I have a dear friend who grew up in and now lives again in Mobile, Alabama. To me, she is the epitome of southern charm. I’ve learned a lot from her, including how to gush over gifts received and make a person feel really special. Imo inspired this story.
I was originally from Pennsylvania; then New Jersey. After 40 years or so, I wound up being a resident of Virginia. I became a southerner.
As such, I latched on to one of the finest southern phrases = Y’all.
Good morning, y’all. Have y’all heard the news? Let’s go to y’all’s house.
Oh, I just love to use that phrase. It is so much more gentile than the plural of y-o-u that we used in coal country – Yous ready to go? What are yous doing? Uh. No finesse.
Of course, when I added that southern phrase to my northern accent, I got mixed reactions. But it worked so well, I even started using it when I put things in writing. You just might get an email from me with “Y’all” in it. Or it might be in a Christmas card. Or even a radio show.
Now if you really want to appreciate Southern Belle language, ask me about the story behind the southern phrase, “That’s nice.” Or the popular – “Bless his heart.” Adding that phrase to it allows you to take virtually any verbal insult, and repeat it in polite company – “He was such a twit, bless his heart.”
So y’all take a lesson from this southern yarn, y’hear? You can get away with saying ANYTHING as long as it’s said with a smile and a southern drawl.
Annette Petrick for Consider This, y’all.
P.S. My friend Imo could always make you feel special. That was the most endearing part of her southern charm.