My family and I had so much fun putting together this list of southern “slang” words that we have heard or even used over the years. 

What In The Word Do Southern Words Mean? Crazy Southern Words!

We have been laughing at how ridiculous we Southerners must sound to non-Southerners.  We are not all ignorant and uneducated.  Why Southern Words and what do they mean?  Most of us know the difference, but we have always spoke in slang or at least used a few slang words.  We just have a lazy way of speaking sometimes.  I’m not sure why, but it can be hilarious.  My family and I have a good laugh most of the time when we hear these things.  I not only laugh at other family members but myself too.  Laughter warms the heart.  

My goal for this post is not for you to judge Southerners but for you to get a good laugh.  It is O.K. to laugh. We laugh at these things also.  Proverbs 17:22  New International Version (NIV),  A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

This is just a short list that our family came up with.  Please leave me a comment and add to it.  I know you have some favorite Southern Words.  You maybe even guilty of saying a few of these words.  If you enjoy reading this post, please click on this link to read  These are a Few of my Favorite Southern Things!”  The post is about my favorite places all around the south.

  • Going to the “deer woods” – This means going to the woods.  The question for everyone who lives in Arkansas, “What is the difference between the Woods and the ‘deer woods’?  Don’t all deer live in the woods?”
  • Making Groceries” – This means going to the grocery store. You hear this word, especially in South Louisiana. Everyone MAKES GROCERIES in Louisiana.
  • “fixin’” – Means fixing. I am guilty of this word.  Everything I am fixing to do, I have always said I am “fixin'” to do it.  This means it is next on my list to do.
  • “sammich” which means sandwich.  We laughed and laughed while watching Duck Dynasty when Godwin wanted his “sammich“.
  • “bowl” which means boil, like bring the water to a boil.  You will even hear Paula Deen pronounce it this way.
  • “fol” which means aluminum foil.  I am guilty of both saying “fol” and “bowl”.  This is another word you will hear Paula Deen often say on her cooking show.
  • Y’all – everyone
  • “Powders” or “Washing Powders” – Means Washing Detergent.
  • A “buggy” – A shopping cart.
  • To “Tump” – To turn over. (I am totally guilty of this one.)
  • They have a lot of “hollars” in TN – valleys
  • “taters” – potatoes
  • “maters” – tomatoes
  • I “reckon” – I think.
  • A “heap” – large amount
  • A “hankering” – a craving
  • A “Coke” – means a soda
  • Walmark” – Walmart
  • That does not mean “doodley-squat” – nothing to me.
  • “Crik” – creek
  • the “juice” – the electricity
  • lightning bug” – firefly
  • playing possum” – faking
  • My “bag” or “satchel” – a purse
  • A “shindig” – dance
  • I’m “tore up” – upset
  • wender pane” – a glass window
  • “tukered out” – tired
  • As “loose as a goose” – silly
  • “dumplins” – dumplings
  • “shuga” – sugar
  • Pecahns” – not pecans (peecans)- this is something totally different.
  • Southern Foods – boiled peanuts, collards, ice tea, pe-cahns, butter beans, gator, catfish, hushpuppies, crawfish (cralfish), grits, and more.


  • I was born and raised in South Alabama.  Carly, my oldest daughter was born in Alabama.
  • Jerry, my husband was born in Tennessee.
  • My 16-year-old boys were born in Georgia.
  • We lived 6 years in the New Orleans area.
  • My mother was from Alabama, and my father was from Florida.
  • One set of my grandparents were from Alabama and the other set from Florida.
  • My husband’s grandparents were from Tennessee and Kentucky.
  • We currently live in Arkansas.