Southern Slang Terms From The Front Porch


Being Southern isn’t talking with an accent…or rocking on a porch while drinking sweet tea, or knowing how to tell a good story.

It’s how you’re brought up — with Southerners, family (blood kin or not) is sacred; you respect others and are polite nearly to a fault; you always know your place but are fierce about your beliefs. And food along with college football — is darn near a religion.”

In the South, history clings to you like a wet blanket. Outside your door the past awaits in Indian mounds, plantation ruins, heaving sidewalks and homestead graveyards; each slowly reclaimed by the kudzu of time. A friend was moving to the south and I wrote down a few slang terms in the attempt to translate the local colloquialisms. Here is the guild to speak perfect Southernise.

1. Access road

Service road; the road that allows you entrance to the highway.

2. (A) mind to

To consider doing something.

3. Aren’t you precious?

Most always said sarcastically in response to someone being offensive (i.e., if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all).

4. Being ugly

This has nothing do with physical appearance — instead it means misbehaving.

5. Barking up the wrong tree

Being mistaken or misguided.

6. Be able to see to Christmas

Something Grandma would say when she thinks your skirt is too short — you can see clear to the top of the Christmas tree!

7. Bless your heart

A seemingly empathetic phrase usually uttered when the speaker believes the recipient to be sweet but misguided or stupid or when they believe the recipient needs to grow up and deal with it; when said sarcastically, dumbass.

8. Britches

Pants or underpants.

9. Cattywampus

Sideways or crooked.

10. Catty-corner

Diagonal to something, like catty-corner buildings on a street.

11. Citified

Urban, sophisticated and not country in any way.

12. Clicker

Remote control.

13. Coke

We may mean Coca-Cola, but we may mean any other carbonated beverage. If you order a Coke in a restaurant, do not be alarmed if they ask you what kind.

14. Commode


15. Doesn’t have a pot to piss in

Really, really broke.

16. Dressing

No, not the stuff you put on salads. This is the stuffing that goes in or alongside a turkey.

17. Eyeballs are floating

Need to use the bathroom very badly (could also be back teeth).

18. Fixin’ to

About to do.

19. Fly off the handle

Totally lose it.

20. Get the short end of the stick

Get cheated, or get an unfair deal.

21. Give me some sugar

Give me a kiss.

22. Good ol’ boy

A male who tends to enjoy challenging situations; tends to be rambunctious and often enjoys hunting, muddin’ and fishing.

23. Hissy

Shorthand for a hissy fit — a grown-up tantrum as bad as a toddler would throw.

34. Hold your horses

Be patient.

25. Holler

To let someone know something. Example: Holler at me when you’ve put the kids to bed, and we can grab a drink.

26. Idjit


27. If the creek don’t rise

If nothing bad happens, then everything will go as planned.

28. Muddin’

A pastime involving driving a four-wheel-drive vehicle in the mud with the goal of nearly losing control.

29. Nervous as a long-tail cat in a room full of rocking chairs

Nervous to the point of being jumpy; constantly on the lookout.

30. Off like a herd of turtles

Not off to a great or speedy start.

31. Tennis shoes

Athletic shoes of any kind, not just the kind you use to play tennis

32. Pitcher

Not a pitcher on a baseball team, but a plastic container to hold tea or lemonade.

33. Playing possum

Playing dead (as a possum does to escape danger); also used when someone is feigning sleep.

34. Reckon

To suppose or believe something is true.

35. Rode hard and put away wet

Unbelievably exhausted, like a sweaty horse that just got put back in the barn.

36. Run with the big dogs

Taking a risk or making a big decision that could have serious consequences.

37. Snake in the grass

A conniving person who could strike at any time without warning.

39. Supper


40. Sweeper


41. Tore up


42. (To) carry on

To continue on foolishly, usually referring to a tantrum or fit.

43. (Too) big for your britches

To take yourself too seriously.

44. Upside

The long way of saying “on,” like smacking somebody upside the head.

45. Stompin’ grounds

Your hometown or where you’re from.


Hostess Twinkiesimages

1. Hostess Twinkies were invented in 1931 by James Dewar, manager of Continental Bakeries’ Chicago factory. He envisioned the product as a way of using the company’s thousands of shortcake pans which were otherwise employed only during the strawberry season. Originally called Little Shortcake Fingers, they were renamed Twinkie Fingers, and finally “Twinkies.”


2. Don’t give your dog chocolate. It affects his heart and nervous system. It contains theobromine that is toxic to dogs in sufficient quantities.

