In 1993, author Ray Cunningham, a North Alabama native, put out an updated edition of his “Southern Talk, A Disappearing Language,” a book a newer update would likely be half the size of this ’un of 180 pages.
Ray’s put together real Southern words, not those cheesy ones found on café placemats, real ones like we ain’t a’feared or a’skeered o’ nothin’ on two legs. We just knock ’em a’windin’, Mister.
Ray gathered words which send editors and spellchecks all catawampus.
Not just ain’t.
There’s another kind of ain’t, as in Mother’s sister is Aint Vi. As far as uncles, we ain’t got air’n (nair’n) atter Uncle John woke up deader’n a door nail.
He’d gone deef and warn’t much fun to talk with, but he’d holler at us to dob a doaste of saive, lard, mynaise or siurp, like Daddy Buck’s or Golden Eagle, on waust stings before they get all swole up.
People are also reading…
Same goes for gallinipper bites and blisters which show up after chores git’un.
Remember this: Don’t never hit a waust nest with a short stick! (It’s in the book.)
Bug bites ain’t everything this time a’year.
There’s also neck boils/pipjennies.
And readers who’s had backdoor trots, the flux, the epizootics or cain’t-hep-its from eatin’ hot watermelons out’n the patch knows the definition of ’em and has had a bait of e’re one of ’em, most speshly those whose mommers had to wash bedclothes atter young’uns thought they’s hunkerin’ over the slop jar.
Now, if’n you got the opposite of that, a good doaste a croton oil does the trick most ever’ time.
Long ago, the beat’nest thang this time a’year, when it’s hot as farr, to cool off with or when you’re just give out, used to be a ice-cold Red Rock bellywash, bottled directly across the road from the House of Adams.
Any Red Rock flavor or a tablespoon of Hadacol soothes testy goozles.
Playin’ under sprinklers was fun and doused you hide, hair and all, even if you weren’t jay bird nekkid.
Used to be July days got spent eatin’ green-as-gourds boiled penders; the late J.L. Strickland always had good’uns; his’n was mostly Spanish and cost a dime a bag or three bags for a quarter, garnteed to please.
Did y’allses’ power go out last month?
It was out here 18 hours, straight; the whole place went bottomside upperds in the dark.
‘Member how we often smelt a dead skunk after dark headed toward Level Plains/Clayhatchee? Wadn’t like yesterday’s dead possum kyarn stank, but it’d burn yo eyes and make you holler hidey-ho.’
Brother Dave Gardner was a Southern story teller who occasionally made up or customized words, like “lattisibles,” the part of Mr. Charles’s sides Miss Baby held onto ridin’ behind him on his motorsickle.
Bro. Dave worked small nightclubs/colleges fer years and told his stories to sensible folks who’s drunk as boiled owls but got their money’s worth since Bro. Dave told stories, sang “White Silver Sands” and played drums like banjos, you know, no sad tunes played on ’em.
Well, seems like it’s a good idy to wrop this thang up instid a’wastin’ more ink, so iffin the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we’ll git together right’chere agin next week.
Thanks, Ray …