This is the second installment of Southern words. For the last couple of years, I have been entertaining myself (not difficult) and my Facebook Friends with posts that I have coined “The Southern Word of the Day.” Obviously, this gig is a direct rip-off of the comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s redneck words, and there is certainly some overlap. However, I have imposed some rules on myself that Foxworthy didn’t always follow. For instance, I only use legitimate English-language words, which includes the occasional place name but mostly just regular words. So I would never use Foxworthy’s “widgedidga” because it isn’t a legitimate word, even though it clearly is a phonetically-correct Southern word that translates to “with you did you.” So Foxworthy’s word “mayonnaise” as a substitute for “man there is” serves as a good example of my method. I also try to stay away from the simple two-syllable rip-offs like aster = asked her, or cider = beside her, or otter = ought to, or stark = it’s dark.
I have decided to put together a list of my favorite Southern words that I have posted, and perhaps Jeff Foxworthy has used these too. No plagiarism is intended here; I can only plead ignorance, which for me is not a stretch at all.
Memberships. Usage: “Back in the day when we was bar hoppin’ on River Street in Savannah, I memberships used to come by on the river so close you thought you could reach out and touch ’em.”
Artichoke. Usage: “As cold as it’s been lately, you really artichoke that lawnmower engine before you try to crank it.”
Classified. Usage: “I’d have been early to classified been able to find a parking place on campus.”
Tortoise. Usage: “It scared me when I saw Billy Bob coming tortoise with that chain saw in his hands.”
Animator. Usage: “The hamburger would be so much better if you’d put some bacon animator on it.”
Diversity. Usage: “Earl did a good job singing, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard diversity was singing on that song at the Uncle Ned’s funeral.”
Mariner. Usage: “I heard Billy Bob was dating Charlene; then the next thing I know he was mariner. I wonder if she’s in trouble?”
Hibachi. Usage: “How can you say Billy Bob don’t love you when hibachi that brand new set of steak knives just last month?”