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Today's instant vacation highlights some interesting aspects of life here in the southern part of the USA. I've now lived here almost half of my life. I heard something on the radio the other day that made me do a Google search. I found lists similar to what I'm sending today for almost every state in the South, with just a few local variations. It should help non-Southerners understand life here better and give Southerners a chance to chuckle at some of the local charm.

Interesting facts about the South and Southernosity...

Florida, except for the areas closest to Alabama and Georgia (pronounced Jawja), is *not* considered a Southern state. There are far more Yankees than Southerners living in Florida.

There are 5,000 types of snakes and 4,998 of them live in the South.

There are 10,000 types of spiders. All 10,000 live in the South, plus a couple that nobody has seen before.

Unknown critters love to dig holes under your tomato plants.

Raccoons will test your crop of melons and let you know when they're ripe.

Possums will sleep in the road with their feet in the air.

"Onced" and "twiced" are words.

It is not a shopping cart - it is a buggy.

Fire ants consider your skin a picnic.

People actually grow and eat okra.

"Fixinto" is one word, and it's a verb. Example: I'm fixinto go to the store.

"Backwards and forwards" means "I know everything about you".

"Jeet" is actually a phrase meaning "Did you eat?"

You sometimes have to switch from heat to air conditioning, all in the same day.

All festivals across your state are named after a fruit, vegetable, grain, insect, or animal.

You only know 4 spices - salt, pepper, Tabasco, and ketchup.

The local papers cover national and international news on one page, but require 6 pages for local gossip and sports.

You think the first day of deer season is a national holiday.

You find 100°F (38°C) "a little warm".

You know that the South really *does* have four distinct seasons - almost summer, summer, still summer, and Christmas.

Going to Wal-Mart is a favorite pastime, known as "Goin' Walmartin'" or "Off to Wally World".

You describe the first cool snap (below 70° or 21°C) as good pinto bean weather.

If there is the prediction of the slightest chance of even the most minuscule accumulation of snow, your presence is required at the local grocery store. It does not matter that you don't need anything from the store - it is just something you're supposed to do. Apparently, since the items Southerns rush out to buy are bread, milk, and eggs, the comfort food of choice in a "snow crisis" *must* be French toast.

You know that fried catfish is the other white meat.

You don't have to wear a watch because it doesn't matter what time it is. You work until you're done or it's too dark to see.

Stores don't have bags; they have sacks.

You see a car running in the parking lot at the store with no one in it, no matter what time of the year.

You install security lights on your house and garage, and leave both unlocked.

You think everyone from a bigger city has an accent.

You know what "cow tipping" is .

You don't PUSH buttons, you MASH them.

And you don't TAKE someone to the doctor's office or any other place - you CARRY them there.

You know what a "DAWG" is.

When you live in the country, you don't have to buy a dawg. City people drop them off at your gate in the middle of the night.

A carbonated soft drink isn't a soda, tonic, or pop. It's a Coke, regardless of brand or flavor. Example: "What kinda Coke you want?" "Aw, I'll have a Dr Pepper, thanks."

You know the difference between a hissy fit and a conniption fit, and that you don't "HAVE" one, you "PITCH" one.

You know how many fish, collard greens, turnip greens, peas, beans, etc., make up "a mess."

You know the general direction of not only "yonder" but also "cattywumpus."

You know exactly how long "directly" is - as in "Going to town, be back directly."

You grow up knowing the difference between "right near" and "a right far piece." You also know that "just down the road" can be 1 mile or 20.

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.

You know instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a neighbor who's got trouble is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of cold potato salad. If the neighbor's trouble is a real crisis, you also know to add a large banana puddin'.

You both know and understand the difference between a redneck, a good ol' boy, and po' white trash.

You would never assume that the car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn or change lanes. Most Southerners do not use turn signals, and they ignore those who do. In fact, if you see a signal blinking on a car with a southern license plate, you may rest assured that the blinker was on when the car was purchased.

You make friends while standing in lines. You don't do "queues," you do "lines"; and when you're "in line," you talk to everybody - even total strangers!

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

You never refer to one person as "y'all."

You know grits come from corn and how to eat them.

You know:
- that 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 true Southerner!

You say "sweet tea" and "sweet milk." Sweet tea indicates with sugar, and *lots* of it - Southerners do not like their tea unsweetened. Sweet tea is appropriate for all meals, and you start drinking it when you're two. "Sweet milk" means you don't want buttermilk.

You know you don't scream at little old ladies who drive 30 mph on the freeway. You just say, "Bless her heart," and go your own way.

You don't need no stinkin' driver's ed ... when yo mama says you can drive, you can drive!

To those of you who're still a little embarrassed by your Southernness - Take two biscuits, a dose of sausage gravy and a tall glass of sweet tea, 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're fixinto have classes on Southernosity as a second language!

And for anyone who is not from the South but has lived here for a long time - Y'all need a sign to hang on y'all's front porch that reads, "I ain't from the South, but I got here as fast as I could."

Bless your hearts! All y'all have a blessed day!


"Am I living so that it's obvious that God is the most important person in the universe, and not I?" - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=

Two reasons that it is so hard to solve a redneck murder -
1st - The DNA is all the same.
2nd - No dental records.

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3 Comments on “Southernosity”

  1. #1 Larry
    on Feb 6th, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    It’s always fun to read a joke about your particular subculture and catch yourself thinking “doesn’t everyone do it that way.” 🙂

    I was leaving a business recently and held the door for a number of ladies who were walking together. The last one smiled at me and said “bless your heart, you got stuck.” Don’t reckon that would have happened outside of the South.

  2. #2 Margaret Diez
    on Aug 27th, 2007 at 8:24 am

    I visited Greenville, S.C. for the first time this weekend while dropping off my daughter to BJU. On our way home, we attended church services with a friend who lives in Taylors. As we were leaving, an elderly woman actually said “Ya’ll come back now, y’hear”.

  3. #3 Garrison
    on Jan 29th, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    My mother who was born and raised in Maine thought “bluegrass” was referring to grass that was blue!!