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10 Jun 2021
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Culture and Traditions

There are many endearing qualities about the south, specifically the coastal south, and the colloquialisms are no exception. We thought this handy reference might be a good resource for you to understand the local lingo. Welcome!

Ain't =  It’s the southern version of is not or am not.

Air-up = Check your tires before you go on a trip.

Bless your heart = This phrase can certainly be a sincere expression of concern, but when you hear it around here, it’s very likely that there’s another layer of meaning. When you hear folks say it while good-naturedly shaking their head, it might just mean a friendly “joshing” or kidding around about the other person just not “getting it” or being in his or her own world.

Bless It! = This is Brunswick County’s take on “Bless your heart” or referring to someone who is really making an effort, considered precious or sweet, or is special.

Borrowing trouble = Worrying about what we cannot change

Bowed up = Got upset or acting defensive  Example: Little Timmy bowed up about leaving the beach.

Cattywampus = Crooked or nor straight

Fixin' to = No, it doesn’t refer to repairing something. When you’re fixin’ to do something, you are going to do something (although you may decide to take your sweet time). Example: I’m fixin’ to drink some lemonade to cool off.

Goober = Peanut (preferably boiled and served warm) or goofy (He’s acting like a goober!)

He sure is salty today = He is upset.

Heap = Plenty  Example: He piled a heap of shrimp on his plate.
I don’t give a hill of beans = I really don't care.

Hold your horses = This means “whoah” or “wait.”

It'll all come out in the wash = It will all work out

It's Blowin' Up a Storm / It’s Blowin’ a Gale = Just like it sounds, a storm is brewing out across the ocean, or the wind is really kicking up. You can feel, smell, and see a summer storm blowin’ up around here. The ocean’s horizon can darken at a moment’s notice, with days morphing into a late afternoon heavy rain to cool that summer heat.

Like to = Almost  Example: I like to run off the road looking at the gorgeous Hobbs Realty vacation homes.

Piddlin' = Wasting time or very small amount    Example: I was piddling around the garden this morning.

Skedaddle = A friendlier way to say move along or get out of here.

Slap Dab in the Middle = It doesn’t always suffice to say we’re in the middle of doing something. For emphasis, we add “slap dab.” Example: I was slap dab in the middle of a great book on the beach when I was interrupted by the call.

Soda = Other places might refer to carbonated drinks as “pop,” but here we call a Coca Cola, Pepsi, or Sundrop a soda.

Son! = Often heard around here at the end of a sentence as a familiar greeting. Example: It’s a hot day, son!

Supper = While it’s often breakfast, lunch, and dinner in other places, but in the south, the last meal is often referred to as supper. Example: What’s for supper?

The mullets are running! = The locals are talking about it being time to catch mullets in the autumn season.

Whatever floats your boat = A nonchalant way of saying whatever makes you happy

Worn slap out = At the end of a sun-kissed day in the saltwater, people of all ages – toddlers, teens, adults – are usually “beach” tired – or worn slap out.

Y’all = The Southern shortcut – or contraction - for the plural for you or you all.  Example: Ya’ll want to go get some seafood?

Yonder = Over there but nearby