Southern Words

I remember several years ago I visited France. In my pocket at all times was a dictionary of the words I would need to communicate with the French. This page is very similar, except it will enable you to actually communicate with those who live south of the Mason-Dixon line. You'll need this help if you've never been in the South before.

Southern Words are a "Must-Have" for anyone visiting the South from about anywhere.

I grew up in the South and have heard members of my family say almost every one of these words on this page.

I lived in Illinois for five years and it took me no time at all to realize I couldn't use any of these words in public.

You cannot find an interpreter for you at any time.

The shoe is on the other foot when YOU'RE in the South. Better git uset to them thar words so you don't git in trubel.

See you in a restaurant and I'll hep you order.

For some additional help, see Southern Sayings

A FUR PIECE: Meaning it's a long way.
It’s a right fur piece up to the store.

ADDLED: Confused, disoriented.
He seemed plum addled when the teacher called on him.

AFAR: In a state of combustion.
Better call the far department. Their house is afar.

AHR: What we breathe, also a unit of time made up of 60 minutes.
My music lesson is for one ahr.

ALL: A petroleum-based lubricant.
You need to check the all in your truck.

AR: A possessive pronoun.
Welcome to ar world.

ARE: A colorless, odorless gas.
He needs help. Give ‘IM some ARE!

AWFULLEST: The worst.
That's the awfullest tasting meal we’ve ever had.

AZZ BACKARDS: Totally wrong, out of order.
You got it azz backards.

BACKER: Tobacco.
The whole team chews backer, not gum.

BAD-MOUTH: To disparage or derogate.
Don’t you go and bad-mouth me about my decision.

BAHS: A supervisor, usually your supervisor.
You better stop reading these Southern words and git back to work or your bahs is gonna far you!

BAIL: A metallic instrument. Ring the dinner bail and come on in to eat.

BALD: Cooked in very hot water.
I love eating bald shrimp.

BAMMER: The state west of Jawjuh. The Capitol is Berminhayum.
A tornader went through Bammer an’ did $20,000,000 of improvements.

BAR: Largest of the land-living carnivores.
Davey Crockett kilt a bar wen he wuz only three.

BARD: Past tense of the infinitive “to borrow.”
My cousin bard my chainsaw.

BARE: An alcoholic beverage made of barley, hops and yeast.
Hey honey, will you git me a bare?

BEE-YUL: A request for payment.
Who’s gonna take care of the bee-yul?

BEG: A paper, cloth, or plastic container.
You wanna beg or plastic for your groceries?

BIDNESS: A commercial venture.
I think’in bout gettin inta tha Moon Pie bidness!

BOB WAR: A sharp, twisted cable.
Never pee on a bob war fence.

BRAHT: Dazzing.
Venus is a braht planet at night.

BUD: A small feathered crature that flies.
A cardinal sure is a pretty bud.

CAUTERIZE: To make eye contact with a female.
Ju look at that lady?Yep ... I cauterize looking back at me!

CHAKE: A financial document.
Kin I write ya a chake since I ain’t got no cash?

Cawse: Cause, usually preceded in the South by the adjective "lawst" (lost).
The War Between the States was a lawst cawse.

CHEER: In this place.
They found the body rat cheer.

CHICK: To inspect or monitor.
Better chick ural mistah?

I’ll have some chicken fruit wif my bacon.

CHILREN: Children.
My children ar well-behaved.

CHITLINS: Children.
How many chitlins you got?

CHUNK: To throw.
Chunk it over there before you’re spotted.

CIRIL: A grain or a breakfast food.
Raisin Bran is my favorite ciril.

CLONE: A type of scent women put on themselves.
That clone I give her was named Evening in the Cow Stall.

COAT: A legal gathering.
I love it when they say here cum da judge and odoh in the coat.

CODE: A common sickness.
I got a code so I better not git close to the baby.

COTTON: Box or container.
How much is a cotton of cigarettes?

COW-REES: A measurement of heat.
I can only eat 2,000 cow-rees per day.

DAINTS: A more or less formal event in which members of the opposite sex hold each other and move rhythmically to the sound of music.
May I have this next daints?

DANJUH: Imminent peril.
Be careful not to let danjuh bite you in the butt.

DAWFINS: An aquatic mammal.
The Miami Dawfins is my favorite NFL team.

DEAH: A term of endearment, except in the sense Rhett Butler used it.
Frankly, my deah, Ah don't give a damn.

DEM DERE: Those.
Dem dere people am stupid when it come to votin.

DID: Not alive.
Wanted: Did or Alive.

