Girl Raised in the South
At Kroger this afternoon, waiting to pick up my ClickList order, I watched an older little woman toddle up and begin looking over all the Spring plants on the sidewalk. She was inspecting them carefully, checking price tags, and it occurred to me, "Why are older women mesmerized by plants?" Is it just a Southern thing, or does it happen everywhere?
She reminded me of my aunt, who called all plants "flowers." My mother always said she (my aunt) could grow anything and keep anything alive. (Also, Daddy called her "Miss F," for "FBI," because she could find anything anyone was ever looking for.)
This probably is a Southern thing: I grew up pronouncing "aunt" "aint." As in, "Aint Louise is on the phone for you." That pronunciation was only used when using their names. In other instances, like talking about them to someone, "aunt" was "aunt."
I also grew up saying "cain't" for "can't and "woen't" for "want." I still pronounce "oil" Southernly, but cannot figure out a way to spell it for you. "Ohwl"? If you've ever heard it said this way, you know it. There's no long e when we say it here.
I vacillate between "on" and "ohwn." I can't imagine ever giving up "y'all." I drop n's on words ending in "ing." I say "fixin' to" instead of "getting ready to." "Fixin' to" is my favorite Southern phrase.
A good bit of my Southernness shows up in phrases or sayings rather than individual words, I realize as I think about this right now. "The Good Lord willin' and the creeks don't rise." "Gettin' above your raisin'." Calling all soft drinks "Coke." "You reckon?" I'll slip in an "over yonder" or "back yonder" every now and then. "All get out." Almost all "i"s are short.
Oh, and I get Southerner when I get angry, or overly emotional in any way.
These two didn't know it when this picture was taken, but they learned soon enough, and remind me of it often.