Signs that You are In “the South”

Yesterday, my friend D published a lovely blog post describing her and her hubby’s recent trip out of town to go to a wedding. What I picked up on (besides the awesome silver dress she wore to shindig) was the debate between her and the hubs about whether or not Kentucky was a Southern state. The Trophy Wife says yes (and “the south will rise again”), her hubs says no.

This is the kind of thing that can wreck marriages. Fortunately, as a midwesterner who spent five years in a state once historically part of the “deep South,” I believe I can help.


  1. Are there signs that say, “Bridge Ices Before Road”? If so, this is likely a state that doesn’t see a lot of winter weather. You just might be in the South.
  2. Are there a multitude of gentleman dressed like Andy Bernard from “The Office”? Think pastel colors, vests, and bow ties. A Southern man is not afraid of the color pink.
  3. Which side was the state on in the Civil War? I know, history. That ol’ Mason Dixon line does tend to be a determining factor, though.
  4. Is the “Civil War” referred to as the “War Between the States” or the “War of Northern Aggression”? This tends to be a surefire way to determine if you’re in the south, but I don’t really recommend going around talking about the Civil War no matter where you are. It’s kind of weird.
  5. How do the children talk? D mentioned that she was disappointed not to hear any southern accents in Kentucky. I’ve found that very few adults maintain a noticeable accent. I’m not sure how this can be, but it’s like the accent is something kids are born with and grow out of. I’ve known friends who sound just like me, and somehow their 4-year-old has the most adorable accent. How is that possible? Where do they pick it up if not from their parents? I don’t know, but I’ve seen it more than once.
  6. Speaking of kids, do they call you Miss/Mr. Whoever? Politeness means a lot in the South, and respecting your elders tops the “good manners” list. Most of my friends’ kids in South Carolina called me “Miss Megan.” A college teammate from Georgia also called his parents “ma’am” and “sir.” Manners matter. For real.
  7. Do complete strangers refer to you with terms of endearment? It used to drive me crazy how grocery store clerks would “honey” and “darlin” me to death. Just awkward.
  8. Is there kudzu? This weed will probably overrun the country eventually, but for now it’s mostly contained in the South.
There you have it.

2 responses

  1. Out of lurking – hahaha! Yep, I live in the South. … We don’t have pastel-colored clothing but everything else is true where we live.

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