Since James recently did a post about Kiwiology (not kiwiology… since kiwi’s can’t talk, of course), I have decided to follow in a similar vein. I present: Southernisms. Admittedly South Carolina is not quite as exotic as New Zealand, and we definitely don’t have any hobbits or belrogs or rings of infinite power, nonetheless, it is where I live. So here are some words and phrases I have heard used in regular conversation since moving here.
Bless Your/Her/His Heart: Usually said in a pitiful or condescending way. “The poor thing just ain’t pretty, bless her heart.”
Ya’ll: You All. A Quintessential Southernism.
Ain’t: Are Not. Another Southern classic which has spread nation wide.
Fixin’ to: Preparing to. “I’m fixin’ to make me some fried chicken.”
Over/Down Yonder: Over there, wherever. “We’re goin’ down yonder to the Bob Evans.”
Whenever: Used in place of “when”, referring to a specific incident or day. “I was so proud whenever my boy graduated from college.”
A Whole Mess Of: A LOT. “I’ve got myself a whole mess a’ fried chicken, I tell you what.”
Up Under: This phrase is utterly nonsensical. “I’m gonna hafta get up under the house to do some work.”
Cute As A Bug’s Ear: Cute. Really cute. Adorable, even. I didn’t know bug’s had ears, I thought they had sonar or vibration sense or something, but whatever. “Cute as a bug’s sonar sense mechanism” doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as nicely.
Useful As A Trap Door In A Canoe: If you can’t figure this one out, I’m not explaining.
Slipperier Than Snot On A Doorknob: A lovely, refined way to describe something which is slippery, be it figurative or otherwise.
Bo’: Dude. Bro. Man. Our friend Scott uses this one a lot and it still sounds weird to me.
I Done…: Used in place of the pronoun “I”. “I done told ya, woman.” One time I was grocery shopping and was buying a single can of beer to put in chili. The woman behind me in line shouted, “That ain’t my beer! I done quit drinkin!”
Smack-Dab in the Middle: Another one that just doesn’t make sense to me. What the crap is a smack-dab?
Hanker: I want. “I’ve got a hankerin for some fried chicken.”
Plumb: Completely. “I’m plumb wore out from workin up under the house and eatin all that there fried chicken.”
That’ll Learn Me (or Learn You): That’ll teach me. “That’ll learn you not to eat a whole mess a’ fried chicken and then work up under the house, bo’.”
In the Woodshed: You are in trouble and you’re gonna get beat. You even get to pick your own switch, according to my friend Kristen.
Double Negatives (didn’t nobody go, hadn’t ought): “Didn’t nobody learn nothin from this here dadgum post?”.