Innocent English’s Southern Translation Dictionary was able to track down this rare English to Southern Dictionary, which, incomplete though it is, may help to unlock at least a small portion of the mystery that is Southspeak. In much the same way that Canada, primarily an English speaking country, has pockets in which French is spoken, The United States has pockets in the South in which a very different language is spoken. That language has a variety of dialects, but all are more similar to each other than to English. This can pose difficulties for those who don’t speak Southern but who travel to that region. To make matters more challenging, most Southerners are able to understand standard English, and may wonder if those who can’t understand them are perhaps a little dim.



While some Southerners are suspicious of those who speak other languages, such as standard English, many are very hospitable and happy to accommodate non-native Southern speakers to the best of their ability. It is a little known fact, outside of the South, that Southerners only speak slowly and loudly to those from other regions in order to help them understand Southspeak. It may come as a surprise that when only Southerners are present, they tend to speak much more quickly, as everyone present can understand their language. (This fact is so little known primarily because, due to economic employment migration patterns, it is extremely rare for Southerners to be in a situation in which all those who are present are truly Southern, and even when this rare event occurs, the slow speaking becomes rather habitual.)
One of the few times one has the opportunity to hear the natural rate of Southern speakers is at Southern auctions, because of a long standing tradition (since the Civil War) of Southern auctioneers to not “dumb it down for the Yanks” in order to give Southerners participating in the auction the advantage.



Southern (Southspeak) to English dictionary:



HEIDI (noun) — Greeting.


HIRE YEW (noun with verb) — Complete sentence. Remainder of greeting.
Usage “Heidi, hire yew?”


BARD (verb) — Past tense of the infinitive “to borrow.”
Usage “My brother bard my pickup truck.”


JAWJUH (noun) — The state north of Florida. Capitol is Lanner.
Usage “My brother from Jawjuh bard my pickup truck.”


BAMMER (noun) — The state west of Jawjuh. Capitol is Berminhayum.
Usage “A tornader jes went through Bammer an’ left $20,000,000 in improvements.”


MUNTS (noun) — A calendar division.
Usage “My brother from Jawjuh bard my pickup truck, and I ain’t herd from him in munts.”


THANK (verb) — Cognitive process.
Usage “Ah thank ah’ll have a bare.”


BARE (noun) — An alcoholic beverage made of barley, hops and yeast.
Usage “Ah thank ah’ll have a bare.”


IGNERT (adjective) — Not smart. See “Arkansas native.”
Usage “Them bammer boys sure are ignert!”


RANCH (noun) — A tool used for tight’nin’ bolts.
Usage “I thank I left my ranch in the back of that pickup truck my brother from Jawjuh bard a few munts ago.”


ALL (noun) — A petroleum-based lubricant.
Usage “I sure hope my brother from Jawjuh puts all in my pickup truck.”


FAR (noun) — A conflagration.
Usage “If my brother from Jawjuh don’t change the all in my pickup truck, that thing’s gonna catch far.”


TAR (noun) — A rubber wheel.
Usage “Gee, I hope that brother of mine from Jawjuh don’t git a flat tar in my pickup truck.”


TIRE (noun) — A tall monument.
Usage “Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise, I sure do hope to see that Eiffel Tire in Paris sometime.”


RETARRED (verb) — To stop working.
Usage “My grampaw retarred at age 65.”


FAT (noun, verb) — A battle or combat; to engage in battle or combat.
Usage “You younguns keep fat’n, n’ ah’m gonna whup y’uh.”


RATS (noun) — Entitled power or privilege.
Usage “We Southerners are willin’ to fat for are rats.”


CHEER (adverb) — In this place.
Usage “Just set that bare rat cheer.” .


FARN (adjective) — Not domestic.
Usage “I cuddint unnerstand a wurd he sed. Must be from some farn country.”


DID (adjective) — Not alive.
Usage “He’s did, Jim.”


ARE (noun) — A colorless, odorless gas. i.e., oxygen.
Usage “He can’t breathe. Give ‘IM some ARE!”


BOB WAR (noun) — A sharp, twisted cable.
Usage “Boy, stay away from that bob war fence.”


JEW HERE (noun and verb) — Contraction.
Usage “Jew here that my brother from Jawjuh got a job with that bob war fence cump’ny?”


HAZE (noun and verb) — Contraction.
Usage “Is Bubba smart?” “Nah … haze ignert. He ain’t thanked but a minnit’n is laf.”


SEED (verb) — Past tense of “to see.”
Usage “I ain’t never seed New York City.” VIEW (pronoun and verb) — Contraction Usage “I ain’t never seed New York City. View?”


GUBMINT (noun) — A bureaucratic institution.
Usage “Them gubmint boys shore is ignert.”



Page topic: Funny southern dictionary. How to speak South translation guide



2 thoughts on “Innocent English’s Southern Translation Dictionary”

  1. Norm said, “Let’s go fishing.”
    “All right. Park the car. Don’t park it in town. I want to get a sandwich before we head off. Maybe I’ll get something extra, too I might get a bowl of soup and a big sandwich. I’ll get a soft drink, too. You want something to drink> I’ll put it all in the shopping cart.”

  2. Being a slave is hard work and lately I have become popular among my other friends that are slaves. I have been telling them stories about witches and they can not get enough of it. I have met a boy named Huck Finn and he seems like a very superstitious little boy. The other night he came to me to ask me about my magic hairball that is supposedly from an ox’s stomach. Then Huck told me the whole story about how he saw foot prints from Pap in the snow. Huck seemed like he really needed to know what his father was wanting so he came to me for the magic hairball.

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