ThinkstockPhotos-506583270-3-888x5923. Sometimes Frozen Fruits And Vegetables Are More Nutritious Than Fresh! The longer fruits or vegetables sit around waiting to be sold or eaten, the more nutrients they lose. But fruits and vegetables grown for freezing are usually frozen right after they’re picked. Therefore, they have less time to lose their nutrients.

apQCcVU4. Domesticated turkeys cannot fly. Wild turkeys can fly for short distances at speeds up to 55 miles per hour. Wild turkeys can run up to 25 m.p.h.

turkey2index5. More than 45 million turkeys are cooked and eaten in the U.S. at Thanksgiving!


6. Animal Crackers, the animal shaped cookie treats were introduced in 1902 with a string handle as a Christmas novelty so they could be hung from the Christmas tree.

watermelon_625x350_614896826217. Watermelon is an excellent source of vitamin A and C. It has more lycopene than tomatoes and by weight is the most consumed melon in the U.S.The first recorded watermelon harvest was 5,000 years ago in Egypt.

If your going southern you must add Sorghum to your diet


SORGHUM MOLASSES – All us true southerners love sorghum. You will usually find a big jar in our cupboards.

There is nothing any better than hot homemade buttermilk biscuits with butter and sorghum. It is a great source of potassium and has a deep, rich flavor. Old timers used to think sorghum was medicinal and take a spoonful a day to stay healthy! It is used to cook with and makes melt in your mouth cookies and cakes.

There is nothing like sorghum on pancakes and waffles. If you don’t know about this wonderful southern product, rush right out and buy a jar. It will make your mouth water!


HONEY – I love honey. I totally believe it has medicinal powers and is one of the healthiest foods. I try to eat honey at least 3 times a week. Honey can be used without any side effects for any kind of diseases.Today’s science says that even though honey is sweet, if taken in the right dosage as a medicine, it does not harm diabetic patients. I cook with honey all the time and use it to replace sugar in many recipes.


SOUTHERN SPICES – I use spices in almost everything I cook. Besides just loving the taste they give to recipes, I think they are good for you, too. My sister has used cinnamon for years for her cholesterol. Cinnamon is supposed to be good for diabetes, too. I am blessed to be in good health and maybe these foods and spices have something to do with that.

This is a list of my favorite quotes about food and other stuff a Southerner should know.

1. Only a Southerner knows how many fish, collard greens, turnip greens, peas, beans, etc, make up ‘a mess.’

2. Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good.(Alice May Brock)

3. Southerners can’t stand to eat alone. If we’re going to cook a mess of greens we want to eat them with a mess of people.

4. As the days grow short, some faces grow long. But not mine. Every autumn, when the wind turns cold and darkness comes early, I am suddenly happy. It’s time to start making soup again.

5. “No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.”

6. I doubt whether the world holds for anyone a more soul-stirring surprise than the first adventure with ice cream

7. Cookies are made of butter and love.

8. A bagel is a doughnut with the sin removed.

9. There are four basic food groups: milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, and chocolate truffles.

10. ”The Moon Pie is a bedrock of the country store and rural tradition. It is more than a snack. It is a cultural artifact.”

11. Some people like to paint pictures, or do gardening, or build a boat in the basement. Other people get a tremendous pleasure out of the kitchen, because cooking is just as creative and imaginative an activity as drawing, or wood carving, or music.

12. The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.

13. Just think of all those women on the Titanic who said, “No, thank you”, to dessert that night and for what!

14. If God had intended us to follow recipes, He wouldn’t have given us grandmothers

15. The correct time to order chocolate dishes: Any month whose name contains the letters A, E, or U is the proper time for chocolate.

16. Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread and pumpkin pie.

17. Stressed spelled backwards is desserts. Coincidence? I think not!

18. Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o`clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap.

19. “In the childhood memories of every good cook, there’s a large kitchen, a warm stove, a simmering pot and a mom.”

20. You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.

21. I don’t like to say that my kitchen is a religious place, but I would say that if I were a voodoo priestess, I would conduct my rituals there.

22. “The smell of coffee cooking was a reason for growing up, because children were never allowed to have it and nothing haunted the nostrils all the way out to the barn as did the aroma of boiling coffee”

23. ” You might be a Southern cook if you can’t cook a small amount of anything, but cook like you expect to feed an army!”

24. “Health food may be good for the conscience but Oreos taste a hell of a lot better.”

25. Fun-sized Snickers? Who’s this fun for? Not me. I need six or seven of these babies in a row to start having fun.

26. “The secret of good cooking is, first, having a love of it… If you’re convinced that cooking is drudgery, you’re never going to be good at it, and you might as well warm up something frozen.”

