Good manners are abundant in the South. Everywhere you go, you hear "Yes Ma'am", "No Ma'am", "Yes Sir", "Please", "Thank You", and "Excuse Me", etc. Saying these words are common practice in our parts. It's a show of general respect. "You get more flies with honey" is one of those southern sayings that comes to mind when we talk about manners. But, southern women know how to use their words in a way that sound sweet, but mean business. Have you ever seen The Closer? Kyra Sedgewick plays Brenda Lee Johnson. She is from Atlanta, but is a detective in Los Angeles and is a master interrogator. She, in her sweet southern accent, says, "Thank you. Thank you very much!" Everyone knows that those words are their cue to do what ever she says.
Also, under the manners heading, Southerners have a general respect for others. An example that comes to mind is a funeral procession. If we, as Southerners, are driving down the road and see cars coming with their headlights on, following a hearse, what do we do? We pull over to the side of the road and let them by. Why? Out of respect for the family. It's our way of saying, "I'm sorry for your loss". I will never forget being with a friend, who was not a Southerner, and when a funeral procession started by us on the road, he kept driving. I was LIVID and demanded he pull over. Maybe that's a Southern thing?
Southerns are just friendly folks. We wave at people we don't know. We let people out in traffic. We hold doors open for people. We are just friendly. We even hug people when we meet them. I know I have freaked out a lot of people by hugging them when introduced. What can I say? We are touchy feel people. I love that!
2. Our Southern Speech.
People in the South seem to have a different language. We talk slower. We tend to make words longer than they were meant to be - hence the "southern drawl". We sometimes run all our words together so that only someone from the South would be able to decifer what we are saying - Jeff
Foxworthy is famous for his ""hey didja eat yet, naw, didju? You´ant to. Aight" joke.
We southerners also have unique sayings. For example, the other day after a phone conversation with my mom, my Hubby said, "What's she allow?" which means "What did she have to say?" I also say, "Oh my gracious" a lot, which E says now too, which is hysterical, since she's four. Also, in the south, most all soft drinks are "Cokes", not sodas or pop.
Here are more of my favorites:
"In a coon's age" - means a long time ago, as in "I haven't seen you in a coon's age"
"Madder than a wet hen" - angry, as in "When I got home late, my mom was madder than a wet hen"
"Dinner" can mean the noon time meal or the evening meal - it's interchangeable
"Fixin" - means going to, such as, "I'm fixing to go to town."
"Bless Your Heart" another way of expressing your sadness or saying I'm sorry - "You're sick? Well Bless Your Heart!"
"Fret" means worry - "Don't fret about that test we took in Math."
"Ugly" - means ugly, but can also mean not nice, "You shouldn't talk ugly about other people."
and my favorite: "Y'all" - contraction of You and All - "What y'all doing?"
3. Southern Food
Southern cooking is the BEST. We Southerners love our food. We cook with real butter and lots of it. We love our gravy. We fry everything we can get our hands on and it's all delicious, especiall our chicken and catfish.
Yahoo Images Photo
Sweet tea is the drink of the South. We love our tea and it must be sweet and in most cases, iced. If you got to a restaurant in the South and don't specify what kind of tea you want, you get iced, sweet tea. If you do that in the North, you get hot, unsweetened tea. My nephew and my son both ask for "sweet, sweet tea" as if my sister and I ever make any other kind.
Yahoo Images Photo
We Southerners love our football. There is a reason Friday Night Lights is based in the South. High school, college football, NFL games are a huge draw in the South. We love football. Another football event we love, tailgating. We're not just talking about a pickup truck and a portable grill. At least in Arkansas, we're talking about tricked out trailers, Hog shaped grills as big as a truck, satellites and outdoor big screen TV's so we can be sure and catch the games before the game we are actually attending. Southerns are very passionate about supporting our teams.
Image from f00die.com
One more thing, I do love to go barefoot in the house, or maybe to the mailbox, but I don't go to Wal-Mart with bare feet and neither do my kids. TV folks have a way of depicting the South as full of backward, idiot rednecks that are barefoot all the time. AND, why is it that if there happens to be a tornado (in Arkansas, anyway) the reports always give the air time to the one lady they can find that meet the following criteria: she must be more than slightly overweight with at least two teeth missing - with huge boobs and no bra, prefereably wearing a white t-shirt, possibly a wet white t-shirt, barefoot with horrible grammar and possibly crying? What is that about? Granted, I do walk around my house in a t-shirt and no bra, barefoot and with no makeup, but you can bet if a storm's a brewing, I put on a bra and sometimes my shoes just in case we do have a tornado and the reports come a callin'. Just saying.
This is just a little sampling of things I love about the South. I would love to know what you love about where you're from?