I was born and raised here in the Deep South. My dad, however, is originally from up North, and so some of his upbringing influenced me. I love the South; I love my state, Alabama; and I love the metro-Birmingham area where I’ve lived all my life. Somehow, though, I didn’t pick up on a lot of the typical “Southern-ness” that I heard and observed around me all my life. For instance, I don’t have that slow drawl when I talk, and I hate grits. I’ve always attributed this “lack” in my character to the fact that I had Dad’s Northern influence all my life.**Author’s note: I have nothing whatsoever against “Yankees”. Some of my favorite people are from the Northern part of the United States.**
However, I was having breakfast with a dear friend this morning. This friend is from as far North as one can get without being Canadian (I have nothing against being Canadian either, and have friends in Canada), just about. As I expressed frustration with something, she started laughing. I wasn’t aware that my frustration was that amusing, but she explained that my “Southern expressions” cracked her up. I couldn’t figure out what she was talking about, so she pointed out I had just used the phrase “cotton-pickin’ “. As in, “This cotton-pickin’ phone makes me jump every time it vibrates in my pocket.” She said I have several of them that I use that she finds quite amusing.
I was surprised by the warm fuzzy her revelation gave me. I never realized that I WANTED to be more Southern. Have I been feeling like a “woman without a region” all these years – not a Yankee, but not saturated-enough to be considered a true Southerner? Perhaps I’ve become more “Southern” with age? Whatever it is, I’m very proud of my Southern colloquialisms.
What Southern expressions do you use the most, or which ones do you find most entertaining to hear?