Do you know what is great about living in the South? The accents. The dialect. There truly is something rich about the way things are pronounced here. Not everyone can appreciate the southern twang, and few can actually replicate it without having lived in the South. Don't you just love watching a movie full of fake southern accents? Bwhahahaha. Some are better than others. Steel Magnolias? Not near as annoying as Con Air. Driving Miss Daisy? Easier to swallow than True Blood. I attempted to watch an episode of that, but the fake accents drove me bananas.
I catch myself actively pronouncing words when I speak to clients or people on the telephone who are not here in the South. Come on, now. Can you imagine trying to navigate a customer support call when you get routed to India and you have a thick, southern accent? I speak slowly and with great intent every time I call Quickbooks support.
So I thought to myself, "Self, why don't you make a list of words that southern folks say and translate them and list some helpful tips for understanding the southern accent..."
-Monday. This is a word you might think would be the same anywhere. Heck no! If you are a southern lady who glistens but does not sweat, you say....Maaaaawndee...really drag out that aaahhhhh sound. If you are just an ordinary bammer, you say.....Mundee....rhymes with Crocodile Dundee. Got it?
-Tuesday. Again, there is no such thing as "day" to the rural bammer. It's...Toosdee...unless you are very rural...in which case there is an ever so slight and barely detectable ch at the beginning instead of a T.....Choosedee....very soft ch.
-Any other day of the week. Thursdee...Fryyyyydee....Saterdee...Sundee...Windsdee....none of the days of the week are pronounced as spelled. Ask Siri. When a southerner asks Siri, "Wut's on my calinder fur Windsdee?," she replies, "I'm sorry. I thought your language was English."
-Dog. This one is a personal favorite. It's...Dawg....and this one you'll need to work on for more than a moment. There is no such thing as a one syllable word in the South. Drag those vowels out. Words like dog must be stretched into every bit of 4 syllables.
-As you can probably tell, it's difficult for southern children to learn to spell. We pack our children up and send them to school, and bless them, they try to spell words phonetically. Just try explaining why chirren isn't the same as children to a southern first grade student. That reminds me. In the South, you can feel free to leave out letters when pronouncing words. Chirren is a good example of that.
-Does it end with an R? This is another classic example of leaving letters out/off of words. Names like Walter, Arthur, Jennifer...ain't no r at the end if you're a classy, southern broad. Suga, Waaaalta, Aaaatha, Jennifa. Drag those vowels out. You can do it. Rural bammers do pronounce the r. Maybe I should just go ahead and say it. Rural bammer is code for those who speak redneck-inese. Believe it or not there is a difference between the old school southern accent and the redneck accent. You know it's true.
-I before E except when an E is an I, and an I is an E. Ten...is pronounced the same as Tin...as in hot, tin roof. Hen....is pronounced Hin. Do you watch TV in your den? Not in the South. We watch TV in our din. In a nutshell, any three letter word with an e in the middle that also ends with an n....just pronounce that e as an i.
-Police. Poe-lease. There is a very distinct separation of the poe and the lease.
-Dudden. This is how we say doesn't. As in...It dudden matter to me.
-Idden. This is how we say isn't. As in...It idden mine.
-N M. This is by far one of my favorites. It's southern for and them. Did you sit with Mama n m? You might have to practice this one aloud several times to fully appreciate it. In fact you might actually have to hear a bammer say it. N M, people. N M.
-G. Don't bother pronouncing the G at the end of any word. Going = Go-in. Talking = Tawk-in. Driving = Drive-in. Fixing = Fix-in. Ooooo, wait, we have stumbled upon the best yet. Fix-in. This is the exact same as "about to." I'm fix-in to make a pie. I'm fix-in to go to town. Should you come visit the South, remember to use the word fix-in, and you'll fit right in.
-You all. This is by far the most important southern-ism of which everyone is aware. Y'all. Ya'll. Spelling dudden matter. Yawl....speak it, say it, live it, ya'll will love it.
Catch ya'll lata!