The Southern Lexicon

When you’re watching a show on TV and someone from another country is speaking, subtitles usually appear at the bottom of the screen.  Recently, subtitles have starting appearing for another reason – when someone from the south is speaking.  This is due in large part to the fact that there has been a sharp increase in the number of reality shows about pregnant teenagers, alligator wrestlers and men who don’t use poles to catch catfish.  Generally speaking, people who are real, real good at getting pregnant real, real young, wrestling alligators and catching catfish with their bare hands live in the south and don’t spend a lot of time working on their oratory skills.

If you ever find yourself in a real life encounter with a southerner that you just can’t understand, there wont be any subtitles to help you out.  That’s why you need to get familiar with The Southern Lexicon.

Here’s a sample.

Pro-grum – Program

This word can be used to refer to the sheet of paper they give you at church that tells you what’s happening next.

“John Henry, pass me the pro-grum.”

It can also refer to a television show.

“John Henry, be quiet.  I’m trying to watch my pro-grum.”

Bawl – Ball

Of course you’ll hear this one in reference to the object used to play a sport.

“John Henry!  Hit the bawl!”

But, it can also refer to the sport itself.

“We signed John Henry up to play bawl this year.”  (Here the word bawl can be used to refer to football, baseball or basketball but never soccer.)

Dead-ee – Father

“When dead-ee gets home, we gonna play some bawl and then watch a pro-grum about alligator wrestlers.”

Quip-ment – Equipment, stuff usually found on or around a farm

“I think we can get that trench dug for ya ma’am if John Henry ever gets here with that quipment.”

S – This letter is commonly added on to the end of whatever store is being discussed.

“They gotta good sale on Little Debbies goin’ on at Piggly Wiggly’s right now.”

“Y’all gonna stay with your Aunt Florence.  Yer Dead-ee’s takin’ me to Wal-Marts.”

Hep – Help

“John Henry!  Come hep me move this drive shaft.”

Den-uh – Dinner, see also Supper

Be very careful on this one.  Sometimes it means lunch and sometimes it means the last meal of the day.  The following sentence is a very tricky one.

“We got out there ’round den-uh time.”

This could mean anywhere from 11 am to 7 pm.  If you’re ever asked by a southerner to meet someplace at den-uh time, ask him to clarify.

N-ten-doe – Any video game system that has ever existed.  Today’s Playstation and Xbox along with classics like Sega Genesis and Atari are all N-ten-does.

“You lucky.  I didn’t have no N-ten-doe when I was growing up.”

“John Henry needs to quit playin’ that N-ten-doe and get out here and hep dead-ee with that quipment.”

Now you don’t need subtitles.