast food; and that fried green tomatoes are not a breakfast food.

When you hear someone say, "Well, I caught myself lookin,'" you know you are in the presence of a genuine Southerner!

BEVERAGES: Only true Southerners say "sweet tea" and "sweet milk." Sweet tea indicates the need for sugar and lots of it -- we do not like our tea unsweetened. "Sweet milk" means you don't want buttermilk.

COURTESY FOR THE ELDERLY: And a true Southerner knows you don't scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 MPH on the freeway. You just say, "Bless her heart" and go your own way.

CURATIVES FOR THE SLIGHT OF HEART: Those of you who're still a little embarrassed by your Southerness: Take two tent revivals and a dose of sausage gravy and call me in the morning. Bless your heart!

And to those of you who are still having a hard time understanding all this Southern stuff, bless your hearts, I hear they are fixin' to have classes on Southernness as a second language!

And for those that are not from the South but have lived here for a long time, ya'll need a sign to hang on ya'lls front porch that reads "I aint from the South but I got here as fast as I could."

Bless your hearts, ya'll have a blessed day.

Mom, Apple Pie & Gen. Robert E. Lee