How Well Do Ya'll Know Your Southern Slang?



By: J.P. Naomi

6 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Whether you're from the South or not, you might do well on this Southern Slang quiz. Let's get started to find out.

Just like any region, people in the South are notable for their unique way of expressing themselves. You may have picked up on some of these slang sayings, or you may have been born to speak the Southern way, but you've got to admit that each of these is unique, fun, and they don't always mean what they appear to mean on the surface.

For instance, "bless your heart," is a well known Southern phrase. On the surface, it appears that the speaker wishes the speaker a blessed heart... or, at the very least, a blessed day. Unfortunately, in the South, this phrase is not always as positive as it appears to be. In reality, the phrase "bless your heart," is typically used by Southerners as a somewhat sarcastic way to indicate that the speaker believes the speakee to be less than blessed with brains. So, if you're in the South, and you hear these words, try not to smile and say thank you. That will only show the speaker that you really aren't the brightest tool in the shed.

Ready to find out just how many of these Southern slang phrases you know? Take this quiz now.

If you've got a "hankering", what does that mean?

"I've got a hankering for sweet potato pie tonight!"


If you describe something as "purdy" in the South, it is _______.

"That there girl's lookin' real purdy today!"


What is a "honky-tonk"?

A honky-tonk is a bar which may also have live country music. People come and dance there as well.


In the South, "fixin' to" means that you are ______.

"I'm fixin' to go to the beach!" "I'm fixin' to call my sister and invite her over for dinner tonight."


If you tell your friend, "let's skedaddle", what are you going to do?

"I've got to skedaddle out of work tonight, I've got friends coming over for dinner!"


If something is "catty-corner" to you, which direction is it?

Up North, Yankees may say "kitty corner", but in the South they say "catty corner" - referring to that which is diagonally across from you or an object.


If you order a 'Coke' in the South, which beverage did you just order?

Up North, ordering a Coke will produce you a Coca Cola, whereas if you order a coke in the South, they may ask you, "Which kind would you like?"


If your "eyeballs are floating" in the South, where should you go?

"I drank too much water and now my eyeballs are floating!"


In the South, who are "Mamaw and Papaw"?

Used a lot in Texas, Mamaw and Papaw is popular throughout all of the South as a variation of Grandma and Grandpa.


If you're with someone who "squeezes the quarter so tight the eagle screams," what type of person are they?

A less sensitive person may describe this type of person as simply cheap!


If you have to hit the "commode", where are you going?

Commode is another word for toilet in North America, particularly the South. Historically, it is also known in the US as a movable washstand.


If someone says, "As all get out", what do they mean?

"This place is cool as all get out!" It's another way to say, "This place is very cool". It is also used as a replacement for 'totally', 'completely', and 'absolutely'.


Somebody looking for ________ will tell you to "Give me some sugar."

This phrased is used in a very fun and loving way often between well-established couples. You may also hear a grandmother say it to her grandchildren!


If you have a 'hissy' in the south, what just happened?

If you threw a hissy-fit, or a hissy, you may have been stomping your feet and yelling like a child. It probably didn't last long, but it made a terrible impression of you!


If someone in the South is "knee-high to a grasshopper," they must be...

"The last time I saw you, you were knee-high to a grasshopper! You're all grown up now!"


If someone tells you to 'hold your horses,' they want you to...

Hold your horses is a less polite way to say, "Just a moment please!" The phrase actually comes from historic times when people would hold the reigns of their horse-drawn carriages until they were ready to go.


Everything will go as planned as long as "the _______ don't rise."

In 1955, Jerry Reed and Johnny Cash each recorded their rendition of "If the Good Lord's Willing and the Creek Don't Rise". "The creek don't rise" is an expression related to unforeseen circumstances.


If you're not off to a great start, a Southerner may say that you're "off like a herd of ________."

Turtles are slow! This phrase denotes not just a slow start but sometimes a messy or unorganized start as well.


If you're "playing possum" in the South, you are _______.

"I was home, I just didn't want to talk to him, so I was playing possum!" Also known as when you ignore someone or a responsibility because you just don't feel like it!


When you "reckon" something, you ________.

I reckon my ex-boyfriend will be at the party tonight but I hope he doesn't go after all!


I "rode hard and put away wet"...

I'm like a sweaty horse that just got put back in the barn! This is a catchphrase that was originally quoted by Tennessee Ernie Ford.


Northerners might call them "sneakers", but in the South, they're called _________.

Though they are not necessarily for playing tennis, athletic footwear in the south is known as your tennis shoes!


Pull out the __________ if you've made a mess!

Sweeper is often the word used for vacuum in the South.


If you're "too big for your britches", you _________.

If someone tells you that you are too big for your britches, you might think too highly of yourself and it is showing! Britches alone can mean pants.


If someone asks where are your "stompin' grounds," they want to know...

I can't wait to go back to my stompin' grounds and visit my favorite places and see my old friends.


Teenagers might get "gussied up" for this...

If you clean up and dress very nicely, or formally, in the south, you are said to have 'gussied up!" This comes from old American slang.


If someone's been "hit with the ugly stick", you can expect them to be...

This is not the nicest phrase, but one that has been around for ages in the South.


If someone tells you to "poop or get off the pot," they're waiting for you to...

If someone becomes agitated and impatient with your lack of decision or action, they may say this phrase to you. It's not pleasant, but it sure gets the message across!


If someone is a bit "uppity," they are a bit ________.

Uppity is another word for 'snobby' in the South. It can often reference someone who is well-to-do by a less fortunate person.


Your "yapper" in the South refers this part of the body...

If you're runnin' your mouth off, an unappreciative Southerner may tell you to "shut your yapper!" Also a variation of "quit yappin'!"


"Well, I'll be a monkey's _______!"

This phrase is used to express complete surprise, amazement or disbelief. It can also be used to express impossibility - as in 'when pigs fly'.


If you get the 'short end of the stick' in the South, what did you really get?

If you get the short end of the stick then things didn't really work out too well for you. You fell victim to the bad effects of the situation.


“I can’t ride a bike any more, but I used to __________.”

"Used to could" is a phrase common in the South which means the equivalent of 'used to be able to'.


When you drive slowly to get a good look at a car crash or disabled vehicle on the side of the road, a Southerner may call you a ________.

If you turn your head so far, someone in the South might say you have a rubber neck! A rubber-necker is nosy and causes extra unnecessary traffic!


When you agree with your friend's opinion, you'd be a real Southerner to say __________.

"Dern tootin'" has several variations, including the words dang, darn or dern. This expression is used to note agreement in a conversation.


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