An explanation of the most common Southernisms you’ll hear

Basically, this is all the ways we insult people in a nice way

The sayings of the South can be complicated. But that’s why I’m here – to explain the most common of the sayings.


I absolutely love this word and you should too, no matter where you’re from. This word makes life easier. “Y’all” combines “you all” or “you guys” and just saves you breath. It’s a nicer way to refer to a group of people, and using this word lets other people know you aren’t mad at them.

Let me explain: when you say, “Y’all suck,” you mean, “Haha, you guys are so mean but I know you’re joking.” When you say, “You guys suck,” you are angry. You actually mean those guys suck.

‘Bless your heart’

Oh man, you do not want to hear this. If someone says this to you, you are doing something so wrong that they feel bad for you. This is the ultimate insult of the South.


This is what my boyfriend does. A lot. It’s called being lazy. Another, more common way to say this is “just messin’ around.”

‘Pitching a fit’

This is what I do. A lot. Scenario: Boy gives girl a necklace instead of a puppy for her birthday. Girl wants puppy. Girl pitches a fit.

‘I’m sweating like a whore in church’

This one’s relatable. This just means you’re sweating a lot. Maybe it’s just hot. Maybe you’re actually a whore in a church.

‘Too big for his britches’

Simile: “douche canoe.” Ego overload – that’s what this means. Basically, this is another word for all of the male species. Including hippos.


THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO SAY IT. “It” being the metal bin on wheels at a grocery store that some people call a “cart.”

‘Barking up the wrong tree’

You are wrong. Go back to your tree.

‘Go hog wild’

Hogs must have lots of fun because we have a phrase about them (it means to have fun). I would like to be a hog. Well, I kind of am. I do eat a lot.

‘Like two peas in a pod’

I think people only consider this a Southern phrase because it has lingo about a vegetable from a farm (that’s slightly offensive because people farm everywhere, not just in the South). But you’re welcome for the peas, Northerners. Anyway, this is a phrase used to tell two people they work well together or they’re super similar.

‘Stomping ground’

I’ve only ever heard an old man say this before. They say it when they are really proud of where they used to live, or where they came from.

These obvi aren’t all of the sayings, but this covers the basics – the ones you need to know in order to survive a trip down to the South.