Southern Word of the Day (Part 5)

Here is the latest installment of my favorite Southern words, 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.

Pressure. Usage: “You can see inside the window better if you pressure face right up to the glass.”

Turnip. Usage: “Will you please turnip the volume on that TV so I can hear what they’re sayin’.”

Mare. Usage: “Billy Bob is thinking about running for mare in the next city election.”

Manure. Usage: “I like manure truck better than my old one “cause it’s got 4-wheel drive and a gun rack.”

Meander. Usage: “Charlene went with meander momma down to the Wal-mart to look for some curtains for the trailer.”

Entity. Usage: “If you pour a little oil entity pot of spaghetti the noodles won’t stick together.”

Binary. Usage: “I didn’t binary one of them undershirts at the yard sale ’cause they had stains in the arm pits.”

Trauma. Usage: “I’m gonna trauma best to be at the rodeo this Saturday night if I can get back in time.”

Eclipse. Usage: “I like this new barber because eclipse the hair growing out of my ears.”

Pumpkin. Usage: “If the basement floods again, that new pumpkin get the water out in a hurry.”

Southern Word of the Day (Part 4)
Southern Word of the Day (Part 3)
Southern Word of the Day (Part 2)
Southern Word of the Day (Part 1)

Southern Word of the Day (Part 4)

Here is the latest installment of my favorite Southern words, 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.

Ratified.  Usage: “I could have killed that ratified had my pistol with me in the kitchen.”

Fertilize.  Usage: “Earl’s gonna pay dearly fertilize he’s been telling about Billy Bob and Charlene.”

Barn.  Usage: “Times have been tough lately, and we’ve been barn money from my parents just to make payments on the truck.”

Bayou.  Usage: “Do you mind if I sit bayou at Thanksgiving dinner?”

Canopy.  Usage: “I know we’re in a hurry, but canopy before we go?”

Nominee.  Usage: “I fell off the four-wheeler and nominee is swollen and hurts something awful.”

Doctorate.  Usage: “Billy Bob cut his hand, and Charlene needs to doctorate before it gets infected.”

Commodious.  Usage: “Quick! Somebody run in there and tell Billy Bob that the commodious on is clogged up!”

Shawls.  Usage: “This casserole dish left from homecoming at the church last Sunday isn’t ours, so I guess its shawls.”

Automated.  Usage: “It’s almost midnight. Billy Bob and Charlene automated home by now.”

Benefited.  Usage: “Billy Bob’s already benefited for his tux, and he’s a-getting real excited about being the best man at my wedding.”

Coffin.  Usage: “This summer cold has got me coffin up a storm!”

Southern Word of the Day (Part 3)
Southern Word of the Day (Part 2)
Southern Word of the Day (Part 1)

Southern Word of the Day (Part 3)

Here is the latest installment of my favorite Southern words, 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.

Iota.  Usage: “Just heard from the accountant that iota IRS some more money for 2015.”

Fawn.  Usage: “I never woulda believed it could happen, but I think Billy Bob is fawn in love with Charlene.”

Defensive.  Usage: “The deer ain’t able to jump defensive you make it high enough.”

Napkin.  Usage: “If I get drowsy after lunch, taking a quick napkin usually get me through the rest of the day.”

Conjure.  Usage: “Billy Bob, I can’t believe you conjure way out of going shopping with Charlene this weekend. What kinda story did you make up this time?”

Urinal.  Usage:  “Charlene heard about us going out last night, Billy Bob, and now urinal lot of trouble dude.”

Foamy.  Usage: “It’s gettin’ cold in here.  How about shuttin’ that door foamy.”

Avenue.  Usage: “I heard they avenue ride at the fair this year that’s making everybody puke!”

Southern Word of the Day (Part 2)
Southern Word of the Day (Part 1)

Southern Word of the Day (Part 2)

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?”

Southern Word of the Day (Part 1)

Southern Word of the Day

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.

Fornication.  Usage: “Charlene’s dress is perfect fornication like tonight.”

Covetous.  Usage: “It was so cold that Momma pulled out a blanket and covetous up with it.”

Quesadilla.  Usage: “You need to have your brights on in quesadilla runs out in front of us.”

Spectators.  Usage: “Broccoli is fine, but I spectators would taste a whole lot better with that steak.”

