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  • The Complete How to Speak Southern
  • Written by Steve Mitchell
    Illustrated by Sam C. Rawls
  • Format: Hardcover | ISBN: 9780553804782
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  • The Complete How to Speak Southern
  • Written by Steve Mitchell
    Illustrated by Sam C. Rawls
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780307418425
  • Our Price: $9.99
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Written by Steve MitchellAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Steve Mitchell
Illustrated by Sam C. RawlsAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Sam C. Rawls

eBook

List Price: $9.99

eBook

On Sale: December 18, 2007
Pages: 112 | ISBN: 978-0-307-41842-5
Published by : Bantam Bantam Dell
The Complete How to Speak Southern Cover

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Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

The laugh sensation that swept the nation, How to Speak Southern and More How to Speak Southern, is now collected in one complete–and completely hilarious–volume. Embraced by Southerners everywhere and dedicated to all Yankees in the hope that it will teach them to talk right, this uproarious book decodes “Suthun” wit and wisdom for “Nawthun” upstarts everywhere. From “aig” (a breakfast food that may be fried, scrambled, boiled, or poached) to “zackly” (as in “precisely”), here’s just a sampling of what you’ll find inside:

ATTAIR: Contraction used to indicate the specific item desired. “Pass me attair gravy, please.”
EVERWHICHAWAYS: To be scattered in all directions. “You should have been there when the train hit that chicken truck. Them chickens flew everwhichaways.”
YONTNY: Do you want any. “Yontny more corn bread?”

Funny as well as informative, this laugh-out-loud dictionary will keep you laughing and learning–no matter where you fall on the Mason-Dixon Line!

Excerpt

A

ACit: That’s it. “Ah (I) don’t wanna hear no more about it. ACit as far as Ah’m concerned.”

Addled: Confused, disoriented, as in the case of Northern sociologists who try to make sense out of the South. “What’s wrong with that Yankee? He acts right addled.”

AD-dress: Where you live. “What’s your AD-dress, honey?”

A-DRESS: What women look very good in. “Jeans are nice, but I’d rather see a woman in a-DRESS.”

Afar: In a state of combustion. “Call the far department. That house is afar.”

Ah: The things you see with, and the personal pronoun denoting individuality. “Ah think Ah’ve got somethin’ in mah ah.”

Ah ’magine: The first word means yourself—or as Southerners say, “yosef”—and the second is an expression of intent or belief. “Ah ’magine she’s ’bout the sweetest gull (girl) in Jeff Davis County.”

Ahce: Solidified liquid that is best employed in the cooling of mint juleps and aged bourbon. “This dry ink (drink) needs more ahce in it.”

Ahdin: I didn’t. “Ahdin know the gun was loaded, Judge.”

Ahmoan: An expression of intent. “Ahmoan have a little drink. You want one?”

Ahr: What we breathe, also a unit of time made up of 60 minutes. “They should’ve been here about an ahr ago.”

Ahreen: A lady’s name. “You remember that song that was popular during the Korean War? ‘Goodnight Ahreen’?”

Aig: A breakfast food that may be fried, scrambled, boiled or poached. “Which came first, the chicken or the aig?”

Ails: 1. Else. “Warn’t nothin’, ma’am. Anybody ails would have done the same thing.” 2. To be ill or afflicted by something. “That mule sure is actin’ strange. Wonder what ails him?”

Aint: The sister of your mother or father. “Son, go over and give Aint Bea a big hug.”

Airish: Drafty, cool. “Don’t leave that door open. It’s too airish already.”

Airs: Mistakes. “That shortstop’s made two airs, and the game’s not half over yet.”

All Ah wanna do is hold you a little, is all: One of the most brazen, outrageous lies Southern men tell women, and always with the utmost sincerity. “All Ah wanna do is hold you a little, is all, honey.”

All over hell and half of Georgia: Covering a large area. “Ah’ve looked for that boy all over hell and half of Georgia.”

Alms: What beggars ask for, but what Southern men hold their girls with. “Ah just want to put my alms around you a little, is all.”

AMbolance: A four-wheeled vehicle used to convey the injured to a hospital. “That boy’s hurt bad. Better call an AMbolance.”

Ar: Possessive pronoun. “That’s ar dawg, not yours.”

Argy: To dispute in a contentious manner. “Ah told you to take your bath, boy, and Ah’m not gonna stand here and argy with you about it.”

Arkensaw: A Southern state some Yankees have been known to confuse with Kansas, even though the two have nothing whatever to do with each other. “She’s from Little Rock, Arkensaw.”

Arn: An electrical instrument used to remove wrinkles from clothing. “Ah’m not gonna arn today. It’s too hot.”

