#Answered: Charleston, S.C. Southernisms

Charleston, S.C. | Photo by @charlestonspired

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If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a “bless your heart,” you probably know better than to take it literally.

Like most Southern sayings, the phrase isn’t typically referring to genuine concern over the state of one’s cardiovascular system, but is making a statement about a person’s character, behavior or circumstances using a set of *completely* unrelated words. 

Here’s what we’re saying:

I’m fixin’ to: I’m about to

I Swanee!: I swear! 

I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck: I wasn’t born yesterday

Gimme some sugar: Kiss me (this one usually comes from Grandma)

A few weeks ago we asked you what southern sayings you use or hear around Greenville. We were truly not prepared for how many unique + awesome sayings y’all came up with. We wanted to share with you a few of our favorites:


Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit.” (Isn’t that amazing? Sometimes used sarcastically)

“Don’t that just take the rag off the bush?” (Can you believe that?)

“I mean!” (Translates as emphatic agreement)

I’ll be there directly. (means I will get there after a while)

“You’re a peach!” (Meaning you are a piece of work. Not a compliment!)

“Now don’t be ugly.” (Don’t be rude.)

“Howzyomomnem?” (How is your family?)

“Something in the milk ain’t clean”  (Something isn’t right about the situation)

“The devil must be beating his wife”  (It’s raining and the sun is out)

“Might could”  (Maybe)

“Mash the button” (Press the button)

“What now?” (What’d you say?”)

“That dog don’t hunt” (That is not going to happen)

“Pack your patience!” (Prepare to wait)

“Loading up the buggy” (Putting items in a shopping cart)

“Cut off the lights” (Turn off the light switch)

“If today was a fish, I’d throw it back.” (Today was a rough day.)

“Lord willing and the creek don’t rise!” (This should go as planned unless other circumstances prevent it.)

“I-dee-clare!” (A general expression of surprise or sudden awareness)

“Used to could” (translation: used to be able to)

“You can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip” (If you don’t have it, you don’t have it)

“I wouldn’t know him/her from Adam’s house cat.” (I don’t know who that is. Beats me!)

“I’m gonna carry Grandma to the grocery store.” (I’m going to give her a ride)

“Surcee” (A small gift, a small surprise, a “just because” gift)

“She’s no spring chicken” (She’s not young)

“Her cornbread ain’t done in the middle” (She’s not too sharp)

“Hunker down with it” (Think about it)