27. As a child my family’s menu consisted of two choices: take it or leave it. 28. I had a dream last night, I was eating a

28. I had a dream last night, I was eating a ten pound marshmallow. I woke up this morning and the pillow was gone.

29. When you acknowledge, as you must, that there is no such thing as perfect food, only the idea of it, the real purpose of striving towards perfection becomes clear; to make people happy. That’s what cooking is all about.

30. All sorrows are less with bread

31. ‎”Chocolate is the answer. Who cares what the questions is.”

32. Nothing is quite as intoxicating as the smell of bacon frying in the morning, save perhaps the smell of coffee brewing.”

33. “It is odd how all men develop the notion, as they grow older, that their mothers were wonderful cooks. I have yet to meet a man who will admit that his mother was a kitchen assassin and nearly poisoned him.” 34. The four food groups: Fast, Frozen, Instant, and Chocolate.

35. Inside me lives a skinny woman crying to get out, but I can usually shut her up with cookies……

36. The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not

37. I feel a recipe is only a theme, which an intelligent cook can play each time with a variation

38. ‎”The most indispensable ingredient of all good home cooking: love, for those you are cooking for.”

39. I’d give up chocolate but I’m no quitter!

40. A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand. 41. I figured if I was going to make the world a better place, I’d do it with cookies –Ana Pascal.

41. I figured if I was going to make the world a better place, I’d do it with cookies

42. Don’t wreck a sublime chocolate experience by feeling guilty! 43. Once in a young

43. Once in a young lifetime one should be allowed to have as much sweetness as one can possibly want and hold

44. One of life’s mysteries is how a two-pound box of chocolates can make a person gain five pounds!

45. Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.

46. “Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts”

47. “My kitchen is a mystical place, a kind of temple for me. It is a place where the surfaces seem to have significance, where the sounds and odors carry meaning that transfers from the past and bridges to the future”

48. Strawberries are the angels of the earth, innocent and sweet with green leafy wings reaching heavenward.

49. “Iced tea is too pure and natural a creation not to have been invented as soon as tea, ice, and hot weather crossed paths”

50. “Dirty hands, iced tea, garden fragrances thick in the air and a blanket of color before me, who could ask for more?”

51. Southerners have a strong sense of regional heritage. We are proud of our turnip greens, cornbread, sweet tea, rural pasts and Southern drawls. We are card-carrying Southerners.

52. “He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise.”

53. Southern cooking warms the heart and soothes the soul.

54. Southerners know you can’t be considered a serious Southern cook if you don’t know how to make peach cobbler.

55. A light wind swept over the corn, and all nature laughed in the sunshine.

56. You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food.

57. “The hot biscuit runs a poor second to cornbread, but is considered of higher social caste. We abrogate and deprecate cornbread when we have guests, but we should consider ourselves deficient in hospitality if we served a company meal without hot biscuits.” 58. “Beans are highly nutritious and satisfying, they can also be delicious if and when properly prepared, and they

59. “Beans are highly nutritious and satisfying, they can also be delicious if and when properly prepared, and they

60. “Beans are highly nutritious and satisfying, they can also be delicious if and when properly prepared, and they posses over all vegetables the great advantage of being just as good, if not better, when kept waiting, an advantage in the case of people whose disposition or occupation makes it difficult for them to be punctual at mealtime.”

61. Nothing is quite as intoxicating as the smell of bacon frying in the morning, save perhaps the smell of coffee brewing.”

62. Simply to wake up just in time to smell coffee and bacon and eggs. And, again I cry, how rarely it happens! But when it does happen — then what a moment, what a morning, what a delight!” 61. “Laughter is brightest, in the place where the food is.”

63. “Laughter is brightest, in the place where the food is.”

64. “All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast”

65. “Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandonment or not at all”

66. “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well”

67. Cinnamon bites and kisses simultaneously.

68. Coffee makes it possible to get out of bed. Chocolate makes it worthwhile.

69. Number one, I absolutely love making chocolate chip cookies. I mean, it’s fun. It’s exciting. Beyond the fact that I love making them, I love eating them.

70. Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”

71. “Some people, no matter how old they get, never lose their beauty…they merely move it from their faces into their hearts.”

72. Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them!

With time, women gain weight because we accumulate so much information and wisdom in our heads that when there is no more room, it distributes out to the rest of our bodies. So, we aren’t heavy, we are enormously cultured, educated and happy. Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think, Good Grief, look how smart I am, I must be a genius.

Betty Pann


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