How Many Southern Slang Words Do You Know?

By: Talin Vartanian

How Many Southern Slang Words Do You Know?
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

A wide variety of Southern slang words and phrases are commonly used in Southern states like Louisiana, Georgia, and Mississippi. Words and phrases like "Y'all," "heavens to Betsy" and "dohickey" are used to express a wide range of emotions, as well as express analogies for other meanings.

Let's take a look at some common Southern phrases. If someone is "proud as a peacock," it often means they are very proud of themselves, or with an accomplishment. It's also used to express that someone is perhaps being too proud, or overly arrogant. Another Southern phrase is "sick as a dog," which is used to express that someone looks very sick. It's often associated with cold and flu-like symptoms.

Other Southern phrases are used to express concern and care with one's relatives. "How’s yer mama ‘n them?" is an example of this. There are also many phrases that express surprise or shock, such as "Well, I'll be" or "Well, I declare."

Do you think you know your Southern slang enough to guess what these 35 Southern words and phrases mean? If you ever get stuck on a question, we've provided a helpful hint to guide you in the right direction. Take this Southern slang quiz now to see if you can score at least 90 percent!



What do you think the Southern phrase, "Mind your P's and Q's," means?
Mind your manners.
"Mind your P's and Q's" is another way of saying "mind your manners." It's often used when someone is being impolite, or lacking common manners.
Speak more eloquently.
Enunciate your vowels more.
Watch my dog.

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"Heavens to Betsy" is the state of being __________.
Sad
Surprised
To be surprised in a situation calls for the phrase, "Heavens to Betsy." This may also be used in situations that are fearful in nature.
Angry
Confused

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If your mother or father shouts "supper time!" what do you think that means?
Set the table.
Dinner is still cooking.
Dinner is ready.
"Supper time" means that dinner is ready. It's also used to "round up" family and friends to the dining room or kitchen.
Feed the dog.

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"I suwanne!" is another way of saying _________.
I saw it.
I, Suzanne
I don't want to.
I swear.
"I suwanne" is another way of saying "I swear." It's usually used to express frustration or annoyance in a situation.

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If I say "Well, I’ll be," how do you think I'm feeling?
Surprised
"Well, I'll be" is usually a prelude to a sentence that expresses surprise. It can also be another form of expressing a loss for words.
Sad
Angry
Depressed

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"Y'all" is another way of saying _________.
You too
You all
"Y'all" is the shortened way of saying "you all." It's also used to address two or more people.
Why?
Just you

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A shopping cart in the South may also be called a ____________.
Wagon
Box
Shopping cart
Buggy
The Southern slang for "shopping cart" is buggy. For example, "I left my buggy in the bread aisle of the store."

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In what context would the word "dohickey" be used?
It's used to tell someone they spilled something on their clothes.
It's used as a substitute word for a word you forgot.
A "dohickey" is a substitute word for a word you forgot in the context of a sentence. For example, "My mom is making this, uh,.dohickey for supper tonight." This person probably forgot what dish his mother is making, so "dohickey" would replace the name of the dinner dish.
It's used to express relief.
It's used to point out a blemish on someone's face.

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Footwear that makes loud noises is called a __________.
Noisy shoes
Squeaky shoes
Clodhopper
A clodhopper is used to express that the footwear a person is wearing is very noisy. This is often used when a person is walking.
Clip clap

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To be very close to someone is to be ________.
Like milk and cookies
Like salt and pepper
Like an ornament to a Christmas tree
Like white on rice
"Like white on rice" is used to express closeness to someone, whether it's an emotional attachment, or in physical proximity. For example, "That couple over there is like white on rice."

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To be "proud as a peacock" is to be __________.
Depressed
Proud
Another way of being proud is to express it with the phrase, "proud as a peacock." This can also be used to express that someone is being overly proud, or arrogant.
Angry
Puzzled

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If someone is really sick, you might tell them that they're ____________.
Sick as a dog
To be as "sick as a dog" is to be really sick. This is often used to describe symptoms associated with the cold or flu.
As happy as a bee
As blissful as the sky
Like white on rice

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The phrase "hotter than Hades" means ______________.
It's a nice day out.
It's very hot.
The phrase "hotter than Hades" is associated with a high temperature of the weather. For example, "Tomorrow is supposed to be hotter than Hades."
It's very cold.
It's very gloomy.

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To become excited is to be ____________.
Like a frog's eyes
Happier than a bee
Hog wild
"Hog wild" is used to express immense excitement in a situation. For example, "He went hog wild over his birthday cake."
Pig friendly

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If someone is really happy, you might say they are ______________.
As calm as the sky
As red as a rose
Blue in the face
Tickled pink
When someone is "tickled pink" it usually means they are very happy. This is typically used to describe someone who looks happy after receiving a compliment.

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When someone throws a "hissy fit," they are probably _____________.
Confused
Calm
Upset
To become upset (especially over small problems) is to throw a "hissy fit." This is often associated with causing chaos, or causing a scene in public.
Joyful

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If someone is having a "conniption fit," what are they doing?
Acting startled and shocked
Overexaggerating their body language to match their anger​
When someone is overexaggerating their body language to match their anger, they are having a "conniption fit." This is often met with overly expressive gestures, such as hands waving all over the place.
Remaining calm and quiet
Trying to solve a puzzle

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If you are "gettin’ on my last nerve," you are ____________.
Expressing sorrow
Trying to calm me down
Making me happy
Annoying me a lot
If you are "gettin' on my last nerve," you are annoying me greatly. This is also used to express that you've "had it" with someone, and that you possibly don't want to speak with them anymore.

