Some Things Southerners Say That The Rest Of The Us Just Doesn't Understand

(REUTERS/Todd Korol)

People in the American South have one of the most famous dialects in the United States, from their distinctive drawl to the versatile pronoun "y'all."

And there are some things Southerners say differently from the rest of the US.

Southern vocabulary can be confusing to outsiders, especially when a common word has a totally different meaning when spoken in the South.

Here are some of the most perplexing Southern words that people from other places simply wouldn't understand.


('Coke' AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

In most parts of the country, Coke is the common nickname for Coca-Cola.

But in many parts of the South, coke with a lowercase C is just a term for soft drinks in general, a synonym for "soda" or "pop."

So if you're in the South and you offer someone a coke, don't be surprised when they respond, "what kind?"


('Fixing' Shutterstock)

This "fixing" has nothing to do with repairing something. In some Southern dialects you can say you're fixing to do something if you're on the verge of doing it, like in the sentence "They were fixin' to leave without me."

The construction comes from an older version of the word "fix" meaning to prepare. Similarly, "fixings" are all the trimmings and side dishes that accompany a meal.


('Barbecue' Flickr / Carlos Pacheco)

As anyone from the South can tell you, barbecue both a type of grill and the food you make with it — usually pulled pork coated in spices and sauce and cooked over a flame.

There are several regional variations of barbecue, with North Carolina, South Carolina, Memphis, Kansas City, and Texas each claiming their own distinct method of preparation.

Whatever you do, don't use "barbecue" to refer to a gathering where barbecue is consumed — that's a "cookout" in the South.

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