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Southern Slang

G-P

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Goobers
Function: Noun
Peanuts.

Grab A Root
Function: Colloquialism
Have dinner. "Root" refers to potatoes.

Grits (Hominy Grits)
Function: Noun
Hominy or plain corn that's been ground until it has the consistency of coarse sand. It's used as a side dish, a breakfast cereal, or as an ingredient in baked goods.

Hankering
Etymology: probably from Flemish hankeren, frequentative of hangen to hang; akin to Old English hangian
Function: Noun
A strong or persistent desire or yearning -- often used with for or after. Example: I have a hankering for fried okra. I've really been craving it."

Heap
Function: Noun
A large quantity. Example: Billy got into a heap of trouble when he stole his dad's car.

Hear tell
Function: Verbal phrase
A form of "hear it told." Often conveys that the information was passed second hand. Example: "I hear tell that the new mini-mall is going up next month."

Hoecake
Pronunciation: 'hO-"kAk
Function: Noun
Date: 1745
A small cake made of cornmeal.

Hominy
Pronunciation: 'hä-m&-nE
Function: Noun
Etymology: Virginia Algonquian -homen, literally, that treated (in the way specified)
Date: 1629
Kernels of corn that have been soaked in a caustic solution (as of lye) and then washed to remove the hulls.

Horse sense
Function: Colloquialism
Smart. Example: She has horse sense. She'll make it in business.

Howdy
Pronunciation: 'hau-dE
Function: Interjection
Etymology: alteration of how do ye
Date: 1712
Used to express greeting.

Hush puppies
Function: Noun
A Southern food made with cornmeal. They are small, round balls of cornbread and spices that are deep fried and often served with fish. These were originally fed to dogs to quiet their begging at the table.

Hunkey Dorey
Function: Adjective
Everything is great.

June bug
Function: Noun
Date: 1829
Any of numerous rather large leaf-eating scarab beetles (subfamily Melolonthinae) that fly chiefly in late spring and have larvae that are white grubs which live in soil and feed chiefly on the roots of grasses and other plants -- called also june beetles.

Laying out [all night]
Function: Verbal phrase
Staying out all night, often drinking of doing something illicit. Example: "I was laying out at the bar last night so I had a hangover."

Lazy man's load
Function: Colloquialism
A lazy man's load is an unmanageably large load carried to avoid making more than one trip. This colloquial phrase is often used to indicate that someone is too lazy to think properly. Example: 'Sam took a lazy man's load of groceries out of the car and ended up spilling them all over the sidewalk."

Lickety split
Function: Colloquialism
Very quick.

Like to
Function: Adverbial phrase
Almost. Example: "I like to pee my pants when that car hit me."

Nearabout
Function: Adverb
Almost. Example: "I nearabout ran over that squirrel in the road."

No 'count
Function: Contraction
Of no account; good for nothing.

Nuss
Function: Verb
To nurse. Example: "She nussed the sick dog to bring it back to health."

Okie or Sooner
Function: Noun
A resident or native of Oklahoma.

Okra
Function: Noun
A green, cylindrical vegetable that is often fried in the South.

Ornery
Pronunciation: 'or-n&-rE, 'är-; 'orn-rE, 'ärn-
Function: Adjective
Inflected Form(s): or·neri·er; -est
Etymology: alteration of ordinary
Date: 1816
Having an irritable disposition.

Out of kilter
Function: Colloquialism
Not right. Out of sorts. Example: John was out of kilter for a while when he was relocated to New York."

Pack or Tote
Function: Verb
To carry.

Particular
Function: Adjective
Concerned over or attentive to details : meticulous.

People
Function: Noun
Relatives, kinfolk. Example: "Shelly went to see her people on vacation."

Piddlin'
Function: Adjective
Small or inferior. Example: "His work only gave him a piddlin' 1% raise. Function: Adverb
Poorly. Example: "She felt piddlin' so she didn't go to school."
Function: Verb
To waste time. Example: He spent all his time piddlin' and never got anything done."

Poke, Pokeweed, Poke Salad
Function: Noun
A type of salad often eaten in the South. Pokeweed can be toxic if not chosen and prepared properly.

Possum Pie
Function: Noun
A meat pie made from possum. This is not actually eaten in Arkansas to my knowledge!

Purdy
Function: Adjective
Pretty.

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