DOLLIN: Another term of endearment.
Dollin will you marry me?

DOOTCHER: The command form in Southern.
Dootcher momma tells ya to do.

I’ll be along dreckly.

EAR: A colorless, odorless gas.
Give 'em some ear so he can breathe.

EFFUTS: Exertions.
General Lee made some great effuts to defeat General Grant.

EVERHOO: A reverse contraction of whoever.
Everhoo one of you kids wants to go out tonite better clean up their room.

Everthang: All-encompassing.
Everthang's gonna be awright.

FAHN: Excellent.
That sure was a mighty fahn meal, Mam.

FAINTS: A barrier.
Make up yo mine, and get off da faints.

FANGER: Finger.
He waved at me wif his middle fanger.

FAR: A conflagration.
Hole dem marshmellows over da far.

FARN: Not domestic.
I cuddint unnerstand a wurd he sed. He mus be from a farn country.

FARSCAPE: An emergency exit.
Thank goodness he escaped by running down the farscape.

FAT: A battle or combat; to engage in battle or combat.
Dem dere dogs wanted to fat.

If you’d quit fiddle fartin’ around we could fix dis thing.

FIXIN’ TO: About to.
I'm fixin' to go to the store.

FLOSS WATER: A device used to squish flying bugs.
I took that floss water to that horsefly and kilt him.

FRAIZIN: Slowing molecular movement. Physical transformation from a liquid or gas to a solid.
Put on your coat cause it's fraizin out there.

FRAUD: Cooked in oil.
We lik to eat Kentuck Fraud Chicken.

FRUNCHARD: The usually grassy area in front of a residence.
Put dat sine in the frunchard.

FUMMEER: A place other than one's present location.
You can’t git there fummeer.

FUSSED: A premier position.
This is my fussed time at tryin dis.

GAWN: Departed.
He’s gawn but not forgotten.,br>
GIMME: What someone gave to me.
Look what Momma gimme for Christmas.

GONE: Going to.
You never know what we’re gone do.

GROAN: To have increased in size.
Look how much Little Audrey’s groan in just a week.

GRUDGE: A structure commonly associated with automobiles.
Can Ju park yur truck in the grudge?

GUBMINT: A bureaucratic institution.
Them gubmint boys am tryin to stick it too us.

HAHD: To conceal.
You better hahd yo money when Bubba comes over.

HAHR: That which grows on your head and requires cutting periodically.
You like my new hahrcut?

HAIL: Where the bad people go.
Change your ways or you're gonna hail!

HAIRY BACK: A request to return soon.
You hairy back now, ya hear!

HALLER: Empty.
I believew that boy's head must be haller.

HAZE: He is.
Is Bubba smart? Nah ... haze ignert.

HEIDI: Greeting.
Heidi everbody, welcome to you can be funny.

HERBAL: Terrible, awful.
It’s jus herbal what he said to his wife.

HIRE YEW: How are you? Used with Heidi.
Heidi, hire yew?

HIT THE HAY: Go to bed.
Ya’ll go on, I’m gonna hit the hay.

HOE: An opening or pit.
He hurt his foot when he stepped in a hoe.

HOLT: Past tense of the infinitive "to hold."
He got holt of their money and bankrupted the family.

HOMINY: An inquiry about number or quantity.
Hominy times I gotta tell you before you git it?

HOT: A blood-pumping organ.
She broke his hot.

HOD: Not easy.
Dis test am really hod.

HOWDY: a warm greeting.
Howdy everybody, welcome to the party.

HOW YOUS DOIN?: How are you all doing?
Tell me, how yous doin.

HUNNERD: A large quantity.
I done dat a hunnerd times or more.

IDEER: An idea.
Ford has a better ideer.

IGNERT: Not smart.
Dem neighbors am about as ignert as they come.

IMPA TICKLER: Specifically.
Whatcha doin rat now? Nuttin impa tickler.

INNERDUCE: To make one person acquainted with another.
Lemme innerduce you to my best friend. She's a little on the heavy side, but she's got a great personality.

INNERST: The rental cost of money.
What is the innerst rate rat now for a home loan?

IN-TAR: The whole quantity. All of.
The in-tar bunch of em is stupid.

IONT: I don't.
Iont know if Ah can keep on like dis.

JACK-LEG: Self taught, especially in reference to automobile mechanics and clergy-men.
Did you let a jack-leg fix at thang?

JAUNTSAMORE: Asking if one wants seconds at mealtimes.
You dun, or you jauntsamore.

JAWJUH: The state north of Florida. Capitol is Lanner.
We went throu JawJuh gittin to Flarduh.

