Instructions for Northerners

A combination of files, received Jan 12, 1999, May 09, 2000, and Dec 21, 2000.

If you are from the northern states and planning on visiting or moving to the South, there are a few things you should know that will help you adapt to the difference in lifestyles:


  1. The North has sun-dried toe-mah-toes, The South has 'mater samiches.
  2. The North has coffee houses, The South has Waffle Houses.
  3. The North has dating services, The South has family reunions.
  4. The North has switchblade knives, The South has Lee Press-on Nails.
  5. The North has double last names, The South has double first names.
  6. The North has Ted Kennedy, The South has Jesse Helms.
  7. The North has an ambulance, The South has an amalance.
  8. The North Has the Mafia, The South has the Klan.
  9. The North has Indy car races, The South has stock car races.
  10. The North has Cream of Wheat, The South has grits.
  11. The North has green salads, The South has collard greens.
  12. The North has lobsters, The South has crawdads.
  13. The North has the rust belt, The South has the Bible Belt.
  14. "Tea" = Iced Tea. There is no other kind.
  15. A Mercedes-Benz is not a status symbol here. A Chevy SL is. And try finding Mercedes-Benz parts in The South.
  16. BBQ is a food group. It does NOT mean grilling burgers and hotdogs outdoors.
  17. Be advised that "He needed killin" is a valid defense here.
  18. Brisket is not "cooked" in an oven.
  19. Chili does NOT have beans in it.
  20. Do not be surprised to find that 10-year-olds own their own shotguns, they are proficient marksmen, and their mammas taught them how to aim.
  21. Don't be surprised to find movie rentals and bait in the same store. Don't buy food at this store.
  22. Don't be worried at not understanding what people are saying. They can't understand you either
  23. Don't be worried that you don't understand anyone. They don't understand you either.
  24. Don't tell us how you did it up there. Nobody cares.
  25. Florida is not considered a Southern state. There are far more Yankees than Southerners living there.
  26. Get used to hearing "You ain't from round here, are ya?"
  27. Get used to the phrase, "It's not the heat, it's the humidity," as well as the collateral phrase, "You call this Hot? Wait'll August!"
  28. If attending a funeral in the South, remember, we stay until the last shovel of dirt is thrown on and the tent is torn down.
  29. If someone says they're "fixin'" to do something, that doesn't mean anything's broken.
  30. If someone tells you "Don't worry, those peppers ain't hot," you can be certain they are.
  31. If there is the prediction of the slightest chance of even the smallest accumulation of snow, your presence is required at the local grocery store. It doesn't matter whether you need anything or not. You just have to go there.
  32. If you are yelling at the person driving 15 mph in a 55 mph zone, directly in the middle of the road, remember: a lot of folks learned to drive on a vehicle known as John Deere, and this is the proper speed and lane position for that vehicle.
  33. If you do settle in the South and bear children, don't think we will accept them as Southerners. After all, if the cat had kittens in the oven, we wouldn't call 'em biscuits.
  34. If you don't understand our passion for college and high school football, just keep your mouth shut.
  35. If you fail to heed the warning in #17 above, be sure to have a bowl of guacamole handy. Water won't do it.
  36. If you forget a Southerner's name, refer to him (or her) as "Bubba". You have a 75% chance of being right.
  37. If you hear a Southerner exclaim, "Hey, y'all, watch this, "stay out of the way. These are likely to be the last words he'll ever say.
  38. If you see a slower moving vehicle on a two lane road pull onto the shoulder; that is what is called "courtesy".
  39. If you think it's too hot, don't worry. It'll cool down - in December.
  40. In conversation, never put your hand on a man's shoulder when making a point, especially in a bar.
  41. In Southern churches you will hear the hymn, "All Glory, Laud and Honor" You will also hear expressions such as, "Laud, have mercy", "Good Laud" and "Laudy, Laudy, Laudy".
  42. In the South, we have found that the best way to grow a lush green lawn is to pour gravel on it and call it a driveway.
  43. Just because YOU can drive on snow and ice does not mean WE can. Stay home the two days of the year it snows. If you do run your car into a ditch, don't panic. Four men in the cab of a four-wheel drive with a 12-pack of beer and a tow chain will be along shortly. DON'T try to help them. Just stay out of their way. This is what they live for.
  44. Most Southerners do not use turn signals, and they ignore those who do. In fact, if you see a signal blinking on a car with a Southern license plate, you may rest assured that it was on when the car was purchased.
  45. No matter what you've seen on television, line dancing is a popular weekend pastime.
  46. Northerners can be identified by the spit on the inside of their car's windshield that comes from yelling at other drivers.
  47. People walk slower here.
  48. Remember, "y'all" is singular, "all y'all" is plural, and "all y'all's" is plural possessive.
  49. Rocky Mountain Oysters are NOT oysters, and Turkey fries do come from birds... Don't ask.
  50. Satellite dishes are very popular in the South. When you purchase one it is to be positioned directly in front of your trailer. This is logical, bearing in mind that the dish cost considerably more than the trailer and should, therefore, be displayed in front.
  51. Save all manner of bacon grease. You will be instructed later on how to use it. If it can't be fried in bacon grease, it ain't worth cooking, let alone eating.
  52. The first Southern expression to creep into a transplanted Northerner's vocabulary is the adjective "big'ol," truck or "big'ol" boy. Most Northerners begin their Southern-influenced dialect this way. All of them are in denial about it.
  53. The proper pronunciation you learned in school is no longer proper.
  54. The proper pronunciation you learned in school is no longer proper.
  55. The value of a parking space is not determined by the distance to the door, but the availability of shade.
  56. The winter wardrobe you always brought out in September can wait until November.
  57. There are no Delis. Don't ask.
  58. There is nothing sillier than a Northerner imitating a Southern accent, unless it is a Southerner imitating a Boston accent.
  59. We do TOO have four seasons: December, January, February, and Summer!
  60. When you come up on a person driving 15 mph down the middle of the road, remember that most folks learn to drive on a John Deere, and that is the proper speed and position for that vehicle.
  61. You can ask a Southerner for directions, but unless you already know the positions of key hills, trees and rocks, you're better off trying to find it yourself.
  62. You may hear a Southerner say "Ought!" to a dog or child. This is short for "Y'all ought not do that!" and is the equivalent of saying "No!"

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