These jokes are all in fun and jest. No offense to be taken.
Every True Southerner Knows...
That a tad is more than a smidgeon but less than a hair.
The difference between a hissy fit and a conniption.
To say "sweet tea" and "sweet milk." Sweet tea indicates the need for sugar and lots of it (We do not like
our tea unsweetened.) and "sweet milk" means you don't want buttermilk.
That real gravy don't come from the store.
What okra is.
The difference between "pert' near" and "a right far piece," and that "just down the road" can be one mile
That fixin' can be used as a noun, verb or adverb.
When "by and by" is.
That grits are eaten with butter or gravy, but never with sugar.
Pretty much how many fish, collard greens or boiled peanuts make up a mess.
Never to go snipe hunting twice.
That you don't scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 on the freeway—you say, "Bless her
heart." and go on your way.
What general direction cattywumpus is.
Never to assume that car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn.
That "gimme some sugar" don't mean pass the sugar.
You may wear long sleeves, but you always roll 'em up past the elbows.
That cornbread is made with bacon grease and in a well-seasoned cast iron skillet.
That johnnycake is cornbread made with sugar and yellow cake mix.
The difference between Yankees and Damn Yankees.
That we make friends standing in lines. We don't do queues, we do lines. We stand IN them, not ON them; and
when we're in line, we talk to everybody.
How to handle our "pot likker" (and what "pot likker" is).
A good dog is worth its weight in gold.
You should never loan your tools, pick-up, or gun to nobody.
That BBQ is a noun, not a verb.
That "Yes, ma'am" or "Yes, sir" and "No, ma'am" or "No, sir" are expected responses.
How long "directly" is, as in "Going to town, be back directly."
That we never refer to one person as "y'all."
There's only two kinds of people: Southerners and people who wish they were Southerners.
A paper cup is a Dixie Cup.
The differences between a redneck, a good ol' boy and trailer trash.
The best gesture of solace for a neighbor who's got trouble is a plate of fried chicken and a bowl of cold
potato salad. If the trouble is a real crisis, we also know to add a large banana puddin'.
How to spit without stopping the car.
That rocking chairs and porch swings are guaranteed stress relievers.
And every True Southerner knows that rocking chair or a porch swing with old person in it is a history lesson.
Some Advice for Yankees Moving to the South
Don't order steak at Waffle House. They serve breakfast 24 hours a day, so let them cook something they know.
Don't laugh at Southern people's names. (Merleen, Bodie, Luther Ray, Bobby Joe, Mary Faye, Inez, Billy Bob,
etc.) We have been known to beat a man's ass for less, especially if we got a little liquor in us.
Don't order a bottle of pop or a can of soda. This can lead to a whuppin'. Down South it's a coke.
Don't make a damn if it’s Pepsi, 7-Up or whatever else, it's a coke.
Don't show allegiance to any college football team that’s not in the SEC. And to you who don't know,
that would be Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Kentucky, LSU, Florida, Ole Miss, Mississippi State
and South Carolina. All the others are just a bunch of pansies that play teams like Wyoming.
Don't refer to Southerners as a bunch of hillbillies. We know our heritage. Most of us are
more literate than you (e.g. Welty, Williams, Faulkner). We are also better educated and generally a whole lot nicer. We have
plenty of business sense (e.g. Red Smith of Fed Ex, Turner Broadcasting,, MTV, Netscape). Naturally, we do sometimes have
a small lapse in judgment (e.g. Clinton, Fordice, Duke). We don't care if you think we are dumb because we will kick your
We are fully aware of how high the humidity is, so shut the hell up, spend your money and get the hell out
Don't order wheat toast at Cracker Barrel. Everybody will instantly know you're from Ohio. Eat your biscuits
like God intended and don't put sugar on your grits.
Don't EVEN try to fake a Southern accent. This will incite a riot.
You can ask a Southerner for directions, but unless you already know the positions of key hills, trees and
rocks, you're better off trying to find it yourself.
Don't talk about how much better things are at home because we don't give a damn. If you don't like it here,
take your ass home. And we don't want to hear about your cheesesteaks, your subs or your pizza. We like our vittles just fine,
We don't play lacrosse, hockey, or any of those other sissy-ass northern games, so don't come down here asking
the score because we don't give a damn.
We know how to speak proper English. We talk this way because we want to and because we can. We don't care
if you don't understand what we are saying. All other Southerners understand what we are saying and that's all that matters.
