HomeSouthern Phrases Northerners Don't Understand

Southern Phrases Northerners Don’t Understand

Have you ever traveled to a Southern state and had locals remark anything weird to you? Most likely, it was an insult that went completely unnoticed by you.

Thankfully, we have some Southern jargon specialists on hand to help us decipher what some typical southern slang really means. Be aware that the majority of these are insults.

“She just doesn’t realize a Medicaid card and a miniskirt doesn’t belong on the same woman.”

Medicaid is a government health plan aimed at supporting those with a low income. Thus, one can assume that those who have Medicaid aren’t wealthy people. Women wearing a miniskirt is associated with wealthier women. Thus, a woman is either in the low income class or the high income class but she can’t be in both. 

“Well What a cute haircut! It looks SO much better.”

This insult is more straightforward than the rest but isn’t as offensive. This insult insinuates that the person’s old hairstyle was controversial. 

“I’ll bet you’ve got such a handsome face underneath that beard.”

This insult can very easily confuse a person. It might sound like a compliment as they state the person has an attractive face but in reality they’re saying they don’t think you have a nice beard.  

“Honey, I just hope you don’t catch pneumonia in those shorts. They sure look . . . breezy.”

This clever remark has conservative origins. Usually remarked by an older woman who notices a girl wearing debatably short pants, mostly in her opinion. So don’t believe she’s concerned about your health; instead, she’s concerned about your provocative behavior.

“They’re just plain people, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

Calling somebody “plain” means that they are boring. This slur even ends on a condescending note, as if to reassure people that it’s good to be “plain.” You should be offended if someone says this to you. Don’t let it get away from you!

“Honey, it’s not your fault. You just didn’t know any better.”

If someone begins a statement with the word “honey,” you’re about to enter a realm of condescension. There is no way to hide this disrespect! It’s obvious, but that’s exactly the purpose. This is usually expressed when one person does something that the other does not agree with, yet they still want to support them.

“That one right there has always been a little different.” 

This insult is usually shared behind closed doors. However, if you ever overhear someone whispering that to a friend while gesturing in your direction, understand that they don’t hold you in high regard. We recommend that you no longer associate with that individual.

“You march to your own drummer, don’t you sweetheart? Good for you. Good for you.”

If somebody were to say that to you, they mean that you tend to act in a manner that you do things differently, and your choices tend to be controversial.  This will not always be an insult and can be used in a positive manner. 

 “You’re not married? Nothing wrong with that, honey. You’re a career lady.”

According to this insult, if a woman is not married, there must either be something wrong with her or she is unappealing. 

“That apple didn’t fall far from the tree, did it, y’all?”

Here’s probably the most well-known phrase that doesn’t need too much explaining. But we’ll do it anyway. This phrase is often used when someone is being compared to one or both of their parents. Normally in a negative way.

“His elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top floor if you know what I mean, but we just love him to death.”

This phrase can sometimes go over someone’s head unless they understand it in the first place. The idiom implies that the person they are referring to is a little on the dumber side. Don’t ever let anyone say this to you if you don’t want to sound like a fool.

“She’s not the sweetest cookie in the batch, but we wouldn’t trade her for the world.”

Not the “sweetest cookie” just implies that a person is cold or can be a little mean. We’re sure if they heard this insult and it was true they may explode. But the last part of the phrase tries to be endearing. To no avail.

“He’s a little rough around the edges, but he’s got the best personality.”

This insult is more of a backhanded compliment. On one hand, they’re telling someone that they have a lot of glaring flaws. But on the other, they make up for it with their personality. But some people may make both an insult depending on if they use sarcasm or not.

“Her biscuit’s not done in the middle, but we can overlook that.”

This phrase can be misunderstood quite easily but it’s safe to say any way you put it it doesn’t sound positive. The insult implies that whoever it’s directed to can be a little dumb or doesn’t entirely have their things in order.


Most Popular