“How to Speak Southern” Starter Pack

Some words just have different meanings down here

Paul Thomas Zenki
Thinkpiece Magazine


Statue of John Pemberton outside the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, GA
Statue of John Pemberton outside the World a Co-Coler (Pixabay)

If you’re an ESL student you’ve likely been taught the Yankee definitions of words in English, which can cause confusion if you travel to the South.

Here’s a helpful assortment of Southern definitions for those who want to get by in places like Etlanna, Bumminham, and Shah’lit. (You’re on your own in Norlins, as English is not spoken there.)

Aint: A parent’s sister; Don’t be drankin’ round yer Aint Louise, she’s hardshell.

Air: Yonder; The hell you doin’ up air in at bloon?

All: Liquid fat or lubricant; Hey, babe, you mind picking me up some cookin’ all from the Walmart’s?

Ass: A common contraction of at and is; Ass a nice truck ya got!

At: The thing under discussion; At all you got to say f’ y’self?

Attic: A compulsive user; I heard her brother’s a heron attic.

Hot air baloons prepare to launch in a city park
Hot are bloons in Etlanna (Pixabay)

Bold: Cooked in very hot water; I’ll have the bold shrimp, please.

Bout: Around or approximately; I’ll come round bout seb’m thirty to pick yup.



Paul Thomas Zenki
Thinkpiece Magazine

Ghost writer, essayist, marketer, Zen Buddhist, academic refugee, living in Athens GA, blogging at A Quiet Normal Life: https://www.quietnormal.com/