Posted by: Nanook | March 29, 2010

Parlez-vous du Sud?

You wouldn’t realize it, but Southern folk have much in common with the people of France. They both elected Jacques Chirac, they both connect to England via the Chunnel, and they both have the most extensive railway system in Europe [*citation needed].

'Viva la Euro-Disney and Jerry Lewis!'

And much like the snotty French, people in the South think they’re too good for English and have decided to create a different vocabulary. For example, not only is “mightcould” an acceptable word (as in “Yer car’s busted? My cousin mightcould fix that.”), I’ve also heard its antithesis used (as in “oh, I just remembered that my cousin hates you, so he mightnotcould fix that car.”) If at some point in the distant past someone mightcould, but is sadly now is unable to, “usetacould” may be employed (as in “My cousin usetacould fix cars, until that idjit went and got his arm ripped off on a carnival ride. Bless his heart.”)

Which brings me to the “bless her heart” rule. “Bless-her-heart” is like a vocabulary corrective. It’s a powerful insult panacea. You can say the cruelest thing about anybody, and provided you say “bless her heart” after the insult no one has a right to be angry.

'Wow, Gary Busey's family sure is fugly. Bless his heart.'

It’s strange, having to learn a new language just to be able to communicate in my own country. It’s almost insulting, coming from a place where everybody speaks normal English like normal people.

Marge says ‘Yah, real good then. Ooof-dah, dat was good hotdish. Aw-fer-jeeze, da lake is all froze-up. It’s a hunnert ta one da Vikes will win da superbowl dis year, you betcha. ‘



  1. Jeebus don’t get me started on “BHH”. It’s like a microcosm of the molasses-like nonconversation that passes for social interaction down here.

  2. Sometimes a girl needs a “used to could.” I love that expression!

  3. I have finally succeeded in training myself not to say, “I seen,” and “Ohferawful,” which were part of my vocabulary for a long time. Also, I now know the difference between “lend” and “borrow.” I thought they were interchangeable until I went to college. So yeah, we’re really not better up here.

  4. THANK YOU! I moved down here, started work at an ad agency and heard the mightcould coming from the office of a PR practitioner. I stopped in my tracks and said WTH!?! Then I found out it was a completely accepted form of communication!

  5. The South doesn’t have to “rise again”–they are already there!!
    A redneck was stopped by a game warden in Mississippi recently with two ice chests full of fish. He was leavin’ a cove well-known for its fishing.

    The game warden asked the man, ‘Do you have a license to catch those fish?’ ‘Naw, sir’, replied the redneck. ‘I ain’t got none of them there licenses.., these here are my pet fish.’

    ‘Pet fish?’

    ‘Yeah.. Every night, I take these here fish down to the lake and let ’em swim ’round for awhile. Then, when I whistle, they jump right back into these here ice chests and I take ’em home.’

    ‘That’s a bunch of hooey! Fish can’t do that.’

    The redneck looked at the warden for a moment and then said, ‘It’s the truth Mr. Government Man. I’ll show ya. It really works.’

    ‘O. K.’, said the warden. ‘I’ve got to see this!’

    The redneck poured the fish into the lake and stood and waited.

    After several minutes, the warden says, ‘Well?’

    ‘Well, what?’, says the redneck.

    The warden says, ‘When are you going to call them back?’

    ‘Call who back?’

    ‘The FISH’, replied the warden!

    ‘What fish?’, replied the redneck.

    Moral of the story:

    We may not be as smart as some city slickers, but we aren’t as dumb as some government employees.

    You can say what you want about the South, but you never hear of anyone retiring and moving up North.

  6. […] Columbus (bless his heart) doesn’t deserve his own holiday. In fact, it’s difficult to think of any other […]

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