Arrer: A pointed stick the Indians used to employ with great efficiency, as General George Custer discovered at Little Big Horn. “Ah shot an arrer into the ahr...”

Arshtaters: A staple of the Irish diet and the source of French fries. “Ah like arshtaters, but Ah hate to peel ’em.”

Arthuritis: A painful illness characterized by stiffening of the joints and paralysis. “Grandma’s arthuritis is botherin’ her real bad today.”

Ary: Not any. “He hadn’t got ary cent.”

Ast: To interrogate or inquire, as when a revenue agent seeks information about illegal moonshine stills. “Don’t ast me so many questions. It makes me mad.”

At: That. “Is at your car?”

Attair: Contraction used to indicate the specific item desired. “Pass me attair gravy, please.”

Awduh: A state of affairs that depends on obedience to law. “The marshal brought law and awduh to this town.”

Awf: The opposite of on. “Take your muddy feet awf the table.”

Awficer: A policeman. “Well, Awficer, Ah guess Ah might have been goin’ a little over the speed limit, but...”

Awfis: The place where men say they have to work late and sometimes actually do. “Go ahead and have supper without me, honey. Ah have to work late at the awfis.”

Awfullest: The worst. “That’s the awfullest lie you ever told me in your life.”

Awl: An amber fluid used to lubricate engines. “Ah like that car, but it sure does use a lot of awl.”

Awraht: Okay. “If you want to go back home to your mother, that’s awraht with me.”

AY-rab: The desert people who inhabit much of North Africa but not much of Israel. “That fella looks like a AY-rab, don’t he?”


B

Babdist: A religious denomination whose members are found in great profusion throughout the South. They are against drinkin’ and dancin’, but...“Ah hear the Babdist preacher run off with the choir director.”

Bad-mouth: To disparage or derogate. “All these candidates have bad-mouthed each other so much Ah’ve about decided not to vote for any of ’em.”

Bad off: Desperately in need of, also extremely ill. 1. “Is that Valley of the Dolls? You must be bad offfor somethin’ to read.” 2. “Jim’s in the hospital. He’s bad off.”

Bad to: Inclined toward, prone to. “Johnny’s bad to get in fights when he gets drunk.”

Bait: A surfeit of. “Ah hope you get a bait of them spareribs, ’cause you’ve et about all of ’em.”

Bard: To obtain the use of, not always on a temporary basis. “He bard mah shovel and never did bring it back.”

Batry: A boxlike device that produces electricity. “Looks like your car’s got a dead batry.”

Bawl: What water does at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. “That gal cain’t even bawl water without burnin’ it.”

Baws: Your employer. “The baws may not always be right, but he’s always the baws.”

Bawstun: The largest city in Massachusetts. “King George III didn’t like the Bawstun Tea Party much.”

Beholden: Indebted to. “Ah’m beholden to you for loanin’ me that five dollars.”

Best: Another baffling Southernism that is usually couched in the negative. “You best not speak to Cecil about his car. He just had to spend $300 on it.”

Bidness: The art of selling something for more than you paid for it. “My cousin Archie is in the real estate bidness.”

Bleeve: Expression of intent or faith. “Ah bleeve we ought to go to church this Sunday.”

Bobbuh: One who cuts hair. “Ah wish you’d go to a different bobbuh.”

Bobbycue: A delectable Southern sandwich that is prepared properly only in certain parts of North Carolina. It consists of chopped pork, cole slaw and a fiery sauce made chiefly of vinegar, red pepper and ketchup. “Four bobbycues to go, please.”

Bobwar: A spiky strand of metal used to keep cattle inside an enclosed space. “Watch out, you’ll get caught on that bobwar.”

Body: Person, usually an oblique reference to yourself. “A body can’t get a minute’s peace around this house.”

Bound to: Certain to. “Too much beer is bound to give you a hangover.”

Bounden determined: Totally committed to a course of action, not always the wisest. “She’s bounden determined to marry him.”

Bout: About, except in Tidewater, Virginia, where it is pronounced “aboot.” “It’s bout time to put out the fire and call in the dawgs.”

Bowut: In Charleston, South Carolina, a small craft that conveys one across water. “Where’s the motor for this bowut?”

Boy: Any Southern white male under the age of 50, usually preceded by the words “good ole,” meaning he is amiable, likes a drink now and then and is fond of fishin’, huntin’ and good--lookin’ women. “Clarence is a good ole boy.”

Braht: Dazzling. “Venus is a braht planet.”

Branch: Part of a tree, but also what you use to cross a body of water. “We’ll cross that branch when we come to it.”

Break bad: To behave in a violent, wanton or outrageous manner for no discernible reason. “Ole Bill broke bad last night and wound up in jail.”

