Southern Lady Chatter

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

The only way to explain the speech patterns of a Southern lady is to give an example.  During the time I was becoming a Southern lady I became confused quite often.  My mother said that I had no common sense because when it was being passed out, I was busy doing something else.  I always tried to tell her I did not remember being in line for it.  Then I would defend myself by saying I was sure I had my sister hold my place for me.  Again, she said that was not the case.  Grandmother used to say it was because I was out to lunch that day and missed it completely.  However, they often remarked on how I used logic to think through things.  My logic was somewhat flawed at the age of eight.
Please bear with me.  I was about eight years old when this happened but I knew then my mother was the master at being a Southern lady.  It was simple on my part.  Mother had gotten a mink stole and a mink vest for her birthday from Daddy.  Why two items?  Simple, her birthday fell on Mother's Day.  Her birthday comes in May.  It is too hot in Texas to wear mink in May.  The items were tucked away into special boxes up in the closet.  Then one day I decided I wanted to play dress-up.  Usually, this play was done with getting out Grandmother's old clothes and hats.  Today was special.  We had a new English Bull Dog who I had named Daddy.  I thought they looked alike, in the eyes at least.  I loved this dog and we went everywhere together.  We also had another dog, a beagle, who also loved me and had become jealous of my four-legged "Daddy".
It was nap time.  Everyone had fallen asleep.  My sister and my grandmother were on the sofa sound asleep.  My mother was still at work and my father was on yet another business trip.  I had the house to myself.  The whole idea made my mind whirl at the thought of an adventure.  That is when I decided to play dress-up.  This time I had changed the rules.  I first started by looking in some books call encyclopedias until I found a picture of a mink.  They looked like nasty Wessels that played in the water and were a bit sneaky.  I could not understand all the words I was reading but I had gotten the gest about the subject.  I called my four-legged Daddy and Brandy the beagle into the back bedroom.  I had slowly scooted the step ladder into my mom's closet.  I got on the very top and tumbled down the boxes containing the mink stole and the mink vest.  They were so soft.
I had on an old evening gown belonging to my grandmother, I had on a very fancy hat with ostrich feathers coming out of it.  It was tilted and also relatively new.  I had come across my mother's new shoes she had gotten from Italy and some French underwear that was very lacey.  I put the lacey underwear on my head like a bonnet.  I put the hat on to keep the underwear in place.  I put on the mink stole and dressed "Daddy" up with the vest, a silk shirt from my two-legged Daddy's side of the closet.  I found a tie and tied it like a bow.  Not a bow tie but a very floppy bow just the same.
I spotted a stick laying in the backyard.  It was raining.  Oh, I wanted to pretend to use the walking stick and be fancy.  I decided (through logic) that the mink was a water animal and it would not hurt it to get in the rain.  The silk came from worms so the rain should not hurt anything silk.  Birds fly in the rain so the feathers in my hat should also be okay.  I felt like I had thought it all the way through.  Well, almost.
I started into the pouring rain with an English bulldog dressed up like a royal prince in his mink vest over a silk shirt and of course a top hat that popped out of a disk that fell from the shelf.  A black tie was tied as a longbow tied with long legs were wore just under his second chin.  I got my stick and we walked through the yard.  I had also gotten Grandmother's new umbrella to use to help Daddy stay dry.  I really think it would have worked if Brandy had not spotted us and decided he wanted to play too.  He started playing with Daddy and pulling at the mink vest.  He then smelled my mink stole and started pulling it too.  The two dogs were playing tug-a-war.  I was sitting out in the back yard, on the ground with all that I had pulled out in pieces all over the yard.  Daddy's shirt, the mink vest, and the mink stole were now in shreds with the feathers, the top hat, and lacy underwear.  It was not my grandmother who found us.  It was my mother.
Her face said I was in trouble.  Her eyes were big, her mouth was open and she had both hands on either side of her head.
"What Hoover Dam to Hello have you done?"  She started looking at all pieces scattered everywhere.  She did not seem to care if she was getting wet.  "You have discombobulated everything into a huge bass-tardy mess."
"I looked it up, minks are water animals, the rain does not hurt them.  But."  I was trying to explain my logic but how could I explain the rain had not hurt the fur but the dog's teeth might have done some damage.  "Silk comes from worms."  I tried again.
