April 17, 2009

English, Southern Style

In a recent post I had made reference to someone using the expression "ought notta." Honeypiehorse asked if people really say that around here and it made me want to go dig up an old post about a few little Southern language quirks. Not a comprehensive list by any means, but some of the more odd ones that you don't see every day.

If you're interested, you can see it over at my old group blog, Three Girls Grown Up. The article is called: English, Southern Style.

13 comments:

  1. Read it, but you need to fix that link (there's an extra "http://" thrown in there that's throwing everything off).

    I think you've pegged some of the Arkansas colloquialisms here, however. If you need a witness, I'll be glad to swear it's all true ;)

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  2. I always amuse people at Starbucks by asking "Where's the fixins?" when I'm looking for the milk & sugar table.

    Thanks for your comments, particularly the one about Hercolobus. That's the strangest thing I've ever seen. If this planet is so large, how come I've never heard of it?? :)

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  3. LMAO @ "layer of the soul". I would like a GPS that could see that. I've never encountered "I don't care to" used in that way. That would throw me off, too.

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  4. I can't seem to get the link to work, but I am a great fan (and I like to think, a handy practitioner) of Southern English.

    I don't know "ought notta," but I couldn't get through the day without saying "might could" or "might oughtta." Like, I didn't even know that "might could" wasn't standard English until I was in an English Ph.D. program!

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  5. I fixed the link, "ya'll". :-)

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  6. The whole dinner/supper situation really threw me off when I moved back to the south. I even missed an invitation to "dinner" because I thought they meant supper.

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  7. where i live in texas we say "might could" - although i'm originally from st. louis. but arkansas is my favorite state! mainly bc i love the camping and manageable white water there. all that to say i ought notta end up on your front lawn - but i might could anyway.

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  8. Oh, Southern vernacular. How I love it.

    My boyfriend and I sometimes have that problem. His family's primarily from the north or so far in Atlanta that you might as well be from the north. My family, on the other hand, go back generations in the south. It's so hard to have a conversation with everyone because they don't understand us and most of us are annoyed by them.

    I still have the soil/soul bit. It's pretty funny.

    :0]

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  9. It's strange... we've lived so many places, I barely even notice these differences anymore and I'm used to trying not to draw too much attention to myself, because I don't like it at all yall... but whenever I get around my friends from growing up, all these things come flying out of my mouth. Definitely cracks my family up, because even though we now live in SC, that doesn't happen except home in Virginia.

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  10. Uh, yeah, we say that all the time in Georgia. Fixin' to--I'm big on that one. I can't seem to stop myself from saying it, even though every time I do say it, I hear my third grade teacher's voice in my head saying, "You fix a car. You're about to do something."

    I always wanted to say, "I don't fix a car. A mechanic fixes a car, and technically I don't have a car. My mom does," but I would have probably ended up with detention.

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  11. I really like y'all as long as it really means multiple you - "you all". The Irish/Australian equivalent is youse, as in "See youse later!" said to a whole room of people. Its incorrect but very useful. Spanish has multiple you and English kind of needs it to.

    A southernism I heard of from Bill Bryson was; when he was asking a lady in Miss. for directions. She said to him "you makes the square" to mean you reach and drive around the square.

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