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About the Upcountry, SC

The Lingo

Y’all gotta know the talk if y’all wanna walk the walk.

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Southernisms of The Upcountry South Carolina

True Southerners make friends standing in lines. We don't do "queues," we do "lines." And when we're in line, we talk to everybody.

A true Southerner can show or point out to you the general direction of "yonder."

A true Southerner knows exactly how long "directly" is - as in "Going to town, be back directly."

Deah: A term of endearment, except in the sense Rhett Butler used it when he said to Scarlett O'Hara, "Frankly, my deah, Ah don't give a damn."

Fixin' to: About to. "I'm fixin' to go to the store."

Hush yo' mouth: An expression of pleased embarrassment, as when a Southern female is paid an extravagant compliment. "Honey, you're 'bout the sweetest, best-lookin' woman in South Carolina." "Now hush yo' mouth, Jim Bob."

Spell: An undetermined length of time. "Let's sit here and rest a spell."

Remember, "y'all" is singular, "all y'all" is plural, and "all y'all's" is plural possessive.

The North has coffee houses, the South has Waffle Houses.

A true Southerner knows you don't scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 on the Interstate - you just say, "Bless her heart" and go your way.

Holler like a stuck pig: Screaming or squealing in pain

Like a bump on a log: lazy and doing nothing

Too big for one's britches: someone taking themself too seriously

Got your feathers ruffled: upset and pouting

In high cotton: rising up in society

Southern Saying: Argue with a fence post.
Translation: Stubborness or to constantly argue
Usage: That woman would argue with a fence post.

Southern Saying: Short end of the stick.
Translation: The least desirable assignment, decision, or part of an arrangement
Usage: We got the short end of the stick on that deal.

Southern Saying: Chewin' the fat
Translation: Talking up a storm or not talking about nothing in particular.
Usage: We was just a chewin' the fat.

Southern Saying: Like white on rice.
Translation: Reference to traits or characteristics that cannot be separated. Two things that always go together.
Usage: She was all over him like white on rice.

Southern Saying: Two peas in a pod
Translation: Suited for each other or identical.
Usage: They're like two peas in a pod, ain't they?

You can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear:
You cannot change the fundamental nature of things, no matter how hard you try.

That's finer than frog's hair: frog's hair is so fine you can't "see" it.
Super Fine... So the phrase "finer than frog's hair" means something that's extraordinary.

Southern Saying: Like a chicken with its head cut off
Translation: In a frenzied manner or in a state of confusion
Usage: That boy was running around like a chicken with his head cut off!

Southern Saying: Butter my biscuit
Translation: Isn't that something!
Usage: Well butter my biscuit!

Southern Saying: Heebie jeebies
Translation: A condition similar to the chills. Usage: That fellow gives me the heebie jeebies.

Only true Southerners say "sweet tea" and "sweet milk." Sweet tea indicates the need for sugar and lots of it - we do not like our tea unsweetened.

"Sweet milk" means you don’t want buttermilk.

A dish that is to die for just “Tastes so good, makes me wanna stand up and smack my momma!”

"I’m wore slam out!” (highly fatigued)

I’m about to bust wide open!” extremely full from eating too much

Southern Saying: He mashed the button.
Translation: he punched or pushed the button.
Usage: Roy mashed the button on the elevator.