Now, go home.
Don't you ever make fun of a person for saying y'all. It is a perfectly legitimate form of Southern speech.
We do not say you guys - we are not from New Jersey.
Last but not least: DO NOT come down here trying to tell us how to BBQ. This will get your ass shot.
You're lucky we let you come down here at all. Question our BBQ and go home in a pine box. There are only three types of BBQ
in the South: Regular BBQ, Carolina BBQ, and Memphis BBQ. All Pork! 'Nuff said.
Save all manner of bacon grease. You will be instructed later on how to use it.
If you forget a Southerner's name, refer to him as "Junior." You have a 75% chance of being right.
Just because you can drive on snow and ice does not mean we can. Stay home the two days of the year it snows.
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 if you need anything from the store, it is just something you're
supposed to do.
If you run your car into a ditch, don't panic. Four men in the cab of a four-wheel drive pickup truck with
a 12-pack of Pappy's and a tow chain will be along shortly. Don't try to help them, just stay out of their way. This
is what they live for.
That winter wardrobe you always brought out in September can wait until November.
Don't be surprised to find movie rentals and bait in the same store. Do not buy food at the movie store.
If it can't be fried in bacon grease, it ain't worth cooking, let alone eatin'.
Remember: "y'all" is plural. "All y'all's" is plural possessive.
In southern churches you will hear the hymn, All Glory, Lawd and Honor. You will also here expressions such
as, "Lawd, have mercy","Good Lawd, and "Lawdy, Lawdy, Lawdy".
Get used to hearing, "You ain't from around here, are you?"
Don't be worried that you don't understand anyone. They don't understand you either.
The "proper" pronunciation you learned in school is not proper down here.
As you are cursing the person driving 15 mph in a 55 mph zone, directly in the middle of the road, remember,
many folks learned to drive on a model of vehicle known as John Deere, and this is the proper speed and lane position for
Be advised: The "He needed killin" defense is valid down here.
If attending a funeral in the South, remember, we stay until the last shovel of dirt is thrown on and the
tent is torn down.
If you hear a Southerner exclaim, "Hey, y'all, watch this!" stay out of his way. These are quite possibly
the last words he will ever say.
The first Southern expression to creep into a transplanted Yankee's vocabulary is the adjective, "Big ol'",
as in "big ol' truck" or "big ol' boy". Eighty-five percent begin their new Southern influenced dialect with this expression.
One hundred percent are in denial about it.
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 it was on when the car was purchased.
Yankees can be identified by the spit on the inside of their car's windshield that comes from yelling at other
Ain't—is not (used by non-Southerners, but especially common in Southern speech)
Bayou—marshy outlet of a lake or river; slow-moving body of water
Biggety—vain and overbearing
Bitty bit—a very small amount
Bossman, Bosslady—head person, or person in charge
Broomsage—dry straw, wrapped and fastened together with rope to use for a house broom
Buzzard, Ol' Buzzard—elderly male, usually single, who is regarded as less than desirable
Cajun—person of French Canadian descent who is native to Louisiana, the dialect of
Cantankerous—quarrelsome, difficult to deal with
Carry—give somebody a ride in a motor vehicle
Carry on—behave in a foolish or silly manner
Catty-cornered or Cattywampus—Cater-cornered or diagonal
Clear out—far out (They live clear out on the edge of town.)
Clodhopper—field hand or heavy work shoes
Coke—any soft drink
Cooter or Coot—Turtle, especially larger edible species
Cracker—Term loosely applied to native Georgians and Floridians, below White Folk,
but above Trailer Trash in social status.
Croaker sack—burlap sack, a gunny sack
Cuss—curse, also an annoying or stubborn person or animal
Cuss out—chastise with swear words
Cut —To turn on, off, up or down (Cut the light on, I can’t see anything.)
Cut the fool—joke around
Dang—Euphemism for "damn"
Directly—in a little while, soon
Dixie—Southern States of the U.S.A.
Dixiecrat—Southern Democrat known for his or her conservative views
Done—used to emphasize the occurrence of something in the past (Yes, siree, they done
got married last week.)
Do-hickey—substitute name, like the terms what-cha-ma-call-it or thing-a-ma-jig
Druthers—Preferences, I’d rather (If I had my choice, If I had my druthers)
Fair to middling—average, usually a response to "How are you?"
