If you’re a Southerner making a move to the Midwest anytime soon, you need to know what you’re getting yourself into. Much of the lingo, the food, and the culture is opposite of what we Southerners are used to. This is a guide to recognizing the change when you cross the Mason Dixon line.
1. People don’t get nervous when you say “bless your heart.”
Everyone who grew up in the South knows “bless your heart” is NOT a good thing. While it may sound like we are wishing you well, this saying is really an insult. If a Southerner says this to you, think quick about what you did to deserve it.
2. It’s a buggy, not a shopping cart.
When going to a grocery store in the South, most likely Piggly Wiggly or Winn Dixie, you have to grab your buggy. While a well-known term, maybe Midwesterners don’t realize us Southerners really use this!
3. If you ask for a Coke, you get….a Coke?
In the South, if you ask the waiter for a Coke you’ll get the response “which kind?” For Southerners, all fizzy drinks are considered Coke. And yes, that means Pepsi, too.
4. You get made fun of for saying “y’all.”
There are many ways to say “you all” and it differs depending on what part of the country you are in. Odds are if someone says “y’all,” they were born and raised in the Southern US.
5. They don’t understand the money dance.
At Southern weddings, attendees will pull out bills to safety pin onto the bride and groom. Each bill is good for one dance, and the money goes towards the newlywed’s honeymoon. A very clever way to make some extra spending money!
6. A single snowflake freaks you out.
Midwesterners drive in three foot of blizzard, yet Southerners shut down the city at the mention of a snowflake. No amount of time in the Midwest can change a Southerners view of driving in the snow.
7. You have to ask for sweet tea.
In the South, tea is ALWAYS sweet and made with a lot of sugar. There’s no such thing as an unsweetened tea, and no one would ever think of asking for one! Sometimes it may even be spiked sweet tea.
8. You can’t get used to buying alcohol on Sunday’s.
In the South, alcohol sales are prohibited on Sundays. We aren’t sure why, but it might have something to do with the majority of families making their way to church in the mornings.
9. You never think it’s humid.
In the Midwest, humidity reaches maybe 70%, but that’s nothing compared to the 99% humidity we experience in the Southern states, especially on the Gulf Coast. There’s nothing like sweating the second you walk out the door for your 7AM stroll.
10. You know Southern hospitality is real.
Southerners know that no matter what, you always smile and say hello to anyone you see. Whether it’s the car next to you in the parking lot, the guy behind you in line at the grocery store or the sales associate at the mall, there’s no shortage of personal information being exchanged if you’re in the South.
11. You don’t get the hype over NFL Football.
Sure you are a die-hard fan of your NFL team, but there’s nothing like College Football Saturdays. Whether you cheer for LSU, Alabama or Arkansas, you’re guaranteed to find any Southerner tailgating and having a great time.
12. No food will ever live up to the food you get at home.
Barbecue? What’s that? Sure it’s a nice summer meal, but nothing can beat friend seafood and bread pudding. It’s even better when you have a ketchup and mayonnaise mixture to dip it in.
13. It’s supper, not dinner.
In the South, there are four different kinds of meals. Breakfast, which is traditional. Lunch, a casual meal around noon. Dinner, which is formal and eaten at 3PM, and Supper, which everyone in the Midwest thinks is dinner.
14. Supper is a family occasion, and you don’t know how to cook for less than 10 people.
In the South, everyone lives within a couple blocks of each other. Every Sunday is a family meal after church and people you barely know show up. You almost always cook for more than you expect.
15. You miss the front porch swings, but you’re happy to experience a new culture.
You’ll never forget the Sunday afternoons sipping sweet tea on the front porch. You may live in the Midwest, but your heart will always belong to the South.