Wednesday, April 8, 2009

For Cryin’ Out Loud!

When my husband visits his family, conversation often turns to reminiscing about the things he and his brothers did as children, how the town has changed and so forth. Someone inevitably says something to the effect of “I yusta cood or you yusta cood” buy gum for a nickel or stand on your head or whatever. And afterwards, he and I inevitably have the following exchange.

“Yusta cood. Where does that come from?”
“Well, my guess is something like ‘used to be able to’.”
“So how do you spell ‘yusta cood’?”
He thinks it might be usta and as you can see I put a y on the front end. Since it isn’t actually a word in the dictionary, I don’t guess we’ll ever know.

Words like that are so much a part of our conversation, it’s only lately that we’ve begun to think back on some of the sayings and phrases we grew up with as children. We didn’t live that far apart so we actually speak the same language. I don’t know if there’s an official name for it, but I guess you could call it Southern English. If you have ever watched The Andy Griffith Show, they speak it and do a great job of it! That show was set in North Carolina and at the time I watched it as a child, the lingo wasn’t unusual to me.

Then I started to thinking about phrases used in the South and wondered if you would be able to understand a blog post in written with a bit of Southern English or if you would need a translation. How strange is this language to you?

Here’s one side of an imaginary, exaggerated Southern conversation:

For cryin’ out loud, it’s over yonder. If you can’t find it, ah’m fixin’ ta come over there to help you get all gussied up and I’ll show you where it is. Now don’t go and have a hissy fit, I reckon it’ll turn up sometime. You just go and have a good ‘un and don’t be wild as all get out. When you get back, it’ll be time to hit the hay.

Now I can’t say that I normally use all these phrases together like that, but they do crop up from time to time when I’m talking. So, did you understand any of it? Goodness gracious! If so, you just might qualify as an honorary Southerner!


  1. Good grief! I am amazed that you can even communicate with these people. LOL That was to funny. How are the bears? Sharon

  2. You did a good job translating that!

    Hugs! Lisa

  3. Daggummit, any feller ought a unnerstan all that. (giggle,giggle)

  4. Shucks y'all,
    Taint nothin' ta git all het up 'bout!
    It's nothing at all (translation).

    Language is fun long as you have a translator!

    all in good fun,Darlene

  5. I loved reading all about those phrases used in the South, and must admit, I was certainly a bit lost. I suppose it would be the same if you heard some of our Australian slang. We would both be scratching our heads!!
    Hugs, Christine.

  6. You all make me laugh!! Thanks for your contributions.

  7. We'uns always say "I (or you) might would", "might should" and some folks can be "right curious". At least in my small part of NC. And until I went to college, I always thought everyone called a blanket a "kiver". Sometime last year or the year before I wrote about the strange language spoken in my area. Love dialects. And softly said terms of endearments.


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