Another fond and interesting memory I have of growing up in a Southern dialect is the time my mother came home from work outraged that she was expected to teach her kindergartners that the word ‘dog’ rhymes with ‘log’. Where I come from, dog is pronounced ‘dawg’. Any other way is absolutely blasphemous and ridiculously upsetting. She had a hard time reconciling herself to teaching the children something that would ultimately get them made fun of and ridiculed, despite the fact that technically dog does rhyme with log. (#southernproblems – are we hashtagging in blog posts yet?)
Recently, Jimmy has started complaining about a particular Southern phrase that really irks him. Down here, many of us will say the following: “I’m fixin’ to!”. We say fixin’ in place of about. So we’re always fixin’ to do this and fixin’ to do that. And yes, we know that fixing means something entirely different, but we don’t care. Adapt or get left behind, Mr. Hubs.
When I used to frequent Panama City Beach, Florida (Redneck Riviera!) during spring break back in high school, there were always a ton of kids from the Midwest vacationing there as well. My friends and I once stumbled across a group of college boys from Wisconsin who literally spent thirty minutes giving us phrases to say in ‘our language’ as they called it. Their favorite, hands down, was ‘Oh my god’. To this day, I still don’t get it.
At the end of college, I made a concerted effort to change the way I said certain words. I wanted to sound not less Southern but just more correct. These words included: water, catch, and on. I drop far fewer ‘g’s off the ends of words. And I’ll even admit that my ‘dog’ sounds a lot more like ‘log’ than it used to. Unless, of course, I’m shouting ‘Go Dawgs!’ which will NEVER CHANGE.
Now I want to hear all of your funny, quirky accent stories – no matter your accent! Any words you’ve tried to correct in your daily speech? Any words you refuse to correct? What are the most common phrases specific to your area? I love hearing about dialects and nuances of speech so do tell!!