Fair piece—sizeable, considerable, or long distance
Feisty—touchy and quarrelsome or frisky and full of nervous energy
Figure—suppose, consider, or plan on something (I figured it would rain today.)
Fixing to—about to, or thinking about starting
Fixings—Trimmings, accessories; normally, though not necessarily referring to meals
Frog Gig—pole with a hook on the end used to spear and retrieve frogs
Goober—peanut, also a stupid person, a dolt
Goober pea—roasted peanuts
Grab aholt—grab hold of something
G'wine—going or going to
Heap—A quantity of something, especially a large quantity
Hear tell—have heard it told
Hither, thither and yon—here, there and everywhere
Honey—affectionate term (used by non-Southerners, but especially common in Southern
Hush Puppy—Distinctive Southern deep fried bread food
Howdy—Hello, How do you do?
I do believe—emphatic expression of one's belief
I'mon—I'm going to, as in "I'mon go home now."
Is all—that's all, often used at the end of a sentence to minimize, excuse, or downplay
what was done (I only wanted a kiss, is all.)
Kin to—Related to
Laid up—ill, hurt, unable to work
Less’n—unless (submitted by Mike Meyers, KY)
Loaded for bear—highly prepared
Ma'am—madam, female equivalent of sir
Mess—large quantity, particularly of food (He et a whole mess of corn)
Middling—between good and bad
Miss—title for an unmarried woman
Miz—Mrs., title for a married woman and used before a married woman's last
Moon Pie—Distinctive Southern sweet snack food
Mosey—walk in a casual, leisurely or sauntering manner
Much obliged—thank you, hope to return the favor
No count—of no account, shoddy, worthless
Okra—distinctive Southern vegetable, usually fried
Old Man River—Mississippi River
Ornery, Ornry—cantankerous, cranky, irritable, mean, stubborn
Out of kilter—out of alignment, misadjusted
Particular—careful, selective, choosy, picky
Piddle—waste time, do nothing
Piddlin—Small or inferior
Piddlin Around---messing around with no real purpose (He was piddlin around the garage
or workshop before dinner)
Play possum—feign pouting or sulking, play dead
Poor mouth—Complain, play down, especially finances
Poorly—ailing (He was doin' poorly)
Purty—pretty, or used in place of fairly or very
Purt near—pretty near, used to indicate proximity, approximation, similarity
Quilting Bee—women of the community gather to stitch quilts by hand
Rebel Yell—war cry used by Southern soldiers during the Civil War
Reckon—think or suppose so
Right smart—great in quality, quantity or number
Riled—angry, upset, agitated
Save—put away for safe keeping, but not money
Scalawag, Scallywag—mischievous person, scamp (originally, a Southerner acting in support
of the reconstruction governments after the Civil War for private monetary purposes)
Shindig—dance, party, or celebration
Show—picture show, performance
Shuck—remove the edible parts of something, such as shucking oysters or ears of
corn, by stripping them away from the inedible part
Smokehouse—enclosure with a dirt floor where pork and other meats are cured then smoked
Sorry—low or inferior quality, worthless
Southern Belle—Southern lady
Spell—period of time, a while
Spoon fed—spoiled or pampered
Spring chicken—young thing
Study, Study on—think about, contemplate
Swamp Cabbage—the heart of the sable palmetto, sautéed and seasoned with pork.; a favorite
food in Florida Cracker cuisine
Tain’t—It ain’t, it isn’t
Take a notion to—decide to
The House—one's own home, frequently used whether it is a house or not
Tight—Stingy, also inebriated
Tore up—Broken, damaged, non-functional, emotionally distraught
Trot line—long line on which short lines are attached, each with a hook, for catching
Tump—Dump, spill, turn over
Up and—used to describe an action that came about suddenly or as surprise (He up and
took off before I had a chance to say good-bye.)
Vamoose—go, get out of here, also a command to get lost
Wait on—serve or assist
Wart-Taker—one who removes warts by charms or incantations
White Lightening—moonshine whiskey
Worry Wart—one who worries constantly
Yahoo—boorish, brutish, uncouth, rowdy or uncultured person
Yaller Dog—cowardly person
Yam—sweet potato (Yam is the Northern equivalent to a Southerner's sweet potatoes)
Yankee—any person from any Northern (non-Confederate) state
Yellow Dog Democrat—person who always votes for Democratic candidates
Yonder—there, usually said while indicating a direction (I live over yonder in that
Young'un—young one, infant, child
Zydeco—form of heavily syncopated folk music common to Louisiana
Ain't fittin' (Not proper)
Ain't that the berries! (That's mighty fine!)
