Planning a trip to the southern part of the United States? If you've ever been down south, you are probably familiar with southern hospitality. If you haven't, you have a few friendly lessons to learn. Folks in the south are really friendly! You can meet as strangers and within a few minutes, become the best of friends. If you are planning your first trip below the Mason-Dixon Line, you should brush up on the southern culture.

Who Are They Waving At?
In the south, people like to wave. You may think the Southern Belles are practicing for the Miss America pageant. Nope, just being friendly. They wave hello, they wave goodbye, and they wave just to let you know that they saw you. Whether you are driving through downtown or down a long country road, if anyone passes you, you can bet they will give you a wave. It's just the friendly thing to do!

Small Talk
In maintaining their hospitable image, southerners love to chat. If you are running errands, make sure you allot yourself time for chit-chat. From the grocery store to the local café, you will find someone that wants to chat.
Passers-by will offer you a cheerful "Hey," that's southern talk for "Hello." You will probably hear the phrase, "Good day, ain't it?" numerous times. Just reply with a "hey" and a "Yep, sure ‘nuff is."
How's Your Mom and them?
When you are greeted with "How's your Mom and them?" this just means, "How's the family?" Just smile and say "They're all fine, just fine. Thanks for askin', and how's your mom and them?"

Y'all and Ain't
Y'all and Ain't are two words that a northerner wouldn't utter, but are commonly used by southerners. Y'all is used in reference to mean you all, everyone or every one of you. Ain't is that word that your English teacher said not to use, because it wasn't a word. Your English teacher apparently never wandered down to the south, because it sure is a word down there.

Phrases and Sayings
Some other words you should be prepared to hear include fixin', which means about to or getting ready to. As in, "I am fixin' to go to the store." "Young-uns" are small children; "reckon" means "I suppose so"; and "yonder" as in "Over yonder", which means "over there".

If you hear any other sayings with which you aren't familiar, just ask what it means. Remember, southerners are hospitable, they'll be glad to help you out. Just don't make fun of their accents or tell them how things are done up north. That just might cause the hospitality to come to an end.


Cliff said...


The last part of this post rings true. Many years ago I was in Alabama and I thought what this little girl said , and the way she said it was so cute, that I imitated her. Well I found out they don't take too kindly to a buckeye mocking their speech. I was told to watch it because I was the one who talked funny there.


74WIXYgrad said...

Oh and by the way...I'm much older and a little wiser now.