2 vintage women

With the advent of air conditioning, the South experienced an influx of Yankees, who either couldn’t understand a word we said or made so much fun of how we talk, that in some circles, Southern folks are still trying to cover up how we talk by using big words or dropping the use of our distinctively regional language. The one thing most of us have not been able to effectively erase is our accent or the way we put words together. I’ve decided it’s the humidity- which naturally slows the speech and causes us to drop the ‘g’ at the end of our words. It would be impossible to try to de-code how we talk in one short lesson without going off on impossible tangents. Why, the average human being would be fit to be tied. So in an effort to de-tangle some of it- Y’all, must understand that while you might think- let’s ‘Go down South’ – If you live here? Nothin’ is down- it’s all up.

  • We wake up, get up, then we make up the bed
  • We load up the washing machine, wash up the dishes, then put it all up.
  • We clean up, sweep up, mop up, spruce up and even perk up the house.
  • We roll up our hair, get dolled up, made up, rigged up and dressed up, before we go Uptown
  •  We gas up the car, pick up Momma, the kids or the cleaning ( we don’t say laundry, just like we don’t say toilet, it’s  a commode, y’all- just don’t leave the lid up!)

Everything is up, even when you’re acting up. Let me give you an example:

‘I’m not making this up, ever since Bobby Joe set up that wide screen TV, he  hasn’t been worth shootin’- Tammy Faye teared up tellin’ it. She said since football season started up– Bobby Joe stays up late with his twin brothers William and Billy, they get likkered  uprevved up, hoopin’ and hollerin’ loud enough to wake up the dead. acting like a bunch of hoodlums! When the game’s over, they leave Bobby Joe sleepin’ on the sofa. Before Tammy Faye can get the house cleaned back up– those boys start up all over again the next weekend. Bobby Joe was always just precious. (Precious is another way of sayin’- At least his momma loves him!)- I tell you, Tammy Faye was wound up tighter than a tick! I like ta-died when she told it right up in Sunday School! We all said, ‘Bless your heart, Tammy Faye, you’ve laid up crowns in heaven.’ Of course we were thinkin’ she needs to get wound up and throw a full blown conniption fit- Never underestimate the value of a conniption fit di-rect from an thoroughly fed up Southern woman!

Oh law, don’t get me started up- I hope you’ve laughed a little and been enlightened about how we talk… and remember- like all good Southern stories, this one is part Truth, part Myth and part Outright Lies…

Love y’all, Camellia

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15 thoughts on “How we talk…

  1. This is hilarious! As a Yankee (but who once lived in N FL), I do sometimes have trouble understanding a deep Southern drawl. However, I cannot stand northerners’ condescension of the accent and, therefore, Southerners! Your pride is delightful to read!


    1. Oh darlin’ what a nice thing to say! Believe me this is not a comprehensive guide to translating Southern drawls and use of language- however I have to admit I was laughing when I wrote the post! btw, we actually love Yankees we’re just poking a little fun!


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