Over the course of the last few days, I’ve had to have several conversations with people (food servers, store clerks, receptionists, etc, etc) that were most definitely NOT from the south. This is not a problem in my book because hey, we can’t all be born lucky. These conversations were often met with puzzled expressions and raised eyebrows, and in the case of the over the phone conversations, several “I’m sorry, could you repeat that?” I decided that for these people to properly assimilate into Tennessee life, I must teach them how to “talk” southern.
How To Talk Southern, Rachel Style
1. “Fire Truck” is pronounced “Far Truck”
2. “Milk” and “Lights” are pronounced “Mee-yulk” and “Lie-ts”
3. If you want to say something nasty about someone, you must add “bless their heart” in there somewhere, because otherwise, it’s just mean. Ex: The other day, while discussing (gossiping) about a girl I said the following sentence. “Bless her heart, she’s such a conniving skank.”
4. If you are about to do something, you are “fixin” (fixing) to do it. Ex: I just told my mama I was fixin to eat some lunch.
5. Don’t call your parents Mom and Dad. Their names are Mama and Daddy.
6. You don’t “shack up” with anyone, you “live in sin”. Ex: “Is that your husband?” “No ma’am, we just live in sin.” It’s fun to watch the expressions on peoples faces when you say that one.
7. You don’t have sex or make love. You do the mattress aerobics, the devil’s aerobics, mattress dancin, or the horizontal tango. (any silly euphemism will do)
8. If you run into someone you haven’t seen in years (read: months) down at the wal-mart, you must say “well hell’s bells (insert name here), I haven’t seen you in years!” Hells bells is also a good substitution for swearing, or “talkin ugly”
9. If someone says something surprising to you, you say “Shit fire and save the matches!” or “Well I declare!” Ex: A friend says to me “Hey, did you know that so-and so is knocked up again?” Me:” Well shit fire and save the matches!” This doesn’t mean that you disagree with what the person has told you, it simply conveys surprise.
10. If someone is a total fuckwit, you don’t say that, but you can say “that there boy don’t have a lick a sense” (or grain of sense, whichever you prefer)
I have many other helpful phrases and pronunciations for you, but I can’t share them with you now, I’m fixin to go take a shower.
Y’all come back now, you hear?