Saturday, April 18, 2009

Being Southern

Anyone who has recently been reading this blog knows that I am in the midst of trying to lose some weight. Today was a beautiful day here, so my sister-in-law and I decided to go for a long walk together. We threw the kids in their strollers, and off we went for 5.5 miles. I felt great afterwards, so I did a few hundred crunches not long after I got home. Later in the day, I stupidly decided that it would be a good idea for me to go for a two mile run. Once I got home, I proceeded to tell my husband that I was going "to monkey." He looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language.

"What?" he said.
Gasping for breath, I answered, "I'm going to monkey. You know, throw up. Vomit. Spew chunks."
His reply, "I have no idea what you are talking about."

I didn't bother to explain as I was too busy trying not to die. I thankfully did not get sick like I surely felt I was going to do. Tonight, I was talking to my brother-in-law on the phone, and I asked him if he knew what it meant. He too was clueless as to what I was talking about. I decided to do a poll of all my Facebook friends just to make sure that this was not some phrase I had made up in my sleep at some point in my life. Sure enough, I was justified. ALL of my southern friends from back home in South Carolina knew exactly what I was talking about.

This whole situation caused me to start thinking. There are many phrases and instances that are so different in the South. One debate that my husband and I often have is about toques/toboggans. A toque is the Canadian term for a knitted hat, originally of wool though now often of synthetic fibers, that is designed to provide warmth in winter. Well, in the South we call that a toboggan. That is just one example of many language barrier arguments in our house!

I had recently made a post about being Canadian... now let me tell you about BEING SOUTHERN!

Southerns are easily identified by a few key phrases that are always used. Two examples are y'all and bless your heart.

Y'all, pronounced as one syllable, is a contraction for "you all" and is one of the most common expressions that Southerns are recognized for.

Bless your heart is a response that you would give to another person's luck, be it good or bad. For instance, you may say "Well bless your heart" to someone who has just given birth, and you may also say it to someone who has just lost their dog.

Ryan cracks up at me when I tell him that dinner is ready and he needs to come "fix his plate." His response is the same every time... "I didn't know it was broken." Southerns also use fix to let you know that we are going to do something. For example, "I'm fixin' to go to the store. Do you need anything?"

Both my Mom and my Grandmother are both known to be "piddlin" around the house when I give them a call to see what they have been up to. Piddlin means that you are doing nothing of any importance, but more or less doing lots of nothing!

You are taught as a young child in the South to respect you elders by addressing them with either Ma'am or Sir. I'm trying my best to pass that trait onto Reagan by encouraging her to answer with either yes ma'am/yes sir or no ma'am/no sir. As long as she has a least a smidgen (Southern slang for a very small amount) of my accent and Southern manners, I will be one happy Mama!

I have to give thanks to Cecilia Budd Grimes, the author of What It Means To Be Southern, for a little help with writing this post!

Also, I've acquired a few new followers recently for this blog, so if this is your first time reading my craziness, let me take this moment to say, "Hi! Thanks for stopping by... it sure is nice to meet you. Feel free to stick around or come back anytime you would like... just make yourself at home! And bless your heart for stopping by in the first place!"

11 comments:

Andrea and Jeff said...

Bless your heart for all the work you have put into the new blog! It has been fun reading it and it looks so stinkin' cute!

Jenny Jo said...

I love it!

Here are a couple more: Buggies rather than carts at the grocery. Dinner as the evening meal not the noon meal. Mister or Miss + first name (Miss Tiffany) as a respectful mode of address for children to familiar adults.

Kathy B! said...

I love it! This is really cute, and such a great concept.

Now you just have to take it easy with all of the working out before you kill yourself and have ot call the real doctor :)

LeAnne said...

LOVE it!! okay, "monkey" must be from SC because I didn't know either! jack is from WA and it is so funny because his family LOVES to hear my "southernese". They LOVE that my kiddos say ma'am and sir to everyone! i'm lovin' your blog makeover...yay!!!!

ben and erin said...

i've never heard the monkey phrase either. i know a little bit what it's like having a language barrier, and i only moved from minnesota to missouri!

cute blog! i'll have to read some more of it!

jenn said...

tiffany!
i found your blog through Mkmama's blog!
i was intrigued by your blog title...and even more surprised to see that you are from the south. i am from GA and can appreciate the "y'all's, 'the fixin toos', piddling, and so much more".
i grew up saying ma'am/sir to pretty much anyone that was older than me -- and definitely want to pass this 'southern' trait onto my boys!
i look forward to following your blog!!!
i hope you check mine out as well!!

Domestically Disabled Girl said...

what a sweetie you are! bless your heart. I don't feel right saying that as i am a frozen tundra-er. But, points for trying?!

3 Bay B Chicks said...

You have got to be kidding me with this post. I about fell out of my chair. Seriously, Tiffany! I have been toying with the idea of hosting a Chick Chat dedicated on what it means to be southern. Stesha is from Lousiana, but I had no idea you shared a similar background.

C'mon, darlin', say you'll do it. I'm fixin' for some chattin' on all things southern....

-Francesca

Karen said...

I feel so welcomed - this is my first time on your blog - I was reading comments posted on McMamma's blog and saw your name and it intrigued me so I had to stop by and take a look. There are lot of terms that are very particular to this area (Long Island, NY) also - thats a good idea for a post on my blog!!!

Mark and Carol said...

Well honey, I'm Originally from Savannah, Ga. & I've never heard of Monkey either. But thanks for sharing just the same.
Carol AKA Siena's Momma

Cookie Crums said...

Hi! I found you through Sara at domestically disabled.... I was just reading through your posts and came across this one.

I have to say...Never heard "going to monkey" and I've lived in SC all but one year of my life. :) now...all the others ones, yes! I have to say I'm anti-ya'll and ain't.