How To Speak With A Southern Drawl, The Heimlich Maneuver And A Mini-Vacation To Nashville

Southern drawl

Hey y’all!

How’s that for a Southern accent? Hope y’all don’t mind me tryin’ it out on ya. 😉

So, part of our family (David, the girls and I because the boys had work) just returned from a fun mini-trip to Nashville, Tennessee. And I’m pretty sure if I stayed much longer I’d pick up their Southern drawl fairly quickly.

Why?

  1. Because I like the relaxed vibe of the South.
  2. Because when I was in college my friends from the “Northern” U.S. commented on my Southern accent and I was asked several times if I was from Texas. True story. This, despite the fact that I was born and raised in good ‘ole Southwest Missouri.

    Southern drawl
    Cowboy boots never go out of style.
  3. I like cowboy boots.
  4. And cowboy hats.

I guess this goes to show that everyone has an accent of one kind or another.

And our perception of another person’s “accent” is influenced by where we’re from and the dialect we’re used to hearing and speaking.

Interesting, right?

Drawn To His Southern Drawl

So, we had a discussion about accents on the 7-hour trip down (or east from Southwest Missouri). Like how David lost his Southern accent and how long you have to live somewhere (such as Nashville) before you start to talk like the locals.

D is originally from Kentucky and when I met him in college I was drawn to his Southern drawl.

He sat behind me in a class and after several days of hearing his smooth Kentucky accent, always the curious one that I am, I just had to turn around and put a face to that voice.

And boy was I glad that I did. 😉

(He’ll love me for saying that.)

The rest they say is history…

Well there was a bit more than that.

Southern drawl
Carrots are nutritious and high in beta carotene.

Like the time he gave me the Heimlich Maneuver in our college cafeteria (shout out to Meller’s Cafeteria! where our son, Cooper now works) when I choked on a very large carrot.

For real.

My airway was completely obstructed and he saved my life!

Maybe that sealed the deal?

But I’m pretty sure I knew he was the one way before that.

Based on the Southern drawl and all.

Y’all.

Why Learn To Speak With A Different Accent?

Southern drawl
We saw lots of cowboy boots and guitars in Nashville. Boot, scootin’ boogie.

There are different reasons for wanting to learn to speak with a Southern drawl:

  • if you’re an actor, you can expand your repertoire
  • it’s fun!
  • to impress your friends and family
  • to impersonate someone from the South

Okay, so maybe not the last one.

If you enjoy learning new things like I do, you may like this next part.

Tips For Speaking With A Southern Accent

  • Speak slowly–People from the South tend to draw out their words, especially the vowel sounds. There’s a lilt to their speech and a single syllable vowel can become two syllables. For example, “fill” becomes “fee-hill.”
  • Drop the “g”s. So words that end in “ing” will lose the “g”. For example, “eating” becomes “eatin'” and “running” becomes “runnin’.” Some of us tend to do this in the Ozarks too.
  • Use “y’all” instead of “you all” every chance you get. Even better, and a slight variation, try using “all y’all.” This is my personal favorite.
  • Remember your manners. Generally speaking, Southerners are polite. So try, “‘Scuse me”, “Thank ya”, “Yes M’am”, and “Sir” on for size.
  • Learn and practice some local phrases. Over the years I’ve been entertained by D’s long list of “Kentuckyism’s. These are phrases, or sayings, he grew up hearing in his home state of Kentucky. Many of them he learned from his Granny Mildred, I think. Examples of such colloquialisms could include: “As scarce as deviled eggs after a church picnic” or “I love them roastin’ ears (corn on the cob)” and “If the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise.”
  • It’s important to keep in mind when we’re talking like someone from the South (or any other region or country) that we show sensitivity to their culture so we don’t cause hurt feelings or offense.

Here’s a video that can help you understand Southerners and some of the things they say. (I realize the still video picture below goes against my comment above about showing cultural sensitivity, but thought it was one of the more informative videos so chose to share it anyway. Hopefully it doesn’t offend anyone out there…this is definitely not my intention.)

The Takeaway

It can be fun to visit new places and observe and interact with different people.

Nashville is an especially fun place to travel to. It’s rich in Southern pride and tradition.

Every person has a unique accent. There are different reasons you might want to learn to speak with a Southern accent. Learning new things can be fun! Or maybe you’re thinking of moving to Nashville to work at becoming a country music star. More power to ya.

Either way, I hope you continue learning new things, and exploring new horizons. Most of all, I hope you had fun reading this post!


Do you like learning new things? Do you enjoy traveling, meeting new people and experiencing new cultures? 

Please share below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!


For more on our trip to the South, you may enjoy: Fun In Nashville: Cupcake ATM, The Parthenon & Girls Day Out

If you enjoyed this, you might want to check out:

Learn how to do the Heimlich Maneuver here.

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