JEET JET: Asking if you have eaten.
Did you eat yet?

JEWANT:A question regarding if you want to do something.
Jewant to go over dere and grab a few bares?

JUHERE: A question regarding your having heard something.
Juhere that Obama mat change things?

JUICY: A question regarding your having seen something.
Juicy why I did what I did?

KILT: Past tense of exterminate.
She kilt the engine when she flooded it.

KLECT: To receive money to which one is entitled.
Ah don't think it’s possible to klect that bill.

KOREA: A lifelong vocation.
You gonna fix it soon or make it your korea?

KUMPNY: A Business or a group of invited guests.
Better git dressed up, kumpny's comin!

LAIG: A limb or appendage.
That there dog done bit me in my laig!

LAR: One who tells untruths.
Not all fishermen are lars. It's just that a lot of lars fish.

LAYIN’ UP: Resting or meditating.
He's been layin' up in the house all day, drivin' me crazy.

LAYMAN: A tart fruit.
Yaunt layman in your water?

LEASE: The smallest amount of.
Dis is the lease of my problems.

LET OUT: Dismissed.
When does school let out?

LICK AND A PROMISE: To do something in a hurried or perfunctory fashion.
Just give it a lick and a promise and let’s go.

LILAC: Capable of lying.
He's a nice enough feller, but he can lilac a lawyer in the coatroom.

LINE: Making untrue statements with the intent to deceive.
Boy, you line to me?

LORE: Allow to descend.
Lore that hose down here to me.

LOWERED: A diety.
The Lowered giveth and He taketh away.

LOOMNUM: An element with the same two-letter abbreviation as my beloved home state of Alabama.
We put some loomnum sidin' on that barn.

MAUL: 5,280 feet.
We ran a maul in jus ten minutes.

MAULANAR: A measurement of speed.
Jeff Gordon musta been goin 200 maul-anar.

MARKINS: Citizens of the United States.
My fellow Markins, Ah cum to you wif a heavy heart.

MAUDLIN: The act of displaying.
She done sum maudlin for the Sears catalogue.

MAYOL: What the United States Postal "Service" carries.
Git your mayol outta yo box.

MAYTER: A red vegetable used as the primary ingredient in ketchup.
I luv a hoemade mayter sandwich.

MAYONAISE: There were.
Mayonaise a bunch of work to do roun here.

MEERFURAMINIT: Mandating a person's immediate presence.
Meerfuraminit while I show you how this works.

MELPEW: Query made to learn if you need help.
Melpew? Nah ... I'm just lookin'.

MEMBER: Remember.
You member what we talked bout?

MERINGUE: A piece of jewelry worn on the finger.
Ju like meringue I picked out?

MILL: Food consumed during a specified time period.
Let’s have a mill together.

MINDTO: To have the intention of doing something.
Ah got a mindto give her a piece of my mind.

MINI: A great number or amount.
Mini Southerners aren’t understood.

MIRA: A reflective surface.
Her face could break a mira.

MIZEWELL: Something you should do.
We mizewell git started without her.

MODEM: An increased quantity. Git me some modem moon pies!

We mozied on down to the pond and started fishin’.

MUNTS: A calendar division.
Twelve munts makes a year.

NAW: Means no>
Naw, I didn’t do it.

NASAR: Description of a car.
That Honda CRV is a nascar.

NEKKED: Naked.
We all got nekked and streaked round the campus.

OF A MOANIN: Of a morning, meaning in the morning.
My wife always liked her coffee of a moanin.

ORTA: Ought to.
You orta git one of these.

OWNLIEST: The only one.
That's the ownliest one Ah've got left.

OSBORNE: I was born.
Osborne in Noth Carolina.

OZ: I was.
Oz bout to think you weren’t cumin.

PALLET: An aircraft operator.
They ruled it pallet error that caused the crash.

PAR: Energy.
Pay the 'lectric cumpany, or they shut off yer par.

PAYUM: The short form of the word Pamela.
Have you seed that Payum Anderson recently?

PEEL: Small, rounded mass of medicine.
I swallowed a horse peel and I'm all betternow.

My car petered out just as I got to tha light.

PICKAT: To pester and annoy.
I used to pickat my little sister.

PIDDLIN’:Procrastinating, victim of distraction.
He spent all his time piddlin' and never got anything done.

PILLAR: A pillow.
A pillar fight broke out in the bedroom.

PLAYIT: A large, flat serving dish.
Can I have another playit of beckon and aigs?

POLICE: To satisfy.
I try to policed my customers.

PRESHADE: To recognize with gratitude.
I preshade yur understanding.

