Presuming the obvious–that all of you are somehow connected to the belles and bourbons of Southern culture, be it through a Facebook feed full of seersucker, a predilection toward fried okra, or a monthly viewing of Fried Green Tomatoes–you’ve probably seen BuzzFeed’s new list: “22 Words That Have a Totally Different Meaning in the South.” It’s hotter than summer in the South, if our newsfeeds are to be believed (Mark Zuckerberg wouldn’t mislead us, right?). Much like this paragraph, it’s also stuffed with more stereotypes than there are birds in a turducken!
For those of you who are too busy huntin’ deer or drinking a mint julep while practicing your best rendition of “Bless your heart,” we’ve broken down the article for you. Our impression? BuzzFeed reporters need to spend more time in the South and less time gathering their facts from True Blood. Here’s a look at what they got right and what they got wrong.
What BuzzFeed Wrote vs. What Is True
BuzzFeed Says: A word you use to address two or more people that’s used in almost every single sentence.
We Say: I got through the intro paragraphs here without using that word! Am I not Southern? I’m having an identity crisis, y’all.
BuzzFeed Says: Hot, super freaking hot, and cold for a couple of weeks.
We Say: Uhh … It was like 40 degrees once. And remember that time it snowed? Okay, we’ll concede this one.
BuzzFeed Says: Religion, and what the South is best at.
We Say: Sure, we love our football. But what we’re best at? Tell that to Johnny Cash. Or Sean Brock. Or the amazing people who helped those affected by tornados. And hurricanes. The South is better at football than the rest of the country–looking at you, Midwest–but the South is best at community. Sappy, but true.
BuzzFeed Says: Bird-sized flying vampires that are the absolute bane of your existence.
We Say: Pretty spot on, but BuzzFeed forgot to mention that way they swarm like termites. Oh yeah, and they forgot termites–the indie rockers of the swarming bug world.
BuzzFeed Says: Always addressing people as ma’am and sir, opening doors, being nice to people, and genuinely meaning it.
We Say: HEY NOW BUZZFEED EVEN RUDE PEOPLE OPEN DOORS … oh, wait. These are actually really good traits, and we’re happy to own it. Thanks, guys! Is this list bad manners?
BuzzFeed Says: Slow-cooking meat for several hours, and something every part of the South thinks it does the best.
We Say: Sure, The Carolinas and Texas have been battling it out for best BBQ for a while, but Louisiana, Florida? We’ve got other culinary battles to fight.
BuzzFeed Says: Drinking and eating in the parking lot until the big game starts, dressed to the NINES, fancy and in school colors.
We Say: Wait, what? I was too busy painting my face purple and gold for my first LSU tailgate of the year to pay attention to this one. +1 Buzzfeed.
8) New Orleans
BuzzFeed Says: The place where you’ve made at least one questionable decision.
We Say: We can’t argue with this one, but we’ve got a feeling that folks make questionable decisions in San Fran … New York … Chicago … other places where people congregate …
BuzzFeed Says: When you’re about to do something or getting ready to do something. Also used to talk about food.
We Say: Last time I used the word “fixin'” I was talking about my car. I even remembered my “g.”
BuzzFeed Says: A swampy hell and the reason you feel dirty and sweaty all the damn time.
We Say: A swampy hell and the reason you feel dirty and sweaty all the damn time. Also, the reason you sometimes wear shorts to work AND ARE TOTALLY FINE WITH THAT.
BuzzFeed Says: A hot, humid, hellscape where you try to stay cool by any means necessary.
We Say: Hey guys, do you think it’s warm down in the South? Hard to figure out where y’all stand on this …
BuzzFeed Says: A device sent from God and something you can’t live without.
We Say: /DC
13) Country Music
BuzzFeed Says: What you hear nonstop on almost every single radio station and at almost every social function.
We Say: This is true, if those social functions are Cole Swindell concerts. We do love country, but we also invented Zydeco, Blues, Jazz, Rock ‘n’ Roll …
BuzzFeed Says: An extremely nice way of calling someone a goofball.
We Say: In 2014, calling someone a goofball is an extremely nice way of calling someone a goofball. Anyway, am I an outlier here thinking that this is a goober?
BuzzFeed Says: Where either you, one of your friends, or a member of your family went to school, and the best damn football conference the world has ever known.
We Say: The United States Security and Exchanges Commission. Just kidding! The best damn football conference the world has ever known that also includes four of the top 100 academic colleges in the country.
BuzzFeed Says: What you call any carbonated sugary beverage regardless if it’s actually Coca-Cola or not.
We Say: This is almost true, with one important caveat: PEPSI IS NEVER CONSIDERED COKE. EVER. IT’S CONSIDERED MEDICINE.
BuzzFeed Says: A regular part of your wardrobe rotation.
We Say: So, so true. Remember that famous photo of Rhett Butler and Johnny Cash rocking camo? I hang it in my dedicated camo closet. In fact I was just telling my editor about it, when she appeared in a camo dress this morning. [Editor's note: J.Crew doesn't make camo dresses.]
BuzzFeed Says: A food that signifies the most wonderful time of the year.
We Say: I’m just happy BuzzFeed didn’t call ‘em “crayfish.”
BuzzFeed Says: Alligators, nutrias, wild hogs, snakes, raccoons, bats, and anything else that roams the backwoods.
We Say: Too true. We’re as stockpiled with these babies as New York is with ninja turtles.
20) Bless Your Heart
BuzzFeed Says: A very nice way of calling someone an idiot.
We Say: Oh, you BuzzFeed goobers. Bless your hearts.
BuzzFeed Says: The majority of vehicles you see on the road.
We Say: I guess that means Toyota Corollas are now considered trucks?
22) The South
BuzzFeed Says: The best damn place on Earth.
We Say: Well, yeah. Now we feel bad for making this list.
What do YOU think about BuzzFeed’s list? Did it nail the South, or does it belong above the Mason-Dixon? We want to hear from you. Please let us know in the comments below.
Southern Fried Column is a weekly column brought to you by Travis M. Andrews that focuses on the fun, the ridiculous, and the trending in these here Southern United States. Because sometimes home is a little absurd.