Anemone.  Usage: “I was running just fine anemone started hurting, and I had to stop.”

Ammonia.  Usage: “Would you come open the door?  Ammonia front porch!”

Motif.  Usage: “Billy Bob would smile more if he just had motif.”

Enema.  Usage: “My mother-in-law is always sticking her nose enema business.”

Pasteurize.  Usage: “I walked right pasteurize, and you didn’t even see me!”

September.  Usage: “We have grown everything on that 40 acres you can imagine September.”

Annuity.  Usage: “He was having trouble getting it out, but annuity was trying to say.”

Annihilator.  Usage: “We got stuck in traffic and ended up getting there annihilator than we thought we would.”

What Separates Us from Dogs and Cabbage

Advanced communication is one of the achievements of human beings that sets us apart from the rest of the living world.  To paraphrase one of my most influential college professors: “Language is what separates us from dogs and cabbage.”  As humans, we have fairly sophisticated language skills that take the form of speaking, singing, gesturing, signing, etc.  But other members of the animal kingdom possess forms of these skills too, and some of them have surpassed our own capabilities.  What truly distinguishes us intellectually as a species is the higher brain function we have acquired, and I believe the best illustration of that gift is in written communication. The ability to pass along information from one person to another through writing was one of the hallmarks that transformed homo sapiens into civilized human beings and paved the way for rapid advancement.  Sadly, literacy is a privilege that is terribly under appreciated in this country, especially when we consider that 774 million adults around the world cannot read or write.  In the United States, most people over the age of fifteen can read and write at a very basic level, but we live in one of the most advanced countries in the world.  Shouldn’t we expect much more than just basic written communication skills?

Most of us know that, in order to write well, we must read — a lot.  To write better, we need to read more and read good writing (this is beginning to sound like a first-grade reader, in fact).  I think it is at this crucial point that we fail.  I am shining the light primarily on the United States, although this problem likely extends to a good portion of the developed countries around the world.  In this country, the masses don’t spend much time reading at all.  There are far too many other sources of information and entertainment available other than the written word.  I am not referring to the Internet necessarily, because there is plenty of writing, and even good writing, available on the Web.  Then again, the Web offers so many alternatives to writing also, which do present quite a distraction.  I am certainly not referring to e-books either, which in spite of their dubious reputation in the eyes of some traditionalists and obsessive bibliophiles, are another source of writing.

So now let’s narrow it down to the folks who DO like to read.  According to Pew Research Center, as of January 2014 some 76% of American adults ages 18 and older said that they read at least one book in the past year.  The typical American reads about five books a year, which isn’t extremely impressive, but at least they’re reading . . . something.  However, 24% of Americans don’t crack a book at all, and the number of non-book-readers has nearly tripled since 1978.  Again, we have more distractions to pull us away from reading.  As the comedian John Caparulo says in one of his more ridiculous routines, “Books suck!  That’s why they invented movies.  Who the hell reads?”

Now, before the 76% of American readers starts to get too cocky, I will make one final disturbing observation, and it relates to Caparulo’s point.  Most Americans who read do so only for one purpose: to be entertained.  Before going further, let me say that reading should  be entertaining, but if reading is going to continue to raise us above the levels of dogs and cabbage, then what we read should do more than just entertain us.  It should change us, challenge us, move us, and sometimes even call us to action. This standard not only applies to nonfiction — it goes for novels, short stories, poetry, and drama.  The embarrassing truth is that far too many Americans judge the merit of a book by whether or not it has been made into a blockbuster movie. I would venture to say that the majority of people who went to see the movie The Color Purple when it came out in 1985 had not read the Pulitzer-prize winning novel by Alice Walker, but after seeing the movie praised the book as a masterpiece.  One has to wonder if Gone with the Wind would still be the best-selling book of all time if it had not been made iconic by the motion picture that followed.

We have access through numerous vehicles to the world’s greatest works of literature — from ancient sacred texts to modern classics from various cultures.  Why would we waste what little time we have in this life on anything less precious?  Of course, I phrase that question knowing full well that I am guilty of seeking shallow entertainment all the time, but I have not forsaken the pursuit of fine literature in the process.  We can have both.  But, to spend a lifetime completely absent of serious writing seems to me such a tragic existence for a species with the mental capacity to appreciate it and pass it on to the next generation.