The latest on travel, languages and culture by EF Education First
Menu

Like a Local: Southern Talk

You can sit on front porches, sip sweet tea and eat fried chicken all day long but an authentic experience South of the Mason-Dixon Line includes talking the talk. There’s a few terms essential to every good Southerner’s vocabulary – strong drawl totally optional.

It’s not you all, it’s y’all

We refer to a group of people as y’all – which is short for you guys. Sounds like: “Are y’all planning to come to dinner this evening?”

Mind your manners

Manners are part of Southern Charm – and that includes referring to strangers and elders as sir or ma’am. Sounds like: “Yes ma’am, I’m very excited about your cornbread.”

All soda is Coke

Coke is the word used for all soft drinks. Sounds like: “We’re drinking Cokes” when you’re actually drinking Sprite and your friend is drinking Fanta.

You’re not preparing, you’re fixin’

We let someone know that we’re preparing to do something with the word fixin’. Sounds like: “I’m fixin’ to head to class.”

Bless everything

Sympathy, anger or disapproval is expressed with bless your heart. Sounds like: “Bless his heart” when your girlfriend turns a boy down for dinner.

Start using these words on the day to day – and you’ll be living like a local in no time.

Share this article

Latest articles from Language learning