I’m going to start this article the same way I started my “20 Things Only People From the Midwest Say” and “20 Things Only People From New England Say” pieces, and stress that anyone with an accent will tell you that they actually don’t have an accent; you’re the one who is wrong, and everyone else talks weirdly. This statement is probably truer in the South than anywhere else. Southerners are generally quite set in their ways, and if you don’t like it, move somewhere else. This is usually the part where I would apologize in advance for poking fun at the respective regional dialect of this article, but I don’t think any Southerner wants or needs to hear it.
For the record, the South technically includes Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. However, this article will center mostly on the Southeastern states, since Southern terminology is hit or miss in the mid-Atlantic region, and Texas/Oklahoma/Louisiana has words and phrases a lot of other Southerners won’t understand. Also, Florida should probably be exempt, since it’s not “the real South.”
I should also mention that while I’m definitely not an expert in all things Southern, I graduated from the University of South Carolina (Go Cocks!) and lived in the state for almost six years, so I’m not a complete stranger either.