PRESHADIT: Pronounced "PRE-shay-diht". A way to give thanks.
They really preshadit the fact we nevur let on like we knew something.

PRIOR: A talk with God.
As long as teachers continue to give their students tests, there will be prior in school!

PURTIEST: The most pretty.
My Audrey am the purtiest lil baby you ever seen.

QUAR: An organized choral group, usually connected with a church or school.
Did you hear the news? The preacher left his wife and run off with the quar director.

R: Sixty minutes.
I got my bike up to 25 miles an R!

RAFFLE: A long-barrelled firearm.
Dan'l Boone was a good shot with a raffle.

RAHTNAOW: At once.
You better git yourself in the house rahtnaow.

RESTRUNT: A place to eat.
I like food that cums outta restrunt.

RANCH: A tool used for tight’nin’ bolts.
It took a ranch to twist that bolt.

RAT CHEER: Right here.
She died rat cheer in dat room.

RATS: Entitled power or privilege.
Obama thinks we ain’t got no rats anymore.

RECKON: To think.
You reckon we should go over air?

RETARD No longer employed.
He's retard now.

RETARRED: To stop working.
I retarred at the age 65.

RICE: A contest of speed.
I can beat you in a three-legged race.

ROON: To damage beyond repair.
You gonna roon that shirt if you wash it like dat.

RUT: What attaches trees and plants to the ground.
We gotta get to the rut of the problem.

SAIL: To exchange or deliver for money or its equivalent.
He could sail ice to eskimoes.

SAINT: Past tense of the infinitive "to send."
I saint you an e-mail yesterdee.

SALAD: Not hollow. He’s as salad as a rock.

SALARY: A stringy vegetable.
Have you tried pimentos on your salary?

SANGLE: Unaccompanied by others.
There’s a reason some women stay sangle!

SASS: Another Elizabethan term derived from the word saucy, meaning to speak in an impertinent manner.
Don't sass me, young lady. You're not too old to get a whippin'.

SAWKA: A sport where you aren't allowed to touch the ball with your hands.
My kid kicked this other kid in the mouth while’s they played sawka.

SEED: Past tense of “to see.”
I ain’t never seed why anybody would do dat.

SEAL: The horizontal board at the bottom of a window.
Bubba , y'all need to fix and paint them seals!

SEEMENT: An ingredient of concrete.
Our seement pond was a big hit with the neighbors.

SELLIT: A mix of leafy vegetables.
I try to eat a sellit once aday.

SENSUOUS: Since you were.
Honey, sensuous up, could you get me another bare?

XSHAINTEER: Indicates the absence of a female.
Is the lady of the house in? Nope. Shainteer.

SHAR: A compartment for vertical bathing.
I gotta take a shar at lease once a wek.

SHASTA: She has to.
Shasta be mean or she’d get taken advantage of.

SHEENRY: Tool or tools.
I likes to oprate dat heavy sheenry.

You shudenoughta ratted him out.

SHURF: A law enforcement officer.
Wyatt Eurp wuz a famus shurf.

SINNER: Middle, inside. Location.
Stay in the sinner of the lane.

SKEETERZ: Mosquitoes.
These skeeterz are so big they almost carried us off.

SKEWS: An explanation. Pardon.
You have no skews for being late.

SKOO: Educational institution.
Bubba's didn't drop out of skoo 'til the third grade.

SKWURL: Tree rat.
That skwurl is up thar on that par line!

SOUL: Firm land.
I gotta go dig this soul sample for the man.,br>
SPA: To descretely monitor the actions of another.
I’m gonna spa on that other team.

SPALD: Flawed or ruined.
Looky here, it set out and spald.

SPATIAL: Readily distinguishable.
Aren’t you spatial?

SPAYUM: A processed meat product with the shelf life of gravel.
We just love serving spayum to all our finest guests.

SPEARMINT: Part of the scientific method.
I jus did a spearmint on my pet frog. He died.

SPELL: An indetermined length of time.
Sit a spell and take yer shoes off.

SPLODE: To release energy by the sudden production of gases.
After dat meal, I wuz bout to splode.

SPOTTER: An arachnid.
What da heck. It ain’t no itsy bitsy spotter at all.

STAIN: The opposite of leaving. A’m not stain much longer wif you people.

STAYUMP: A small piece of gummed paper sold by a government for attachment to an article that is to be mailed.
Obama’s new stayump wouldn’t work cause people kept spittin’ on the wrong side.

He’s a real sumbich.

SUPPER: The evening meal Southererners are having while Yankees are having dinner.
Hey Grandpa, what's for supper?

