What You Need To Know Before Moving To The Southern U.S.

By on January 22, 2013

In the U.S., the South is anywhere south of the Mason-Dixon line. The people are friendly, the states are red, and the American pride is strong. If you’re from anywhere else, moving to the South will be quite an adjustment. Here are some things to know to help make the transition easier for you (especially if you’re a damn Yankee).

The Language
Every region has different colloquialisms, and the South has some of the most unique. Before you move, it’s a good idea for you to learn some of the language and local dialect. Here are some of the essentials:

“Y’all” is used in a singular sense. “All y’all” is used as a plural. “All y’alls” is a plural possessive. You will hear this very frequently, so get used to it. It won’t be long before you’re saying it, too.

“Ought” is a Southern way of saying “no.” It’s frequently used to warn or chastise a child or pet. It comes from the saying, “Y’all oughta not do that.”

Big ol’” is a common adjective. A “big ol’ tractor” or a “big ol’ dog,” are two examples. This is another phrase that you’ll pick up very quickly and integrate into your own speak.

“Sir” and “Ma’am” are the polite ways of addressing your elders. It’s about respect.

Southern accents can be very strong, and it might be hard to understand what Southerners are saying. But guess what? They’re having a hard time understanding what you’re saying, too.

The Food
Southern food is often very distinct, so you should know about some of the more popular selections. Don’t be surprised if the Waffle House is the most popular restaurant around.

Grits are a common breakfast food, and Southerners sometimes put butter, salt, and pepper on them. If you put sugar or milk in yours, it’s a tell-tale sign that you’re not from the South. It’s kind of like putting ketchup on a steak. You just don’t do it.

Sweet Tea is a common drink. It’s sweetened iced tea, and it’s absolutely delicious. Asking for unsweetened tea is another sign that you’re from out-of-town. In most cases, sweet is it.

Barbeque is one of the South’s most popular types of cuisine. Southerners are proud of their barbeques, so don’t try to give them any pointers. They’re pros.

The Weather
The weather in the South is very different than in any other regions of the U.S. If you’re moving down South, here are some things to know about the climate.

It’s hot and humid, and Southerners know it. They’re used to it. Don’t complain about the heat or humidity, especially not to any locals. They know it’s hot, but they don’t bitch about it. Don’t go out in the middle of the day, and keep cool at home with air conditioning, fans, and sweet tea.

It rarely snows, so it’s a big event if snow is in the forecast. Southerners prepare as though they’ll be snowed in for days. They feel as adverse to the snow as Northerners do to the heat.

Susan Wright is a vet and a freelance writer. Susan often shares summer pet care tips that gets the whole family involved in caring for the family pet.

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