Easy as slidin' backwards off a greased log. (Easy as can be.)
Barkin' up the wrong tree. (Completely wrong.)
A whistlin' woman and a crowin' hen never comes to a good end. (Don't put on airs.)
Be like the old lady who fell out of the wagon. (You aren't in it, so don't get involved.)
Busy as a stump-tailed cow in fly season. (Extremely busy.)
Buys cotton. (Polite term for doing nothing for a living.)
Don't you doubt my word! (Don't question the truthfulness of what I said.)
Caught with your pants down. (Taken by surprise, wholly unprepared.)
Chugged full. (Full and running over.)
Do go on. (You must be kidding.)
Do Run On. (You really do brag.)
Don't bite off more'n you can chew. (Don't attempt more than you can do.)
Don't count your chickens till they hatch. (See the results first.)
Don't let the tail wag the dog. (The chief runs the show, not the Indians.)
Don't let your mouth overload your tail. (You’re talking too much.)
Fish or cut bait. (Work or make way for those who will.)
Even a blind hog finds an acorn every now and then. (Everybody is lucky sometimes.)
Every dog has a few fleas. (Nobody's perfect.)
Fly off the handle. (Become angry and lash out.)
Give down the country. (Give them a piece of your mind.)
Go hog wild. (Really enjoy or consume.)
Go off half-cocked. (Have only part of the facts.)
Go on (You’re kidding.)
Go to bed with the chickens. (Retire early at night.)
Go whole hog. (Go all out.)
Gone back on your raisin’. (Deny heritage.)
Got your feathers ruffled. (Pouting.)
Happy as a dead pig in the sunshine. (Doesn't know or care what's going on.)
Have no axe to grind. (No strong position one way or the other.)
Livin' high on the hog. (doing well financially.)
I do declare. (Can mean anything, but usually nothing.)
In a coon's age. (A long time.)
In high cotton. (doing well financially.)
In hog heaven (Ecstatic.)
Like a bump on a log. (Doing nothing, going nowhere, but conspicuous about it.)
Like a one eyed dog in a meat house. (Too much of a good thing.)
Like two peas in a pod. (Think and act alike.)
Mend fences. (Make up differences.)
Plenty early. (Get there with time to spare.)
Plum tuckered out (Exhausted.)
Pull a plank off the wall. (Celebrate.)
Scarce as hen's teeth. (Non-existent.)
Sight for sore eyes. (Looks great.)
Sittin' pretty. (Got it made.)
Slow as molasses in January. (Extremely slow.)
Stompin' grounds. (Home base, familiar territory.)
Sun don't shine on the same dog's tail all the time. (The tables will turn.)
That dog won't hunt (That proposition [or argument] won't work.)
That takes the cake! (Egregious behavior.)
There you go. (May mean to agree with or just a response with little or no meaning.)
Two shakes of a lamb's tail. (To do quickly.)
Well, shut my mouth. (I am speechless!)
Y’all come back. (Please visit us again.)
Wild as a peach orchard hog. (Wild, untamed, no manners)
Slick as an eel. (Slippery, misleading)
Slicker'n a greased hog. (Slippery, misleading)
Tight as a tick. (Ate too much)
Fat as a tub o’ lard. (Ate too much, gained weight)
Ol' boy's tough as whit leather. (Tough, strong-willed)
Drunk as a coot. (Very drunk, boisterous)
Ran like a scalded dog. (Took off running like lightening)
Ugly as homemade sin. (Darned ugly)
So dull he couldn't cut hot butter with a knife. (Dim-witted, not very smart)
Tougher'n a one-eared alley cat. (Can stand his own ground)
Faster'n greased lightning. (Very fast)
Better’n snuff, ain't half as dusty. (Usually in reference to cigarettes/cigars, but can be
used in general for something you like/prefer.)
Limp as a dishrag. (Not feeling well, useless, lazy)
Nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. (Fidgety, anxious)
So ugly she'd run a dog off a meat wagon. (Not desirable to date/marry)
Purty as a speckled pup. (Sarcastic response to something ugly)
Done gone and got Yankee rich. (Making large sums of money either illegally or off the misery of others)
Sorry as a two dollar watch. (Cheap, lazy, useless.)
Older than the mountains and twice as dusty. (Elderly and crotchety, cantankerous)