Break of: To induce the abandonment of an undesirable trait or habit. “Ah’m gonna break that husband of mine of lyin’ to me if it’s the last thing Ah do.”

Bub: A fragile glass object that converts electricity into illumination. “Ah think that light bub’s burnt out.”

Bud: Small feathered creature that flies. “A robin sure is a pretty bud.”

Bum: An explosive device dropped from airplanes called bummers. “Ah think we ought to drop the atomic bum on ’em.”

Bumminham: The biggest city in Alabama. “You can travel cross this entire land, they ain’t no place like Bumminham.”



C

Caint: Cannot. “Ah just caint understand why this checkbook won’t balance.”

Carry: To convey from one place to another, usually by automobile. “Can you carry me down to the store in yo’ car?”

Cawse: Cause, usually preceded in the South by the adjective “lawst” (lost). “The War Between the States was a lawst cawse.”

Cayut: A furry animal much beloved by little girls but detested by adults when it engages in mating rituals in the middle of the night. “Be sure to put the cayut outside before you go to bed.”

Cent: The plural of cent. “You paid five dollars for that necktie? Ah wouldn’t give fifty cent for it.”

Chalstun: A city in South Carolina that Yankees call the Cradle of Secession. “Ah don’t know why they’re so upset. All we wanted was Fort Sumter back.”

Cheer: A piece of furniture used for sitting. “Pull up a cheer and set a spell.”

Chekatawlfarya?: An expression that is rapidly disappearing because of the gasoline shortage, but one that still may be heard by baffled Yankees at service stations in small Southern towns. It translates as “Check that oil for you?”

Chimbley: What smoke comes out of. “Ah bleeve that chimbley’s stopped up.”

Chitlins: It is said that there are two things you should never see being made: laws and sausages. Chitlins are another. Chitlins, which can smell up the whole county when being cooked, are boiled and fried hog intestines. Delicious, if you can forget what they are. “Ah’ll have another plate of them chitlins.”

Chunk: To throw. “Chunk it in there, Leroy. Ole Leroy sure can chunk ’at ball, can’t he? Best pitcher we ever had.”

Claws: An appendage to a legal document. “You’d be advised to study that claws very carefully.”

Clawth: A woven material from which clothes are made. “Let me have three yards of that clawth, please.”

Clone: A type of scent men put on themselves. “What’s that clone you got on, honey?”

Co-cola: The soft drink that started in Atlanta and conquered the world. “Ah hear they even sell Co-cola in Russia.”

Collards: A variety of kale, also known as greens. Southerners love them cooked with fatback, also known as the bacon that didn’t quite make it. “Pass the collards, please.”

Collie flare: A crisp white vegetable that is surprisingly good once you get past the appearance. “Lots of boxers have collie flare ears.”

Comin’ up a cloud: An approaching storm. “Stay close to the house. It’s comin’ up a cloud.”

Commence to: To start or engage in some activity. “They got in a argyment, and the next thing you know, they commence to fight.”

Commite nigh: To come very close to. “When -Sue--Ann caught her husband kissin’ that waitress from the Blue Moon, she commite nigh killin’ him.”

Contrack: A legal document, usually heavily in favor of the party who draws it up. “It’s just a standard contrack...just sign right here.”

Contrary: Obstinate, perverse. “Cecil’s a fine boy, but she won’t have nothin’ to do with him. She’s just contrary, is all Ah can figure.”

Cooter: A large turtle found in Southern streams that supplemented many Dixie diets when the Yankees came down during Reconstruction and carried off everything that wasn’t bolted down. “Goin’ to the hardware store? Get me some cooter hooks.”

Costes: The price of something. “Don’t buy lettuce if it costes too much.”

Crawss: The symbol of Christianity. “Ah love to hear ’em sing ‘The Ole Rugged Crawss’.”

Crine: Weeping. “What’s that girl crine about?”

Cuss: Profane language, or a malediction. “The Hope Diamond has got a cuss on it.”

Cut awf: To switch off. “It’s too bright in here, honey. Why don’t we cut awf that light bub?”

Cut the fool: To behave in a silly or foolish manner. “Quit cuttin’ the fool and do your homework.”

Cyst: To render aid. “Can Ah cyst you with those packages, ma’am?”
Steve Mitchell

About Steve Mitchell

Steve Mitchell - The Complete How to Speak Southern

Photo © Guy Ferell

STEVE MITCHELL was born in North Carolinian, and worked as a columnist for the Palm Beach Post. Sam C. Rawls is a Florida cracker and was the chief cartoonist for the Palm Beach Post, and is a past president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists.

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