Southern Fried Damn Yankee

I’ve been in Charleston for almost three years and it’s no secret I’ve enjoyed my time in the South. I never would have thought in a million years I would not only live here, but love it. I love the big changes – weather, food, living by the beach, etc – but I also love some of the little things. Namely, clothing and vernacular.

Southern girls wear their summer dresses to just about every event. Concert? Baseball game? Night out on the town? Doesn’t matter.

Southern guys wear boat shoes, croakies, shorts with logos on them, any shorts but cargo shorts, and sport feathery hair. It’s so douchey looking, but they love it. And good for them.

The vernacular is probably my favorite thing about the South. Here is a small sampling (aka what I could remember on a moment’s notice) of Southernisms.

Ya’ll – The classic. The collective you is just too damn confusing for Southerns, so they created this word to make things easier.
Bo’ – I’m not sure of the “proper” spelling of this term, but Southerns use it to mean “boy” or “buddy.” They’ll say things like “You got that right, Bo’!”
Box – Synonym for fight/punch. “I’m gonna box him in the face!” “I’m gonna box him!”
Might Could do – Another way to say “could do.” “That’s a good idea, but we might could do this instead”
Raise Cain – To cause trouble
Sir/ma’am – Although all regions of the country are familiar with these words, Southerns overuse them. I’m called “sir” about 80 times a day and I’m expected to call all adults sir or ma’am and respond to people’s questions with a “Yes, sir” or “No, ma’am.”
Fixin – Planning on, about to. “I’m fixin to get some food.”
Tore Up – Messed up/broken up. “I hurt my leg earlier. It’s all tore up.”
Lowcountry/Low Country Term for the South Carolina coastal region.
Yankee vs. Damn Yankee – 1. Yes, they really do call us Yankees. 2. A Yankee is a Northern who currently lives in the North. A Damn Yankee is a born-Northern who moved to the South.

Piazza – It’s a porch, but on the side of the house. Do not call it a porch.
Joggling board Couldn’t explain it if I wanted to.
She Crab SoupIf you like crab, this is excellent.
Sweetgrass BasketsThey sell these everywhere.
Pecan Pie – I still haven’t tried it
Boiled PeanutsAcquired taste.
Double staircasesI heard each side was designated for each gender.
Fried-green tomatoesNot a fan.
Bricks – Every damn building downtown is made of bricks
BBQ – When Southerns (at least in the Carolinas) say BBQ, it can encompass a lot of things, but it’s really about the pork, not the chicken
BBQ Sauce – Carolina folk seem to prefer the yellow, mustard-based BBQ sauce as opposed to the sweet, tangy red sauces.
Grandma – The liquor of choice. It’s short for Grand Marnier.
Sweet Tea – It’s iced tea but with a crapload of sugar. True Southerns just call it tea as it’s the norm down here.
GritsA southern staple. It’s kind of a combination of rice and oatmeal…and all gross.
Dislike of people from Ohio – Surprisingly, Ohioans really draw the ire of the people of Charleston. They seem to hate them more than the Damn Yankees.

Phew….I hope to continue this list as I think of more….


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12 responses to “Southern Fried Damn Yankee

  1. Fun list! I’ve always had a fascination with southern US…particularly Louisiana and Alabama, for reasons I’ve never really understood. South Carolina sounds like an interesting place too!! What even made you go there in the first place, btw?

    I tried grits for the first time when I was in Florida for Christmas this year! It was a total accident – I thought they were eggs, because that’s how observant I am. I was not happy. They were not good. I’ve been told I need to try southern BBQ though.

  2. Jess – My g/f at the time moved here for work and a little less than a year later I joined her.
    Nothing beats southern BBQ. They definitely know what they are doing.

  3. shorty

    i love this post! well done 🙂

  4. i gotta say that list is spot on .. esp the “Every damn building downtown is made of bricks” thing lol.

    nice blog!

  5. tropicaleats – Thanks! Are you from Charleston? A visitor here?

  6. You hit the nail RIGHT on the head!

    I lived in Myrtle for four years of high school. Kids were told to “put the phone up”.
    Not put the phone in their bag, or put it away, but to put it UP.

    My step dad says fixin to all the time.
    Also, his mom always says bless his/her heart- kind way of saying, wow the suck big time or messed up or I’m about to gossip about them. haha!

  7. My nephew was recently down from Canada and went on a fishing trip. He asked why the captain kept calling him “Bo”. I thought that was pretty funny.

  8. littlemisspotato – Hahaha that’s a good one about the phone! I hadn’t heard that one yet

    Joan – I had never heard that term before, so I was just as confused as him when I first move here!

  9. Ok, fine. Maybe I will visit your spot. This all sounds amazing. I love boat shoes and summer dresses.

    Also, I’m commenting really late because I wanted to remind you that you have a blog and you need to write more. That’s all. Bai!

  10. Vixations – You only want to come here because you had some almost sexy-time with a guy from Alabama.
    I know, I know I’ve been super slack on the blog. I need some inspiration.

  11. Hahaha!! Actually, that’s why I do NOT want to come. Southern boys are not as nice as they seem! But you’re a Damn Yankee so I’m not scared of you.

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