Y is for Y’all

I have lived in Tennessee my entire life.  However… my daddy was born in Tennessee, then moved to Chicago as a child and stayed there for 10 years or so before moving back to Tennessee.  My husband also spent most of his growing-up years in the North (okay, northern Virgina/Maryland, which I suppose is technically the South, but trust me the DC metro area does not resemble the rest of the South).  Between the two of them and some other experiences along the way, I grew to realize that the South has a personality that is all its own.  My favorites to speak about (and occasionally pick on) are food and language.  (I’m sure you can tell from reading this blog those are two favorite areas of life in general, so why should focusing on the South be any different?).

Food… I have to say that food that screams Southern to me is not fried chicken and biscuits… though I won’t turn those down.  It’s pinto beans and cornbread, washed down with sweet tea.  (And, yes, I have drunk it from a Mason jar).  It’s cheese grits (yum!) and country ham (even more yum! because I only get it at restaurants!).  It’s quick peach cobbler with ice cream.  It’s cornbread dressing at Thanksgiving instead of stuffing.  Fruit tea.  Those amazing green beans that older ladies cook and bring to church potlucks.  Banana pudding.  Homegrown tomatoes (I can’t wait until those are back in season!)  I didn’t discover fried green tomatoes until I was out of college… but they are definitely in there too.  And sweet potatoes doctored up with brown sugar and cinnamon until they might as well pass for dessert.

As for language, a group of people is “y’all” (which is not spelled ya’ll!) or “you all”.  A soft drink is a “Coke” even if it is Pepsi, or RC (do other parts of the country even have RC?), or Dr. Pepper.  “Fixin’ to” is a phrase that means “about to”.   We say we “might could” do things and “reckon we should get going”.  Being called “ma’am” is a rite of passage (that at least in my case was met with despair that I was getting older… though I was probably only in my 20’s!) 🙂 .

I also can’t pass up the opportunity (with all of you writers reading this blog right now) to talk about Southern authors. 🙂  Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Margaret Mitchell, Harper Lee… and I suppose more modern ones such as Pat Conroy and John Grisham as well.  (I can’t say I’ve loved every book I’ve read by all of them but I can say I’ve at least read something from all of them).

There are certainly areas and aspects of the South I don’t love (and most more serious than the heat and humidity in August)… but today, in this post, I’m focusing on the positives. 🙂


8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Bud Ezekiel on April 29, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    yes`m ma`am,…the suthner’s tol` me quickly in Lowville, Caintuckee hay`ow thay say it. 🙂

    in Say`outh Carol liiiiiinuh, they’s eat grits two…ever mornin…


  2. Posted by Bud Ezekiel on April 29, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    and ah`m bee in pos-tive two:)


  3. Stop– you’re making me homesick. That food sounds so good. I cannot find country ham anywhere out here in California.

    I moved to East Tennessee from the Chicago area when I started high school. At first I thought everyone sound so funny and thought they were like “hicks”. But I fell in love with the place, the people, the culture, and just about everything else. Now when I talk a lot of people thnk I’m a native born Southerner.

    May 3rd A to Z Challenge Reflections Mega Post


    • That’s funny because I get asked all of the time if I am from the North! 🙂 (And I haven’t lived in East TN, that is a whole different world… not a bad one, just different and MUCH prettier!)


  4. Posted by Rae on April 30, 2010 at 5:34 am

    Okay…so you’ve gone and caused me to blow my diet! Yum Yum!
    Now I’m fixin to eat me some mighty big calories!


  5. Don’t forget “the one what brung ya” and “over yonder.”
    And yes, RC is across the country.


  6. How fun! I can’t wait to go visit the south! All those things I really like! 🙂 Who knows, maybe my husband & I will move to the south one of these days! 🙂 P.S. you were making me hungry there for a moment!


  7. Great post! I’m a Yankee in NC, I love to blend both worlds! My husband loves sweet potato pie, my kids love sweet tea, I love shrimp n’ grits. RC is in random areas of the country. Every state seems to have
    their specialties. I do agree, though as regions, New England, North, South, Central, Out West,etc.
    there does seem to be a blend of flavors, that mingle with the people and their pride. I love it, myself!
    I love gumbo, I love the diverse flavors and accent that gather people together. We all together make us the U.S. with our blends of differences. Fun post! I will be visiting you often; Keep writing!!! I


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