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If I want you to "hold your horses," it means I want you to _____________.
Wait
If I want you to "hold your horses," it means that I want you to wait or slow down. This is often used when the other person is in a rush.
Hurry up.
Remain calm.
Find the horses.

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If I say "don’t get your feathers ruffled," what do I mean?
Don't get mad, or don't get too excited.
If I say "don’t get your feathers ruffled," it means I don't want you to get too mad or too excited. It's another way of saying you don't want a person to "get their hopes up."
Don't be so calm.
Don't look so confused.
Don't be so sad.

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When is the phrase "jerk a knot in your tail" used?
It's used on someone who is acting inappropriately or unprofessionally.
If a child is throwing a tantrum, the parent might say something like "I'm going to jerk a knot in your tail if you don't settle down." It's also used to indicate that they will be "grounded" or punished.
It's used to reward someone for doing a good job.
It's used on someone who is depressed.
It's used on someone who is lost.

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"Hush up" is another way of saying _____________.
You're not talking enough.
You're talking too quietly.
Keep talking.
Stop talking.
If I want you to "hush up," it means I think you're talking too much or too loudly, and I want you to be quiet. For example, "Cindy, will you just hush up already!"

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"Fine and dandy" has a double meaning. Which of the following is ONE of these meanings?
It's cold outside
The situation is actually not alright
There are two meanings to the phrase "fine and dandy," depending on the context. One of them is used sarcastically to say that something is not alright. The other meaning is to express actual content and happiness.
The situation should be left alone
The situation calls for blissful ignorance

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"Quit yer bellyachin'" is another way of saying ___________.
Quit eating.
Quit smoking.
Stop whining.
"Quit yer bellyachin'" is another way of telling someone to stop whining. It's often used when someone is whining or complaining about something too much.
Quit drinking so much alcohol.

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If I tell you "your face is gonna freeze like that," it means you're probably making a/an _______ face.
Suspicious
Puzzled
Angry
Someone who is making an angry-looking face will often be met with the Southern phrase, "your face is gonna freeze like that." This is another way of telling someone to be happy.
Happy

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Someone who is high-maintenanced might be associated with which of these phrases?
"Little miss priss"
If someone is pretentious or acting high-maintenanced, they might often be met with the phrase "little miss priss." This is often used as an insult.
"Happy go lucky"
"Like a pig in mud"
"Like a fish out of water"

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If someone is "not the sharpest tool in the shed," they are ____________.
Someone who is great with tools
Not very smart
If someone is "not the sharpest tool in the shed," it means they are not very smart. Another way of saying this is "not the brightest bulb in the box."
Very smart
Someone who gets lost easily

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When do you think the Southern phrase "slap yer mama" is used?
It's used to express rage and anger.
It's used to express happiness with tasty food.
When someone wants to express happiness with tasty food, they will often use the phrase "slap yer mama." For example, "Well slap yer mama this pizza is so good."
It's used to express dissatisfaction with food.
It's used to try to get out of a situation.

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If someone is "sweatin’ like a sinner in church," they are _____________.
Contemplating their actions
Agreeing with you
Sweating a lot
If someone is sweating a lot, they will often be met with the phrase "sweatin' like a sinner in church." For example, "Is it hot outside? Because you're sweatin' like a sinner in church."
Trying to find answers to questions

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"Gimme some sugar" is another way of saying you want _____________.
Sugar
To calm down
To be left alone
Affection
Another way of asking for affection from someone is to say "gimme some sugar." For example, "I haven't seen you in ages! Come gimme some sugar."

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To be very surprised may be met with the phrase ....
"Lord willin' and the creek don’t rise"
"Well, I declare."
If you're very surprised in a situation, you might start your sentence off with "Well, I declare..." For example, "Well, I declare, I wasn't expecting all of these birthday gifts."
"Barkin' up the wrong tree"
"I reckon'"

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Someone who gets scared easily might be associated with which of these phrases?
"Beatin' around the bush"
"She would argue with a fence post."
"If it had been a snake, it’d bit you."
"Nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rockin’ chairs"
"Nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rockin’ chairs" is another way of saying that someone gets scared too easily. For example, "That horror movie made her as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rockin’ chairs."

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If someone is a "wound tighter than a clock," it means they are ____________.
Depressed
Calm
Stressed
If someone is a "wound tighter than a clock," it means they are very stressed out with a situation. For example, "This wedding has her wound tighter than a clock."
Perplexed

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If you want to ask how someone's family or relatives are doing, you'll likely say _____________.
"How’s yer mama ‘n them?"
"How’s yer mama ‘n them?" is used to express curiosity and caring about someone's relatives or family members. It's another way of saying "How is your family doing?"
"Say yer prayers."
"Mind your P’s and Q’s."
"Bless your heart."

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If someone is "goin’ to town," it means they are _______________.
Expressing sadness
Expressing dissatisfaction with the town in which they live
Happy and joyful
Doing something with great eagerness
When someone is very eager about doing something, they are "goin' to town." For example, "She is really goin' to town on that gumbo."

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