"I cannot believe you have been out here gallivanting around and turned my birthday presents into an outfit for a ragamuffin.  I am trying to understand.  You spent your nap time thinking you could use logic as an excuse for this?  What in thunderation made you feel like you should do all this rigmarole and tomfoolery?  Egad, Hoover Dam to Hello you, young lady will have to tell your Daddy why you decided to steal my birthday presents and feed them to the dogs?"  She put both her hands up and shouted, "Your grandmother will have to deal with this because I am afraid I would, oh my,"  She started crying.  She looked at me sitting on the ground with the two dogs and bits and pieces scattered all over and me still holding the umbrella over the dogs who were now wet and muddy from the scuffle.  The lace underwear had bits of a feather here and there.  She could not help but laugh.  The whole scene was too funny not to laugh at.  Then she screamed into the back door, "Grandmother, I need you."
I knew I was in trouble now.  Mother snatched a switch-off of one of the bushes so she could give it to Grandmother when she got there.
Grandmother came roaring out the door and took a good look at the scene and started laughing so hard her tummy quivered and she had to sit on the back steps.  My mother's surprised face said it all.
"Tell your grandmother what you did."  My mother had handed grandmother the switch as if to get the punishment started.
"My dear.  Do you remember a time when you decided to play dress-up with your Aunt Lily's things?  She was going to get married and all her bridal things were in one closet.  You took all of the things out, including the wedding dress, and proceeded to have a pretend wedding, outside, in the rain, with the cats in wagons as flower-girls?  Do you remember what your Aunt Lilly said?"  Grandmother looked at my mother and tilted her head to make sure she could see the reaction to the memory.
My mother put her hand over her mouth and her eyes got so big as she remembered, "She said that she prayed that I would have a little girl one day that would teach me exactly what it felt like to be a Southern Lady.  The only thing you can say is this is a Hoover dam to hello moment.  I think Lilly's prayer has been answered.  I know one thing for sure that bass-tardy dog needs a bath.  I never got a spanking but boy I missed the things it cost me.
I will deliver the strokes with the switch to ensure this does not happen again or we can go to her closet and take away some of her most endearing items.  They both smiled at each other.  They went to my closet and took two of my new dresses, my new shoes, my new Sunday hat, and worst of all, they took my new tea set.
I did not understand the meaning of what they talked about but today I ran across the list of words used.  It was a habit of mine to write down words I did not know so I could look them up later.
Here is my list:  Gallivant, Britches, Codger, Rigmarole, Hoodwink, Ragamuffin, Fiddle-faddle, humbug, skullduggery, Jalopy, Kibosh, Bejeebers, Flibberty, jibber, Hullabaloo, bamboozled, Flabbergasted, Brouhaha, Discombobulated, Lollygag, Malarkey, Cattywumpus, Nincompoop, Skedaddle, Shenanigans, Flummoxed, Pumpernickle, Berserk, Periwinkle, Thingamyjig, Whatsit, Confuzzled, Kerfuffle, Poppycock, Bogus, Balderdash, Fuddy-duddy, Thunderation, Whosemegadget, skewiff, lambasted, flim-flam, whatchamacallit, concoction, doohicky gobsmacked, wishy-washy, fiddlesticks, caterwauling, rigmarole, tomfoolery, bodacious, fiddle-dee-dee, Will-nilly, Decrepid, Persnickety, Egads, audacity, baloney, kerfuffle, and numb-skull.
Although I knew that The Son of a Siberian Sea Cook, Hoover Dam moments, and Pop-crockery were terms I was used to.  It would be many years before I understood bass-tardy.  I used to think it had something to do with a fish that was always late.  Southern Ladies do not curse in public.  I hope these terms will help you understand them a little better.

Submitted: July 21, 2021

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JE Falcon aka JEF

Well Jane you got most of them that I've heard from my Okey family and I'm inclined to use some of them from time to time. But here is a few I have never heard before. These saying drifted, I believe, as Oklahoma opened up and people from surrounding states came together there. Now I was always told that a Whatsit quite often was accompanied by a Doohickey, but as for the "Godsmacked", that one is a new one on me.
Well, have a good-un!

Wed, July 21st, 2021 11:06pm


I appreciate you authenticating that the sayings are real. I have had some who said I made them all up. They were indeed made up long before this Southern Lady learned how to use them. Godsmacked is one my grandmother used frequently when describing why I led such a charmed life. Supposedly, if I had not been Godsmacked, I would have been hurt many times and was not. Everyone else seemed to get by with a kiss from God. I was in so much trouble it had to be a smack. I also apparently had to earn them. I was good at that too.

Take care, my friend. Until next time.

Wed, July 21st, 2021 6:22pm

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