SURP: What you put on pancakes or waffles.
I likes lots of surp on my waffles.

TAL: What you dry off with after you take a shar.
Would you hand me a tal?

TAR: A rubber wheel.
Gee, I think we gotta flat tar.

TARNADIR: A weather anomaly used to drop houses on the wicked witches.
That tarnidir die $1,000,000 of improvements.

TARRED: Exhausted.
I just flew in from Hot-lanta, and boy my arms are tarred.

TAWT: To instruct.
I tawt you betteran at.

TENSY: The state on top of Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.
Elvis is from Memphis, Tensy.

THANK: Cognitive process.
Ah thank ah’ll go get me a bare.

THINGAMAJIGGY: Anything you can’t name at the moment.
I forgot and left my thingamajiggy at the house.

THUD: What comes after second.
Bubba just graduated from thud grade after jus four tries.

TIRE: A tall monument.
I sure do hope to see that Eiffel Tire in Paris sometime.

TOEMAH: The day after today.
Don’t put it off till toemah.

TORE UP: Distraught, very upset.
His wife just left him, and he's all tore up about it.

TOTE: To carry.
I’ll tote my own luggage if you don’t mind.

TOWEE: Things that children play with.
That little Teacup Poodle looked like a little towee.

TUBAFOR: A special cut of lumber.
Frame it wif a strate tubafor.

TUNA MINT: A contest.
Our team’s gonna play in the tuna mint.

TURBLE: Extremely bad.
She did turble on her final exam.

TWEEYUNS: Two offspring born at the same time.
My girls look so much alike, you’d thank they wuz tweeyuns.

UART: To be bound or obliged.
Uart to be ashamed of yourself.

URAL: Petroleum product belonging to the person being addressed.
Chick ural, mistah?

URINE: Occurring or done at the end of the year.
Y'all drop in for our urine clearance.

UP AIR: Above you.
Reach up air and hand me my glass.

USTA: Used to.
Ah usta go to dat skoo.

VARMINT: One's surroundings.
This ain’t no kind of varmint to bring up a child in.

VITAMIN: What you do to guests.
Well, don jus stand there, vitamin!

WAAAAF: A female married person.
Thars a phone call fer yew. Itch yer waaaaf.

WAFFLE: Your wife will.
Better shut up or your waffle kill you.
,br> WALLETS: While it’s.
Be sure to get one wallets still on sale.

WAHN: What Jesus turned the water into.
My favorite wahn is Pinotmor. I drink a glass right before I go to bed.

WAR: Location.
Do you know whar the tickets war?

WARS: Slender strands of coated copper that carry power over long distances.
Telephone wars are underground now.

WARSH: Wash.
Better warsh them clothes before the stink sets in.

WAULD: Not tame.
His little brother is a wauld man.

WAWK: A method of non-polluting travel by foot.
We needta take us a wawk ever day.

WEAR HIM OUT: An expression used to describe a highly-effective method of behavior modification in children.
I’m gonna wear him out when I git holt a him.

WENDER: A glass-covered opening in a wawl.
Close that wender, It's too cold in here.

WHALE: A pit that contains water.
How deep is yer whale?

WHATCHIE: What Are You
Whatchie doin that for?

WONGO: A query of companionship.
Wongo wimmie?

WRETCHED: The first name of the 37th president of the United States.
Wretched Nixon said, “I am not a crook.”

WUNNERN: To feel curiosity.
Oz wunnern what we wuz getting for supper.

Y’ALL: You all.
I’ll see y’all back at the house.

Y'HEAH: A redundant expression tacked onto the end of sentences by Southerners.
Y'all come back soon, y'heah.

YALE: To exclaim.
I herd you da ferst time, you don’t need to yale.

YANNAH: Title of respect given to members of the bench.
Yannah, if it pleases the coat…

YARD BIRD: Chicken.
Yard Bird is our favorite thing to eat.

YAT: A common greeting in the Irish Channel section of New Orleans.
Where yat?

YAWNT: You want or when in a group ya'll want.
Yawnt some in your bottle?

YWANT TOO: You want to.
Yawnt too get one of these?

YER: Something that isn't mine.
Yer order is ready.

YEW: Not a tree, but a personal pronoun.
Yew wanna Git sum pizza?

YOUNZINZ: You all.
Younzinz git on outta har.

YUNGINS: Also spelled younguns, meaning young ones.
My yungins better clean up thar mess.

YURP: A collection of countries located across the Atlantic Ocean from 'Marika.
What country is Yurp in?

ZIT: Is it.
Zit already time to git up?

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